Today we are going to do an Investigation Check on the Mythic Game Master Emulator 2nd Edition by Tana Pigeon.
This Investigation Check is being made with Disadvantage however, as I have not fully utilized it. Yet it might be helpful to some to have a preliminary review of Mythic with my initial thoughts as I start using it in my solo gaming. So, expect, at some time in the future, for another Investigation Check with Advantage for Mythic.
Mythic Game Master Emulator 2nd Edition
Play any role-playing game solo or without a Game Master!
Mythics oracle-style question resolution system revolutionized solo role-playing. The Second Edition of the Mythic Game Master Emulator updates the ground-breaking 2003 ruleset with essential new additions, a wide range of options to customize your adventures, and numerous refinements.
Mythic Game Master Emulator Second Edition can be used with any role-playing system to replace the Game Master, or played on its own without another RPG
I had the first edition of Mythic based on recommendations I found while researching solo game play, but for some reason it just didn’t click with me at the time. However, the 2nd edition recently released so I gave it another look over and it seemed to be easier to understand this time around.
The first edition was published in 2003, and after 20 years the 2nd edition was produced to give the system a fresher, cleaner look with an eye towards making it approachable to new players while giving experienced players plenty to work with. For the most part the core mechanics are the same but streamlined based on almost 20 years’ worth of play and feedback from fans.
Following is an overview of each chapter from Mythic. In my future Investigation Check for it, I’ll provide more personal details of my use of each chapter.
This chapter covers briefly the core mechanics of using Mythic as a replacement for a GM in your solo games. Mythic is a type of oracle system that is used to emulate a GMs creative decision-making during game play. Of course, it must be emphasized with any solo system it truly relies on your creative imagination, your expectations and your interpretations.
The following statement sums up the overal theme of the system.
While the system is based in your expectations and interpretations, it’s designed to periodically subvert those expectations and introduce surprises to keep the narrative exciting.
And that’s the Key. Since you yourself are acting as the GM, and you are asking questions that you feel are likely or not likely, how do you introduce surprise itself into the narrative? Well, quite simply that’s based on answers to Fate Questions and Random events. While the Fate Chart provides a somewhat random result to Yes/No questions, the Random Events mechanic adds surprise and subverts your expectations.
So, the general flow is.
- You ask a Fate Question and roll for a Yes/No answer to your question. Depending on the Chaos Factor, it can skew the percentile value determining if the answer is Yes/No or an Exceptional Yes/No answer.
- If you roll doubles (11,22,33, etc.) that also sparks a random event.
- Random Events are clarified using an Event Focus and results from a Meanings Table.
- You divide the action into Scenes and keep track of important threads, characters and objects on Lists.
Everything above is guided by your expectations and interpretations based on the ongoing Context. This makes sure the adventure continues in a coherent fashion while still allowing for twists and subversions that keep things exciting.
Each chapter also includes an example of usage which helps solidify the concept in your mind.
This chapter does a great job of explaining Fate Questions, the core mechanic used in Mythic, and how they are affected by the Chaos Factor. You ask a question based on your expectations, roll 1d100 (or 2d10) for a percentage, and after determining the likelihood that the answer will be likely or unlikely, along with accounting for the current Chaos Factor determine the answer on the Fate Chart.
This is all based on your expectation within the current context of your adventure, and you don’t always have to ask a question. You can just go with the moment based the context. You can find an example use of me using a Fate Question in Well… that was interesting: D&D 5E Solo Game 1 – Session 5.
The chapter also covers using an alternative to answering your Fate Questions using the Fate Chart. Instead, you can use a Fate Check in which you just sum up the value of your 2d10 and instead of using the result as a percentage and looking where that falls on the Fate Chart, you use the Fate Check Answers table (a vastly simplified version of the Fate Chart) to determine the result of your question.
Of course, there is plenty more guidance in the book, and I would highly encourage you to read it.
Interjections to your questions and expectations happen in the form of the Random Event mechanic in Mythic. They add surprise to your adventure when rolling for an answer to a Fate Question.
If the result of your 1d100 or 2d10 gives you a double number (for example 11, 22, 33, and so on) and the digit value (1, 2, or 3) is less than or equal to the current Chaos Factor, then a random Event occurs.
An example follows.
- The current Chaos Factor is say 4.
- You ask a fate question and roll for the result.
- The result happens to be 33.
- Since this is a double-digit value and the digit is 3, this is less than the current chaos factor of 4 so a random event occurs.
Random Events can also be used when starting a new scene resulting in an Interrupted Scene. At the beginning of a scene in your adventure, you decide, based on your expectations, how the scene will begin. You then roll to see if you are correct. You roll to determine if a random event occurs, and if it does you determine if this is only a slight change to the scene or an entirely new and unexcepted Scene called an Interrupt Scene occurs. The Scenes chapter covers this in more detail.
Once a Random Event is triggered, you then need to determine an Event Focus and Event Meaning. You roll another 1d100 to get the result from the Random Event Focus Table. For example, this could be an event such as a New NPC enters the scene, or something positive or negative happens to a PC. This is all covered in the Random Events chapter of course.
Mythic includes tables to help you determine the Event Meaning as well, consisting of Actions, Descriptions, and Elements. Since you know the context in which the Random Event is taking place, and combined with what the Event Focus is, you then use the Meaning Tables to generate a pair of words to give you inspiration on what the Random Event actually is. You choose the Meaning table that seems most appropriate to you to the current event.
Scenes provide the structure and framework to connect the narrative of your adventure together. Scenes are either Expected, Altered or Interrupt Scenes. They also contain Lists (your goals through the use of Threads, and characters and objects that you interact with)
You use the Threads (the goals) and Characters List (Characters, Groups, Objects) to determine how the scene plays out.
In my first session post where I started using Mythic, I ended that post with a forced Interrupt Scene so that I could review and detail scenes in a subsequent post for that solo game. So, in my revised Investigation Check for Mythic, I’ll be sure to expand a bit more here.
This chapter provides a wealth of variations on what was covered earlier in the book. As of now, I haven’t used any of these but will review as I incorporate them into my games.
The Big Example
This chapter provides a walkthrough by example of using Mythic. I would encourage you to read through this chapter.
This chapter provides a summary of the rules covered in the book. 6 pages in total could easily be printed off (like I do) to keep handy next to you while playing, or you could bookmark it in the PDF or hardcover book.
Collected Tables and Sheets
After the 6 pages of Rules Summary, comes all the tables and sheets you might want to have handy. I personally have printed all of these out and keep with my binder to reference. I like being able to flip through pages, vs scrolling up and down or flipping in a PDF reader. I find that difficult, and it allows me to free up my PC or device I’m using for focus on this blog and journal.
It’s probably a bit early before I form a verdict on Mythic for yourself. I’ve only really started utilizing it. However as I’ve skimmed through the book a couple of times, I find it VERY intriguing, so I’ll save my overall verdict for my revised Investigation Check in the future.
- I really like using Fate Questions and the Fate Chart now that I’ve had a chance to actually use them. It adds some randomness to just doing a 50/50 answer or trying to come up with my own guess as a percentage to use for a check.
- It would be unwise of me to really list any cons for Mythic, even though I do have a couple in mind, I’ll detail more once I’ve had a few sessions to utilize it.
Here is a review of Mythic from voice actor Trevor Devall of Me, Myself & Die.
Note: I don’t actually watch Trevor that much but have tried to watch a few of his shows. I do plan on watching this review of Mythic by him, because he uses it pretty much exclusively in his Me, Myself & Die series. It may be something you’re personally interested in, so I list it here.
Time will tell if Mythic becomes my go to solo RPG oracle so stay tuned for my revised Investigation Check on Mythic in the future!