Master Mines

We’re digging RPGs

Starting the Conversation…

So, on my most recent episode of Master Plan, I talk about how many texts don’t “start the conversation” about their games. Now, I’ve heard from quite a few people the following: “I’m really interested in Mythender.” When I ask why (in order to gauge where their interest is in the project), I normally get a response like “I am intrigued by your idea of everyone always succeeding” or the like. But no one really knows what the game’s about, outside of some sound bites and random notes online.

Here’s my attempt to start the conversation about Mythender. Attached to this post is the introduction to Mythender (47K, 8 pg PDF), in it’s current, unedited, maybe-it-needs-more form. What I’m trying to do is to tell you what Mythender’s going to be about, to tell you why you might (or why you might not) be interested in the game, and let you know what to expect.

(Incidentally — Mike, I totally took you up on that suggested in an earlier post, about how my reply about the game needed to be in the text. That spawned the first couple pages of this eight page chapter. Thank you again for that.)

For those interested, I’d like to know if this text helps answer any questions about the game. I’d like to know if it raises any more questions. I’d also like to know if, upon reading it, your interest level changes at all — for good or ill — and why.


To make things easier, here are the first two pages in HTML form:

What is Mythender?

Mythender is a role-playing game that, at its core, is about two things:

  • Being badass warriors who, from the very first moment of play, are taking charge and punching dragons in the face with rock-and-roll awesome. It’s about telling stories of heroes who achieve impossible, mythic feats.
  • Being people from another land who have epic problems back home, so they invade a beautiful, timeless land of myth and attack it to steal its power. It’s about telling stories of heroes who deal with conquering and destroying another culture, or being conquered and forever changed by it.

Is Mythender For You?

If you’ve ever been excited to read a book or see a movie about medieval or ancient heroes fighting against grand monsters, Mythender is for you.

If you’ve ever wanted to play a grand, epic hero with a real, fighting chance to be in charge of your own destiny, Mythender is for you.

If you’re interested in kicking ass one minute and in the next dealing with what it truly means to be a hero in the eyes of everyone – man, beast and god alike – Mythender is for you.

If you’re looking for a game about a medieval, fantasy Scandinavia, but want it to be about something other than Vikings, Mythender is for you.

If you want to see what a game is like where the normal, little failures like missing with your sword or failing to climb a cliff are not even possible, Mythender is for you.

How is Mythender These Things?

Being Badass Warriors
Warriors in Mythender are second to none. Whatever your chosen weapon – giant sword, warhammer crackling with lightning, dragon-tooth daggers, or your fist wrapped in unicorn hair – you are a master of it, capable of awesome feats of prowess. Armies tremble in your presence; your only equals on the battlefield are grand beasts, monsters and gods of myth.

Taking Charge with Rock-and-Roll Awesome
No one playing a character in Mythender is subject to the whims of some old man met in a tavern. These grand champions are well beyond that, knowing full well their own, personal reasons for undertaking this task – a task the chose to do on their own, and one that only they can accomplish.

Achieving Impossible, Mythic Feats
Heroes in Mythender can hurl the largest boulders at their foes, ride the most dangerous of beasts and even at times command the very elements themselves. Fueled with raw, mythic power flowing through their veins, these men and women can achieve the unimaginable and overcome any obstacle in their paths with a flair only matched by the heroes of ancient legend.

A Beautiful, Timeless Land of Myth
The world of Mythender is of a Scandinavia that never was, beginning as the age of Vikings comes to a close. It is a land of endless ice and snow, of monsters and sorcerers ruling over the land, of raw mythic power ripe for the taking. Grand creatures and beings of legend – not just Norse, but refugees from other, already lost mythic lands – call this world their home.

Epic Problems Back Home
Those who embark on the grand quest in Mythender do so not because the need to do some small deed, like save a village from an evil man or gain riches so they might purchase grander splendors. They do so because of things they perceive as great injustices back home, far away from the lands of myth – to bring about the rise or fall of a great nation, or to perform some impossible feat like bringing a loved one back from the dead or building a tower to Heaven. The power these heroes wield is only matched by the weight of responsibility & burden of greatness placed upon them.

Conquering and Being Conquered
The tale of Mythender is not a small one. To gain the power from these mythic lands, a hero must conquer the land, slay those who possess its power – monsters, sorcerers, former heroes, even the pagan gods themselves – and take the land as their own. Only then can they truly become Mythenders. But the land itself has a different agenda: to conquer those who would invade it, to corrupt them and turn them into mythic beings themselves. Will your hero conquer or be conquered?


March 19, 2008 - Posted by | Mythender


  1. Thanks for the intro, Ryan. As we discussed the other night, this chapter took my interest in Mythender from “Sounds like a fun gonzo-fest that I’d probably play once” to “this is now on my radar”.

    I’m intrigued by the implied ramifications of PCs as destroyers of myth instead of just fighting mythic monsters.

    Comment by orklord | March 22, 2008 | Reply

  2. Ryan, as promised, asskicking:

    I’m not sure I understand what you’re trying to achieve with this, so if my assumptions are off (and I suspect they are), please correct me.

    Basically, my problems here are length and redundancy. Eight pages is too long to be basically an advertisement for the game, and it seems to cover the same content multiple times in different ways.

    If you boiled this back down to bullet points or headings and subheadings, would you notice any duplications or slight restatements? I think this would be kick-ass at one or two pages.

    Also, I picked up (what I see as) several inconsistencies:
    1) How can a hero be mythic *before* he or she leaves Mortal Europe for Mythic Norden? A hero can’t wrestle dragons if there are no dragons in Mortal Europe, etc. I assume this has something to do with the acceptance of their Mythic quest.
    2) The central conflict seems to be whether the hero will achieve their Destiny or their Destiny will overwhelm them. If so, it leads to a weird problem: the hero can never go home. If the hero achieves their Destiny (their goal), they have become Mythic and can’t leave – heroes don’t go home without the status quo at home changing drastically. If the hero is conquered by Mythic Norden, then they can’t go home because they have *failed*. I suspect there are at least four endstates for this game (Mythic success, Mythic failure, Mortal success, Mortal failure), but they’re not clear in your text.

    Please don’t read this wrong – I think Mythender is an epic concept, full of awesome potential. However, the text you’ve got reads as an over-sell – like continuing to tell your friend about how awesome the latest video game you’re playing is, fifteen minutes after the friend asks to come over to play it.

    I do think you’ve achieve a more conversational style with your excerpt, but I think there is a balance to be had, between content and style, that would make it pithy.

    Here endeth the asskicking.

    Comment by Matthew Gandy | April 8, 2008 | Reply

  3. Matt,

    The format definitely needs work. It’s intended to be a page or two of “here’s what this is about,” with the additional pages as “So, you want to know more?” — a two-stage delivery.

    The central conflict is whether the hero achieve is lost to Mythic Norden before he can take his fill of power and go home. There are three end-states of the game: death (which only comes from total party kill), lost to myth, and success.

    Some of the text is also proto-text for entire sections, like a chapter on Mythic Norden. I suspect that when I get back to the RPG, I’ll reshape that.

    Thanks a lot for this, man. I really appreciate it.

    Comment by Ryan Macklin | April 8, 2008 | Reply

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