What stories do you want to do with Mythic?


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Acquisitives

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
That just sounds really boring to me, he's already overstayed his welcome. I'm not sure dragging it out even more will benefit the setting and continuing to give him endless plot armor just doesn't feel really satisfying for anyone.

100% there with you.

TB going down is more interesting than keeping him around. He's had two APs centered around him. Are we supposed to be jazzed for a third?

LEGACY OF THE TYRANT sounds much more interesting to me than TB3: TARN IT AROUND AGAIN


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I honestly think "end the Whispering Tyrant for good" is not just one AP. He's a Lich, and in order to end a Lich you have to get your hands on their Soul cage. If you kill them without first destroying the Soul Cage, they just reform and are mad at you. We also know that Tar Baphon's soul cage is a mystery, nobody could destroy it before, and Urgathoa hid it somewhere to protect her favorite Lich.

So this is a story in and of itself:
- Figure out what TB's Soul Cage is.
- Figure out where it is.
- Figure out how to get there and survive.
- Go there and get it
- Figure out how to destroy it when you have now made very powerful enemies.

That's already a Mythic story (you're going to greatly annoy a God in the process.)

After that, TB has to be very careful as until he finds his soul out there somewhere the next death will be the last one before Pharasma gets her hands on him. So he's going to go to ground and try to figure out where his soul went and how to safely recapture him. This process could take decades however, and it's not like the rest of his people aren't dangerous without him.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'd expect to see the Whipsering Tyrant go down someday, but as a massive narrative event across game lines and society play. There's 3 components I see to tell that story, where his demise is a multi-venue epic saga. There's an optional fourth component, depending on how Paizo wants to do this.

1. Finding Tar Baphon's Soul Cage and retrieving it from wherever Urgathoa put it.

2. Fighting the Armies of the Whispering Tyrant and pushing them back.

3. The final assault on the Tyrant himself, now vulnerable.

4. The product where we get the power to operate on this scale. (Optional, if it hasn't happened before this)

The way I see it, 2 is ideal of society play, featuring a bunch of scenarios where the societies team up with the Knights of Lastwall and various other factions in a coordinated strike on a multitude of different Whispering Tyrant assets.

But 1 and 3, I would actually pitch as being 'potentially different parties' by making one of the two an AP, and the other a Standalone Adventure module.

I could see the Soul Cage part as an Adventure Path where a group step-by-step solves the mystery of Tar Baphon's Soul Cage, it would take players from a reasonably high level to a higher level, potentially Mythic if that's the route the designers want to take with it's final location and if that makes sense for the final design of Mythic.

But the actual assault on Tar Baphon's fortress and body? Mythic, Maximum level, Standalone Adventure that caps off the story line, a really good dungeon assault storyline where the players spear tip the final assault, players are encouraged to bring their favorite maxed out PC from another level 20 ending AP or whatever-- again if that makes sense for what Mythic actually ends up being.

4 would have to be a rulebook line product, ideally one that frames itself as 'the one about Mythic' and gives you a bestiary of Mythic monsters unrelated to the storyline, and sources of mythic power. Maybe written from the perspective of a Knight of Lastwall whose made a study of different ways someone in the world might be able to pack enough of a punch to stand up the Whispering Tyrant directly. Most of the book would be a fully fleshed out system of 'whatever the hell mythic is' and statting up all the foes we expect to fight with it. Obviously, this doesn't apply if Mythic ends up being the focus of a preceding product.

It could be the same party that tracked down the soul cage who puts the sword to Tar Baphon, or that could simply be the event that catalyzes other big damn heroes to come together and end it.

That my friends, is the kind of story I'd want to tell with mythic.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
But the actual assault on Tar Baphon's fortress and body? Mythic, Maximum level, Standalone Adventure that caps off the story line, a really good dungeon assault storyline where the players spear tip the final assault, players are encouraged to bring their favorite maxed out PC from another level 20 ending AP or whatever-- again if that makes sense for what Mythic actually ends up being.

Beautiful. No notes. *chef's kiss*

Liberty's Edge

Why would Paizo want to get rid of Tar-Baphon ?

What would the setting gain ?

Or would it be poorer for it ?

The threat of Tar-Baphon has already launched many new stories, from Razmir to Belkzen.

Better to keep him lurking in the background.


It feels like it's more pressing from a metastory perspective to close the worldwound because that whole thing is attached to the Abyss and it's chaos evil nonsense. The demons were never going to stop causing trouble, so something didn't need to be done. The whole thing was predicated on "well, there's a fence" and we all know what happens to fences that keep dangerous things out in stories.

Tar-Baphon however is intelligent and thoughtful (albeit easy). His plot in Tyrant's Grasp was predicated on "TB getting out was a surprise, and outside of Lastwall nobody was really prepared to stop him". But he didn't succeed (though he got very close). But now people are aware that Tar-Baphon is free and active and we know what he wants, all manner of people in the Inner Sea are going to be planning to stop the Whispering Tyrant's armies when they show up at their doorstop. It's going to be a lot harder for him next time. So he waits, and plans, and looks for a way to win this time. He's a lich, so he could sit there and just plan while building his army for decades or centuries.

There's probably a lot that Tar Baphon needs to learn about the current world before he's comfortable trying again.

There are plot thread that enter SOGOTP territory if you don't do anything with them for too long (like Razmir continues to age naturally) but "Mythic Lich with his army of the undead sit there on a spooky island" doesn't seem to be one of them.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Honestly, the story itself to get rid of him would be much hyper than just keeping him around forever, but they should def take some opportunities before pulling the trigger, I think it would be a great bookend to the way PF2e started for it to end that way.

Then again, I also suspect pf2e has more staying power than pf1e did, partially because of the very different market space (specifically I suspect the increased flow of new players created by that other game will lead to ongoing 'waves' of players who eventually realize pathfinder is better for their tastes, and I think time will prove that this market will be much more tolerant of errata due to the increased emphasis on online tools, thereby making its bloat and the need to correct core issues less of a concern), so that isn't saying much in the grand scheme of things.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Getting back to mythic and stories related to mythic power, I am curious about whether the developers are interested in bringing in new mythic power sources or not. Just being connected to the divine doesn't feel like it is enough to boost a character to mythic tier to me. Or else why have the gods not been granting these powers all along?

I would want any AP story that introduces mythic power to give us more of a contained story around where the power comes from and where it goes afterwards so as to not just generally make it the case where the gods could have been giving this power out all along and might arbitrarily again in the future.

Liberty's Edge

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T-Bs soul is almost certainly invested in something that breaks ALL of the conventions of the modern PF2 Soul Cage rules/guidelines, after all, he is THE quintessential Lich from the setting and is the best-boy of the ACTUAL worst/most evil Deity.

I wouldn't be surprised if their soul were LITERALLY caged within THE WHOLE PLANET itself. It certainly would explain the Gap after all...


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Unicore wrote:

Getting back to mythic and stories related to mythic power, I am curious about whether the developers are interested in bringing in new mythic power sources or not. Just being connected to the divine doesn't feel like it is enough to boost a character to mythic tier to me. Or else why have the gods not been granting these powers all along?

I would want any AP story that introduces mythic power to give us more of a contained story around where the power comes from and where it goes afterwards so as to not just generally make it the case where the gods could have been giving this power out all along and might arbitrarily again in the future.

And there are players, like myself, who just don't want their character tied to the divine. It doesn't fit all mythic character concepts.

PF1E already had some non-divine sources put forth in Mythic Realms though, so I don't think we'd have to worry on that score.


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I mean, the Starstone is a big rock from space. 1e said the Doorway to the Red Star, a portal to another planet, could grant Mythic power, as could a Runelord's tomb, or some sites in the Valashmai Jungle. It was never just a gift from the gods.

Heck, Casandalee became a goddess using a combination of a wormhole engine/supercomputer and a space shuttle.


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You could also become mythic by wandering around in the Mana Wastes for long enough.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My player characters in Jade Regent became mythic by swearing an oath to the true heir upon an ancient artifact.

Mythic origins are many and varied.

I'm pretty sure a lot of the sources of mythic power in Wrath are due to magic crystals.

Liberty's Edge

Boosted by the challenge of What can you do with Mythic than you cannot with just higher level, as well as the comparison to superheroes, I now wish for the ability to have the mythic powers for a certain amount of time, or certain circumstance. Like donning a metaphorical cloak of mythic abilities that you put down after a while.

Might call it a mythic aspect.

When you activate your mythic aspect, you're beyond normal for your level. When you remove it, it's back to usual fare.

That would allow you to play usual APs according to your normal level and don your mythic aspect for a short dive in a mythic sidequest (or a higher level one).

This way, you can enjoy being temporarily kind of higher level (depending on how mythic abilities work) and then go back to lower level.

Something being regular higher level just cannot provide.

Way I envision it, your mythic aspect would regulate the exact boosts and abilities you get based on its theme.

I feel this would have the added advantage of opening up higher level adventures to a wider cast of characters.


With all this talk of "Tar-Baphon this, Tar-Baphon that" as the main topic of a mythic campaign (and in fact some here have argued that it would take MULTIPLE campaigns which has been done at most once sort of for the Runelords and never again), I can't help but think, what has TB actually done? Apart from his army, afaik he is """""just""""" (and fwiw """""just""""" here does deserve that kind of sarcastic emphasis anyways, despite my argument here) a level 20 necromancer, which is hardly a true mythic challenge in any way.

keftiu wrote:

I mean, the Starstone is a big rock from space. 1e said the Doorway to the Red Star, a portal to another planet, could grant Mythic power, as could a Runelord's tomb, or some sites in the Valashmai Jungle. It was never just a gift from the gods.

Heck, Casandalee became a goddess using a combination of a wormhole engine/supercomputer and a space shuttle.

Yeah this was another part that made this whole thing feel cheap and weak to me.

Liberty's Edge

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D3stro 2119 wrote:
Apart from his army, afaik he is """""just""""" (and fwiw """""just""""" here does deserve that kind of sarcastic emphasis anyways, despite my argument here) a level 20 necromancer, which is hardly a true mythic challenge in any way.

He has the Mythic Lich template, not the Lich template, so he has functionally got 10 mythic ranks there too, as he's a CR 20 creature at base. In addition to giving him better spellcasting and lich abilities, it makes his soul cage into a minor artifact which can't be harmed by non-mythic sources. He is, however, only CR 26 - you can see his PF1 stats here. As a level 26 creature in PF2, he'd likely be too powerful to use as a challenge for a non-mythic party (especially would be frustrating to deal with Extreme DCs on spells from an enemy 6 levels higher than you), but too weak for the equivalent of a 4-person 10-mythic rank party.

If you wanted to tell a story about defeating him with a non-mythic party, you could do something like "destroying his soul cage weakens him", making him into a 25th level creature - still incredibly difficult, but within the realm of possibility at that point.


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D3stro 2119 wrote:
With all this talk of "Tar-Baphon this, Tar-Baphon that" as the main topic of a mythic campaign (and in fact some here have argued that it would take MULTIPLE campaigns which has been done at most once sort of for the Runelords and never again), I can't help but think, what has TB actually done? Apart from his army, afaik he is """""just""""" (and fwiw """""just""""" here does deserve that kind of sarcastic emphasis anyways, despite my argument here) a level 20 necromancer, which is hardly a true mythic challenge in any way.

It took Aroden, a literal god, to kill him when he was mortal; as a lich, he was able to kill Aroden's divine herald. His defeat required the combined efforts of a continent-spanning empire, a dwarven kingdom, and a religious order so well-backed by their deity that they had both his aforementioned herald and a mighty relic of Aroden's mortal days - and it took all that to stuff him in a box, they couldn't even destroy him!

Since getting out, Tar-Baphon's wiped one nation off the face of the map entirely - Lastwall is gone, and not coming back. He's likewise bitten off a chunk of Ustalav, and thrown trade across central Avistan into chaos. Were it not for the fatal sacrifice of a party of heroes who circumstances can't be replicated (the plot of Tyrant's Grasp), he very likely would've shattered Absalom and seized the Starstone, becoming a god of undeath and conquest.

TB can kill pretty much any country in Avistan he choses, and could likely take down at least two or three more if pure destruction was his end goal... but it isn't. His eyes are firmly set on godhood, and it doesn't seem like anything less than demigods could stop him now.


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keftiu wrote:
D3stro 2119 wrote:
With all this talk of "Tar-Baphon this, Tar-Baphon that" as the main topic of a mythic campaign (and in fact some here have argued that it would take MULTIPLE campaigns which has been done at most once sort of for the Runelords and never again), I can't help but think, what has TB actually done? Apart from his army, afaik he is """""just""""" (and fwiw """""just""""" here does deserve that kind of sarcastic emphasis anyways, despite my argument here) a level 20 necromancer, which is hardly a true mythic challenge in any way.

It took Aroden, a literal god, to kill him when he was mortal; as a lich, he was able to kill Aroden's divine herald. His defeat required the combined efforts of a continent-spanning empire, a dwarven kingdom, and a religious order so well-backed by their deity that they had both his aforementioned herald and a mighty relic of Aroden's mortal days - and it took all that to stuff him in a box, they couldn't even destroy him!

Since getting out, Tar-Baphon's wiped one nation off the face of the map entirely - Lastwall is gone, and not coming back. He's likewise bitten off a chunk of Ustalav, and thrown trade across central Avistan into chaos. Were it not for the fatal sacrifice of a party of heroes who circumstances can't be replicated (the plot of Tyrant's Grasp), he very likely would've shattered Absalom and seized the Starstone, becoming a god of undeath and conquest.

TB can kill pretty much any country in Avistan he choses, and could likely take down at least two or three more if pure destruction was his end goal... but it isn't. His eyes are firmly set on godhood, and it doesn't seem like anything less than demigods could stop him now.

Heck, his eyes are set higher. While traveling around Gallowspire and seeing TB's decor choices it becomes readily apparent that he thinks of the gods as being beneath him ... just a smaller step beneath than any undead or mortals.

I also think that CR 26 is a fairly conservative estimate when it comes to his power. I know those are his PF1E stats, and that a big bad's power will rise and fall as meets the story's needs, but more than one dev has posited that TB may not be in possession of his full powers, given the times he has been statted up are after being stuck under mythic house arrest for centuries, or after having just woken up after being exploded and reforming.


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Perpdepog wrote:
I also think that CR 26 is a fairly conservative when it comes to his power.

My personal ballpark is Level/CR 29.

To get the obvious caveats out of the way. NPCs aren't built like PCs and PF1's mechanics are just one way of presenting the world of Golarion that can and will be changed if it makes a better story for PF2. Also estimated levels often present actual effective power quite poorly. All of that said I feel it's better than pulling numbers out of thin air.

We know that when he fought Aroden it wasn't a one sided beating in the God's favor and is actually presented as a major feat for the God of Humanity. That implies to me that Tar-Baphon was already up there and was probably already Mythic 10 for that fight. Level 20 M 10 is CR/EL 25. Then he became a Lich which by PF1 rules raises your CR by 3 (I know officially he's actually a Mythic Lich which operates by different rules, but many feel Mythic Lich is underwhelming and actually a downgrade from the Archmage he likely was before.). Then he crafted his major artifact crown to enhance his powers even further. There are other PF1 NPC's with artifacts that state if they're separated from them to decrease their CR by one. So logically invert that and assume the Crown increased his power by one level when he made it. 25 + 3 + 1 = 29. I take the CR 26 statline for when he had the shard of the Shield of Aroden lodged in his hand weakening him. Given the general wisdom that for classic D20 characters a 2 level difference is a rough doubling in power that's a substantial downgrade.


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I was flipping through Knights of Lastwall earlier tonight & in the bit about the Shining Kingdoms & Kyonin it talked about Treerazer a bit & described him as being a lesser threat than Tar-Baphon, but not by much, implying to me at least that cr 26 is still pretty close to where he's at right now. Will that change by the final chapter of an AP where he's the big bad again? Quite possibly.


Spamotron wrote:


To get the obvious caveats out of the way. NPCs aren't built like PCs and PF1's mechanics are just one way of presenting the world of Golarion that can and will be changed if it makes a better story for PF2. Also estimated levels often present actual effective power quite poorly. All of that said I feel it's better than pulling numbers out of thin air.

If you will pardon a personal gripe, this awkward and frankly random “NPC and PC level split” thing is just horribly implemented most of the time. Probably the biggest turn-off for DnD 5e for me was how the NPCs felt like they were built from mix and match at random, which made it infuriating impossible to try to build your own NPCs since at times you could almost see where a NPC was meant to be, say, a “fifth-level fighter” but then none of the other numbers matched up since 5e was seemingly designed to be obtuse in that way.

This is the main reason I liked PF1e and DnD 3.X NPCs for having at least some kind of levels in their statblock. You could actually see how they were built and could build them yourself. In terms of PF2e though, it's at least sort of better in terms of things like “NPC classes” which got turned far more specific (“level 7 conspiracy theorist” and “level 16 cook” are some examples), even though that’s still kind of hard to stat. But then not writing up any levels for the NPC statblocks just makes things hard to figure out whereas in 1e you could take a look and figure it out.

TBH, this kind of then loops back to a criticism of the abstractions of level in the first place, and how we honestly need some kind of way to differentiate between certain “tiers” and their expectations.

Liberty's Edge

In spite of his vast and terrible power, Tar-Baphon is far from the wisest being on Golarion.

That will always cause his downfall.

Especially in PF2 where you cannot retrain your stat boosts.


An adventure path against Tar sounds a lot like the Ruined King event League of Legends had last year.

Riot's world of Runeterra is actually a pretty good template of a Mythic setting, you have Swain, a level 20+ Witch of the demon of secrets Raum; Viego and his crew, level 20+ undead monstrosities that eat souls on the regular; all of Targon, people imbued with the concept of a thing like the sun, or violence, or the ocean; the Ascended of Shurima, people who yoinked sky radiation and made themselves super-mega-death-stompy things, with the Darkin being that but EEEEEEEEVILLLL!!!!!!!

I have a homebrew campaign that I wish to run that requires Mythic to run, as it's heavily inspired by the Fate/ series, and in order to make a Heroic Spirit as a PC sorta needs Mythic rules in order to make them tick properly.

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
It took Aroden, a literal god, to kill him when he was mortal; as a lich, he was able to kill Aroden's divine herald.

Just a minor point... the published divine heralds in 1E were generally, iirc, CR 15.

They aren't world breaking opponents - in my 1E game, one was killed by a deepcrow.

TB might not have even been there when Aroden's divine herald was captured.


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nick1wasd wrote:

An adventure path against Tar sounds a lot like the Ruined King event League of Legends had last year.

Riot's world of Runeterra is actually a pretty good template of a Mythic setting, you have Swain, a level 20+ Witch of the demon of secrets Raum; Viego and his crew, level 20+ undead monstrosities that eat souls on the regular; all of Targon, people imbued with the concept of a thing like the sun, or violence, or the ocean; the Ascended of Shurima, people who yoinked sky radiation and made themselves super-mega-death-stompy things, with the Darkin being that but EEEEEEEEVILLLL!!!!!!!

I have a homebrew campaign that I wish to run that requires Mythic to run, as it's heavily inspired by the Fate/ series, and in order to make a Heroic Spirit as a PC sorta needs Mythic rules in order to make them tick properly.

A good portion of my knowledge of LoL comes from the innumerable jokes about a space dragon god as old as the universe dying to a talking rat but from what I’ve seen of Runeterra and frankly a lot of media in general it seems a lot of those guys aren’t actually all that and the problem is more the awkward and overly constraining system of PF (this symptom is especially bad for DnD 5e).

Again, maybe it’s because I have some MnM experience under my belt where even the most gonzo guy on screen almost always maps neatly to “PL 10, 150 or so PP, and at most shift up one or two PLs” but I don’t feel “flashy onscreen dazzle move” equals “OMG MYTHIC”
Although fwiw some of those origins you note are probably mythic.

Dark Archive

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I forgot to check up on this thread, so umm, sorry if these got brought up x'D

But yeah mythic realms isn't considered fully canon anymore(Erik Mona is annoyed about the interpretation that starstone basically allows petitioning for godhood) but I think the one who stated that starstone basically transforms you into demigod was either Erik or James Jacobs?(I'm unfortunately too tired to search the exact post and its semi canon anyway until confirmed in a book) Either way, from people's point of view demigods are still gods.


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The Raven Black wrote:

In spite of his vast and terrible power, Tar-Baphon is far from the wisest being on Golarion.

That will always cause his downfall.

Especially in PF2 where you cannot retrain your stat boosts.

And the fatal flaw is basically every lich is that "being a lich" (and being a person selfish enough to go through with becoming a lich) really limits your perspective on a great number of things.

Tar Baphon, for example, literally did not anticipate that the Orcs in Belkzen were just going to say "no" when told to rejoin his army like their ancestors from 4000 years ago. I'm betting he didn't even think to ask nicely or try to sell the people of Belkzen on the alliance being mutually beneficial.


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Yakman wrote:
keftiu wrote:
It took Aroden, a literal god, to kill him when he was mortal; as a lich, he was able to kill Aroden's divine herald.

Just a minor point... the published divine heralds in 1E were generally, iirc, CR 15.

They aren't world breaking opponents - in my 1E game, one was killed by a deepcrow.

TB might not have even been there when Aroden's divine herald was captured.

The published divine heralds were all cr 15, but it wa pretty clear that wasn't always the case in lore. Tarrasque would be the obvious exception, but Iomedae, as a full goddess in her own right, served as herald to Aroden after Arazni's fall.

Silver Crusade

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The Raven Black wrote:

Boosted by the challenge of What can you do with Mythic than you cannot with just higher level, as well as the comparison to superheroes, I now wish for the ability to have the mythic powers for a certain amount of time, or certain circumstance. Like donning a metaphorical cloak of mythic abilities that you put down after a while.

Might call it a mythic aspect.

I would absolutely LOATHE that as a player.

GM : Here are the 2 books you need to buy and the herolab modules you need to buy in order to level up your character for the next few sessions. You'll have a few sessions of crazy gonzo play where you get to use all these new abilities but then you'll go back to normal. It will be great. Should only take you a couple of weeks or so to figure out how to level up.

Me : Uh, did I mention I'm going to be unavailable to play for a couple of months for <reasons>. By a wild coincidence, I should be back about when you go back to the normal rule system.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

GM demanding you buy a bunch of stuff to play their game seems like the bigger problem there than experimenting with some variant rules for a story arc.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Off the top of my head, Fists of the ruby phoenix already experimented with special powers you get for your time in a specific location. I think those are pretty common in APs, and usually typed very closely to the narrative of the story. I think we’ll continue to see a lot of that in future APs.

I think a major hinge point where people have strongly differing opinions is whether these kinds of boosts of power granted by narrative need a formal rule system that can be known to players and be presented to players so they can pick and choose their options, or if it is best for it just to continue as something that GMs and adventure writers do less methodically, but more narratively derived.

Like isn’t this kinda what we have already with the artifacts sub system and Divine boons and a bunch of the material in the Dark Archive, some of which is making its way into newer APs? Maybe mythic doesn’t have to be just one thing that gets all bundled together in a take it or leave it system?


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pauljathome wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Boosted by the challenge of What can you do with Mythic than you cannot with just higher level, as well as the comparison to superheroes, I now wish for the ability to have the mythic powers for a certain amount of time, or certain circumstance. Like donning a metaphorical cloak of mythic abilities that you put down after a while.

Might call it a mythic aspect.

I would absolutely LOATHE that as a player.

GM : Here are the 2 books you need to buy and the herolab modules you need to buy in order to level up your character for the next few sessions. You'll have a few sessions of crazy gonzo play where you get to use all these new abilities but then you'll go back to normal. It will be great. Should only take you a couple of weeks or so to figure out how to level up.

Me : Uh, did I mention I'm going to be unavailable to play for a couple of months for <reasons>. By a wild coincidence, I should be back about when you go back to the normal rule system.

No need to buy 2 books when AON exists.

Wayfinders Contributor

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They were talking about purchasing books within Hero Lab to have the options for their characters. Although I level up all my characters on paper because I'm too cheap to go the Hero Lab route again, most of my friends and fellow players rely on it for all their characters.

And as a weird aside, the first time I saw this thread, I thought it said 'Mystic' not Mythic. And I got super excited at the thought of Starfinder-style Mystics in Pathfinder 2nd Edition.

Oh well. My fault for not reading closely!

Hmm


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I once played a hero that ran all the way up a mountain, in a single round, while the mountain exploded with volcanic activity. He then had to snatch his fallen party mate out of the jaws of an awakened tyrannosaurus and dash back down the mountainside all the while dodging flaming ash and boulders the size of houses.

I once ran a witch that animated her whole house, then hid under the floorboards before turning it loose upon the mob that had infiltrated the dwelling to kill her. She then marched her house upon the local lord's castle, animated the castle, and commanded it to devour all those that had turned the people against her.

I once enjoyed a merchant and transmuter who polymorphed while unknowingly in possession of a powerful artifact. In so doing, he absorbed the artifact's powers into himself and became an unstoppable ever-changing monster with all of the horrific power of a high level wizard; the claws, teeth, tentacles and other attack forms of any beasts he encountered; and martial prowess surpassing any fighter of his time.

I once made dark plans for all of the surrounding kingdoms as a high archmage and lich, first by kidnapping those who were dearest to those lands' lords and ladies and, through magical ritual, binding their fate to my own. I then began the methodical subjugation of those lands through my many monstrous allies. When the heroes finally came for me, I was ready for them. They first had to pass the border into the lands of my domain, a magical barrier that dispelled all magic, leaving them vulnerable to black dragon patrols, who would despoil their supplies before harrying them mercilessly and intelligently. Then the survivors had to cross a hundred miles with no food or water in a land where everything was dead or poisoned and without nourishment. Then they had to infiltrate my heavily guarded labyrinthine fortress which had no doors, no windows, no light, and no air. Just poison gas. For what is the dark to a lich with darkvision? What are doors to one who can teleport at will? Air and poison are the same in their inertness to the undead. Even should they survive the many minions and hazards, somehow finding their way through the labyrinth designed by a millennia old lich genius to the inner chamber, then they had to fight their loved ones. If they hated me so much that they would murder their loved ones to end me, then their corruption and destruction would be absolute, the curse set, and my soul and body to reform from their newly blackened heart.

These are the kinds of stories that I would dearly love to tell again.


As I explore 2e a bit more I notice that some of the mythic monsters from 1e have been downgraded; Grendel & the Green Man were mythic threats in 1e but not so in 2e, for example.

I wonder if whatever 2e's equivalent to mythic is won't be something that could be applied to any monster below cr 26 to augment them into a mythic threat, or if paizo just decided with these specific instances that the creature didn't need to be quite as powerful as it was to be put into play.


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FormerFiend wrote:

As I explore 2e a bit more I notice that some of the mythic monsters from 1e have been downgraded; Grendel & the Green Man were mythic threats in 1e but not so in 2e, for example.

I wonder if whatever 2e's equivalent to mythic is won't be something that could be applied to any monster below cr 26 to augment them into a mythic threat, or if paizo just decided with these specific instances that the creature didn't need to be quite as powerful as it was to be put into play.

To be frank, I felt a LOT of those guys were way overblown. And then of course you had the confusion of no writer knowing when to use "mythic" or just tack on CRs, so you had mythic guys next to demon lords and such that technically weren't mythic, which was needlessly confusing.

On another note, I am baffled as to how Baba Yaga got to be one of THE mythic characters in the PF lore. In her own lore, she was outsmarted by a small girl and a talking cat and dog, and was unable to catch the former when they ran away from her.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
D3stro 2119 wrote:

To be frank, I felt a LOT of those guys were way overblown. And then of course you had the confusion of no writer knowing when to use "mythic" or just tack on CRs, so you had mythic guys next to demon lords and such that technically weren't mythic, which was needlessly confusing.

On another note, I am baffled as to how Baba Yaga got to be one of THE mythic characters in the PF lore. In her own lore, she was outsmarted by a small girl and a talking cat and dog and was unable to catch the former when they ran away from her.

baba Yaga is.... incredibly inconsistent in folklore, in some she is a human witch, in others closer to a fae being, a spirit of the forest, and in others still closer to an old god with dementia, she is sometimes a monster, and a villain, sometimes a trickster, sometimes she is a wise mentor and sometimes she tests the hero to determine their worth, her power ranges from "old lady with strength like iron and flying pestle" to complete dominion over the iron forest and can see prophecies and fate.


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Kekkres wrote:
D3stro 2119 wrote:

To be frank, I felt a LOT of those guys were way overblown. And then of course you had the confusion of no writer knowing when to use "mythic" or just tack on CRs, so you had mythic guys next to demon lords and such that technically weren't mythic, which was needlessly confusing.

On another note, I am baffled as to how Baba Yaga got to be one of THE mythic characters in the PF lore. In her own lore, she was outsmarted by a small girl and a talking cat and dog and was unable to catch the former when they ran away from her.

baba Yaga is.... incredibly inconsistent in folklore, in some she is a human witch, in others closer to a fae being, a spirit of the forest, and in others still closer to an old god with dementia, she is sometimes a monster, and a villain, sometimes a trickster, sometimes she is a wise mentor and sometimes she tests the hero to determine their worth, her power ranges from "old lady with strength like iron and flying pestle" to complete dominion over the iron forest and can see prophecies and fate.

And sometimes Baba Yaga takes down criminal organizations like the Russian mob because they killed a puppy. Still Mythic. :-)


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Castilliano wrote:
Kekkres wrote:
D3stro 2119 wrote:

To be frank, I felt a LOT of those guys were way overblown. And then of course you had the confusion of no writer knowing when to use "mythic" or just tack on CRs, so you had mythic guys next to demon lords and such that technically weren't mythic, which was needlessly confusing.

On another note, I am baffled as to how Baba Yaga got to be one of THE mythic characters in the PF lore. In her own lore, she was outsmarted by a small girl and a talking cat and dog and was unable to catch the former when they ran away from her.

baba Yaga is.... incredibly inconsistent in folklore, in some she is a human witch, in others closer to a fae being, a spirit of the forest, and in others still closer to an old god with dementia, she is sometimes a monster, and a villain, sometimes a trickster, sometimes she is a wise mentor and sometimes she tests the hero to determine their worth, her power ranges from "old lady with strength like iron and flying pestle" to complete dominion over the iron forest and can see prophecies and fate.
And sometimes Baba Yaga takes down criminal organizations like the Russian mob because they killed a puppy. Still Mythic. :-)

Frankly paizo's treatment of such characters has been extremely inconsistent. I mean, technically Beowulf's Grendel (and Grendel's mom) should be "mythic" but in lore I could hardly find anything more than "Beowulf was just an above average medieval fighting man and suddenly found the strength to rip off Grendel's arm, which was fatal apparently."

To me, all of this (including Iblydos) is "low level mythic".

And we still have the "mythic vs higher cr" problem, which I see as the writers themselves not knowing what "mythic" meant. Also there were a lot of high CR creatures that were in a category that was just made up seemingly for no reason (*cough* great old ones *cough*).

Dark Archive

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Thing with mythical characters akin to Baba Yaga is that you can pick and choose which myths inspire you :p


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

I once played a hero that ran all the way up a mountain, in a single round, while the mountain exploded with volcanic activity. He then had to snatch his fallen party mate out of the jaws of an awakened tyrannosaurus and dash back down the mountainside all the while dodging flaming ash and boulders the size of houses.

I once ran a witch that animated her whole house, then hid under the floorboards before turning it loose upon the mob that had infiltrated the dwelling to kill her. She then marched her house upon the local lord's castle, animated the castle, and commanded it to devour all those that had turned the people against her.

I once enjoyed a merchant and transmuter who polymorphed while unknowingly in possession of a powerful artifact. In so doing, he absorbed the artifact's powers into himself and became an unstoppable ever-changing monster with all of the horrific power of a high level wizard; the claws, teeth, tentacles and other attack forms of any beasts he encountered; and martial prowess surpassing any fighter of his time.

I once made dark plans for all of the surrounding kingdoms as a high archmage and lich, first by kidnapping those who were dearest to those lands' lords and ladies and, through magical ritual, binding their fate to my own. I then began the methodical subjugation of those lands through my many monstrous allies. When the heroes finally came for me, I was ready for them. They first had to pass the border into the lands of my domain, a magical barrier that dispelled all magic, leaving them vulnerable to black dragon patrols, who would despoil their supplies before harrying them mercilessly and intelligently. Then the survivors had to cross a hundred miles with no food or water in a land where everything was dead or poisoned and without nourishment. Then they had to infiltrate my heavily guarded labyrinthine fortress which had no doors, no windows, no light, and no air. Just poison gas. For what is the dark to a lich with darkvision? What are doors to one who can teleport...

Thank you for giving us some more specific narrative elements to look at and discuss RD.

I think a lot of players enjoy feeling like their characters are epic heroes and are not spending too many levels deathly afraid of getting stung to death by wasps or falling while climbing a ladder.

Certainly, very low level PF2 is not mythic and does not feel "mythic" to anyone, and I personally don't think it should. Those early encounters against threats that regular, every-day people deal with all the time set the stage for once the players have gained a few levels and can blow through those threats and challenges.

Some stories and challenges, like the environmental one you describe first are primarily about finding the right level in the game for the movement types and resources to be available for the players to use them, and for the description of those environmental challenges to carry the right weight to feel like an epic challenge, right? Now, I think some players want to be able to have characters that can face these challenges not at the prescribed power level of the game. This to me feels more like an issue of players not understanding what "level" means in game, because the design of PF2 is that if you have the ability to fly on command, or easily carry another PC while running impossibly fast, then you are of a specific level (probably around 7th or higher).

Level doesn't just mean "I am this good at killing monsters." It means a bunch of other Narrative stuff in PF2 that help create narrative constraints for writers so that adventure writers don't waste players, GMs, and their own time writing challenges that can easily be overcome by one player who has access to a specific resource. It is much easier for GMs and adventure writers to know that they can add in higher level resources to their adventures that will let PCs accomplish something epic or mythic feeling in that narrative moment, than it is to make those resources or abilities commonly available to PCs at lower level and then have to contend with all those options. In fact, the biggest failing of the PF1 mythic system was that it compounded down on the larger "specialization issue" of the 3.x system, that made it impossible for writers to write adventures for an "average" party, because there was so many unique ways for characters to over specialize that it was completely impossible to establish a baseline of what a level 10 adventure should look like as opposed to a level 15 adventure, except very loosely in Monster CR.

If the point of mythic is to blow up those level-based narrative expectations of the game system itself, and do so in a way that gives power over those choices to players instead of GMs (which is largely what PF1 mythic did) then that feels like a supplement that maybe gets 1 AP, maybe a stand alone adventure, and then otherwise exists for players to power fantasize about but regularly get told they can't be used by GMs, or for GMs to play around with, get overwhelmed by how impossible it is to hold a story together when they cannot know or predict the power level differences of their own players and that any encounter is probably 90% a cake walk and 10% a TPK based upon the specialization choices of their own players.

I think a lot of players would love it, and a lot of people would by the book for the "lets make a bunch of super, super heroes." But as someone who has done a lot of homebrewing in PF2 as a GM, I can say that breaking open the math, and especially the narrative limits of the game, would reverse all of the things that make running PF2 as a GM the best system I have ever encountered without reducing everything to a purely narrative game. It would be substantially shifting the difficulty of the game on to the GM, which I think is a big barrier to new tables picking up the game.

Then there is the stories that players want to tell, that don't actually seem like team adventures, but more like a mechanical system to tell a story about character who envisions themselves more as a solitary protagonist of their own story, and who likely will not be viewed by the world around them as a Hero.

To me, that really feels like something that shouldn't be invited into the base game itself, but should exist as 3rd party material, even if it is written by experienced developers of the system, because those kind of stories are not good fits for the group table pre-written adventure model of the game. Now I realize that Kingmaker is a wildly successful AP, largely because it breaks these rules pretty intentionally. Running a kingdom as a group of characters without having that situation devolve into backstabbing and power grabbing is a pretty remarkable feat. I have never seen a party play all the way through Kingmaker as a TTRPG myself, but I hear that a lot of groups have and so clearly it is possible...But as a GM, having 4 characters that all want the power to create their own archmage-lich super dungeon and have any aspect of the story actually take place there, and not just let the players write their own little short stories about their off-screen keeps and the things that happen there feels pretty overwhelming to me. So either all of the players have to choose to spend their power budget on not breathing, seeing in the dark and teleporting through walls, so that the home base can be a place for all the party, or else it becomes a one character show, which I don't think is good for the game or the community that RPGs can foster.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
pauljathome wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Boosted by the challenge of What can you do with Mythic than you cannot with just higher level, as well as the comparison to superheroes, I now wish for the ability to have the mythic powers for a certain amount of time, or certain circumstance. Like donning a metaphorical cloak of mythic abilities that you put down after a while.

Might call it a mythic aspect.

I would absolutely LOATHE that as a player.

GM : Here are the 2 books you need to buy and the herolab modules you need to buy in order to level up your character for the next few sessions. You'll have a few sessions of crazy gonzo play where you get to use all these new abilities but then you'll go back to normal. It will be great. Should only take you a couple of weeks or so to figure out how to level up.

Me : Uh, did I mention I'm going to be unavailable to play for a couple of months for <reasons>. By a wild coincidence, I should be back about when you go back to the normal rule system.

"Cool, George has been waiting for a spot to open up anyway" ; )


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I mean, you don't need to own the books to access the rules content. You can play a Shoony without owning that particular volume of Extinction Curse- all the heritages and feats (the few that there are) are on AoN.

Maybe for PFS or some computer based tabletops, but this hobby has been predicated on "between the lot of us, we have all the books we need" for a long time.


D3stro 2119 wrote:
Castilliano wrote:
Kekkres wrote:
D3stro 2119 wrote:

To be frank, I felt a LOT of those guys were way overblown. And then of course you had the confusion of no writer knowing when to use "mythic" or just tack on CRs, so you had mythic guys next to demon lords and such that technically weren't mythic, which was needlessly confusing.

On another note, I am baffled as to how Baba Yaga got to be one of THE mythic characters in the PF lore. In her own lore, she was outsmarted by a small girl and a talking cat and dog and was unable to catch the former when they ran away from her.

baba Yaga is.... incredibly inconsistent in folklore, in some she is a human witch, in others closer to a fae being, a spirit of the forest, and in others still closer to an old god with dementia, she is sometimes a monster, and a villain, sometimes a trickster, sometimes she is a wise mentor and sometimes she tests the hero to determine their worth, her power ranges from "old lady with strength like iron and flying pestle" to complete dominion over the iron forest and can see prophecies and fate.
And sometimes Baba Yaga takes down criminal organizations like the Russian mob because they killed a puppy. Still Mythic. :-)

Frankly paizo's treatment of such characters has been extremely inconsistent. I mean, technically Beowulf's Grendel (and Grendel's mom) should be "mythic" but in lore I could hardly find anything more than "Beowulf was just an above average medieval fighting man and suddenly found the strength to rip off Grendel's arm, which was fatal apparently."

To me, all of this (including Iblydos) is "low level mythic".

And we still have the "mythic vs higher cr" problem, which I see as the writers themselves not knowing what "mythic" meant. Also there were a lot of high CR creatures that were in a category that was just made up seemingly for no reason (*cough* great old ones *cough*).

Ironically the most mythic part of the story is the tale within a tale where Beowulf swims for a week straight & kills several sea monsters during a race.


FormerFiend wrote:


Ironically the most mythic part of the story is the tale within a tale where Beowulf swims for a week straight & kills several sea monsters during a race.

See, this is the sort of thing "low level mythic" should be aiming for. Basically the exploits of "city protectors" and the like.


Unicore wrote:
snip

Well then, this just brings us back to the debate of the "level abstraction" and how even to handle that anyways, or if it should be done a different way.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
This to me feels more like an issue of players not understanding what "level" means in game

No, I'm pretty sure they understand just fine what "level" means, they just have some problems with the way the current curve jives with certain story hooks (or the way certain concepts exist outside the level curve entirely and will never become appreciably more mythic at any level).

... Dunno why whenever people disagree online, someone inevitably jumps to "oh well you're just clearly too stupid to get it"


Squiggit wrote:
Unicore wrote:
This to me feels more like an issue of players not understanding what "level" means in game

No, I'm pretty sure they understand just fine what "level" means, they just have some problems with the way the current curve jives with certain story hooks (or the way certain concepts exist outside the level curve entirely and will never become appreciably more mythic at any level).

... Dunno why whenever people disagree online, someone inevitably jumps to "oh well you're just clearly too stupid to get it"

Btw, is it just me or has the PF system itself begun to chafe under things like poorly handled "level restrictions" and abstractions?

Like, I just remember in 1e you had these lists and lists of "Ex" and "Su" abilities that were basically made wholesale for each specific thing since the base system had no way of simulating them quickly, the upshot being that GMs had no way to standardize anything (especially for creature creation). I feel 2e sort of struggles with the same problem too.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The communication of expectations is a 2 way process. I definitely did not mean to imply that I think less of any player that wants something different than the base line assumptions of the game.

I meant that there are multiple ways to accomplish something and the “close math” of PF2 is about more than math. The abstraction of level, especially based upon “gaining experience” is complicated for telling some stories. If I want to play a character who was just manufactured in a laboratory to be a little girl who, with her two sisters, can fly around, be super tough, and punch really hard, but not understand much about the world yet because I was just essentially born, in many games, that might be a level 1 creature with a couple of super powers. But PF2 doesn’t really systemically play well that kind of expectation. That is adding level to proficiency, but it is more than that too.


Unicore wrote:

The communication of expectations is a 2 way process. I definitely did not mean to imply that I think less of any player that wants something different than the base line assumptions of the game.

I meant that there are multiple ways to accomplish something and the “close math” of PF2 is about more than math. The abstraction of level, especially based upon “gaining experience” is complicated for telling some stories. If I want to play a character who was just manufactured in a laboratory to be a little girl who, with her two sisters, can fly around, be super tough, and punch really hard, but not understand much about the world yet because I was just essentially born, in many games, that might be a level 1 creature with a couple of super powers. But PF2 doesn’t really systemically play well that kind of expectation. That is adding level to proficiency, but it is more than that too.

Yeah you see that's kind of the innate problem of level systems (though fwiw there do exist games where the assumption is definitely not that you start at "level 1"-- ie Shadowrun-- btw I can't be the only one surprised that such an insane elevator pitch got so big, to the point of nearly overshadowing the actual Cyberpunk rpg right?, as well as MnM)

As I noted above, even PF itself seems to really chafe against this at times, which is why I think there's room for improvement here.

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