Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mythic Adventures for Pathfinder

I like what I see in this book. As a new-to-Pathfinder DM I don't know that any campaign really needs it but it does look like it should work alright. Since I'm running the current adventure path that uses these rules it was especially important to me to get a handle on them.

Flavor-wise what is it? You could look at it as the "cinematic" supplement for PF - things get bigger and bolder and characters do more than in a normal PF campaign. It's also akin to the Epic Level handbook from 3E though it takes a different approach than that book did. Instead of having extra levels stacked on at the end of the normal 1-20 path, MA adds a parallel track of mythic tiers that can be used alongside the normal level progression. You could be a 5th level character with 3 mythic tiers, or you could be an 18th level character with 1 mythic tier.This change alone is much more campaign-friendly than stacking them on the end.

So how does it work? There is a "mythic ascension" - something that happens that gives a character power beyond that of normal men, sort of like becoming a superhero. There is a lot of focus on this in Form interacting with some strange artifact to finding out that you're a demigod, there are a lot of options here. The idea is that this is a fairly significant moment in a campaign and should be treated as such. This grants the character their first tier of mythic power. This makes them harder to kill, gives some bonus points that can be spent on various things - "mythic power" - and lets them throw an extra d6 in on any d20 roll which is the basic use of those mythic power points.

There are six mythic paths, each is tied to basic class concepts - there's a fighter type and a wizard type and some more mixed types as well. These determine what types of mythic abilities are gained in addition to the basic universal ones. Most of these are not hardwired - there is one set tier 1 ability and one set tier 10 ability, then at every level (including 1 & 10) you get to choose a "path ability" which is a list of powers. Some are gated by tier, others are not. These are sort of like a feat but are more powerful and have to be used by expending mythic power. This is not particularly complicated as a character has a set amount of power at each tier and will have a list of 1 ability per tier to keep track of - it's another resource to monitor but I don't see it overwhelming anyone who already plays Pathfinder.

Advancement in tiers comes through overcoming mythic trials which are discussed pretty thoroughly in the book. There are decent guidelines and quite a few sample trials included in a developed fashion, not just a list.

As you might expect there are mythic feats, mythic spells, and mythic magic items to go along with these ascended characters. A lot of them tie into using mythic power and so are not as unbalancing as they might seem at first.

Let's have a contest - caption this picture! Leave it in the comments!
There are also mythic monsters, 40 of them, along with templates and guidelines on how this impacts CR vs. mythic and non-mythic characters. This looks like quite a bit of fun for the DM. These should also be memorable because many of the mythic character powers have provisos like "unaffected by X unless it comes from a mythic source" and mythic beasties fit that criteria. So, once they get comfortable with their awesomeness, here comes a monster that can ignore or punch right through it. This also helps illustrate how lower level mythic creatures have a role in the game.

Finally there is a roughly 20 page adventure for mid level characters that can get them started on the mythic progression.

I need more of this in my games, I suspect all games do.
I really like the approach taken here. It's a nice power-up system that is completely optional! It's also not something you have to ignore or plan for but not interact with for 20 levels of playing! Some of it feels a little like 4th Edition with the whole parallel approach, much like paragon paths and epic destinies,  and that doesn't hurt either.I like the extra mythic set of magic items and especially monsters.

Now at the moment all of this "like' is theoretical. As we progress through the Wrath of the Righteous I should get a good dose of how it actually plays and works when several players and a DM are beating on it. You can be sure I will mention it in the campaign recaps when the time comes.

Final concern - I wonder if after playing a campaign using these rules, a non-mythic campaign will feel lesser by comparison?

Inspiration: I can see this fitting in to a Mythic Greece campaign extremely well. If I run a non-AP campaign it will probably be an attempt to do this.


Kelvin Green said...

Pathfinder already feels like a superhero game at times so I'm not sure how this will fit in when my group gets around to trying it!

Jeremy said...


After the third time Sif demanded a thumb war we all took 6 steps back.

Surtur won.

R H said...


"Dude, I told Icarus it wasn't going to work..."