Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Real Challenge of the Mythos Machine

The real challenge of the Mythos Machine is that it gives a great deal of power to me as the GM to create any kind of world I want, with any races, classes, equipment, and adventures I can imagine, and it is completely flexible in terms of genre and story. Space Pirates? No problem. Dinosaur-Men vs. Bat-Monsters of the Writhing Jungle World? Yup. Can do. No problem. See the challenge yet?

The challenge is that you can create anything you can imagine, and it's kind of hard to do it just right. Like in my Space Pirates world idea... what equipment really belongs in this kind of World? I can create anything I want... but what do I want? How much of it? How many variations? Why I can go hog wild with this and create a huge myriad of things that ... well, it can become something of a quandry, actually.

And so the challenge is in thinking about, carefully, wisely, what belongs in my World? For example... What kind of mystical categories might fit? What schools of magic? What spells? How the schools and the categories mix and match can create complex arrangements, and beautiful ones. But it can also create a daunting maze if you don't reign things in such a way that the pattern works clearly for you and your players.

So that's the challenge of the Mythos Machine. You have to take the building process seriously or you might wind up building something too complicated. It's a matter of judicious use of your creative capacity. You need to learn to reign your ideas in, and keep things succinct so you can balance your world and keep things manageable.

Anyway, for those who might want to try it out, the Mythos Machine is in perpetual free open beta the Mythos Machine Beta Site. It's geared for GMs who want to create their own Worlds, and provides a traditional style light-weight system named Elthos RPG to do it with. And very flexible. You can find out more about it at
If you have any feedback on the rules or the Mythos Machine, there's a feedback button. Please let me know what you think. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Notes on OD&D - Part 31

Time to move on to the 2nd Level Clerical "Spells"...

Men & Magic
  • p31 - Explanation of Clerical Spells - 2nd Level

Find Traps: By means of this spell the Cleric will locate any mechanical or magical traps within a radius of 3" (90'). The spell lasts 2 turns.

Interestingly this spell is not available to Magic-Users. It performs what is undoubtedly a very useful function. Of course your Cleric needs to have a good sense of when to employ this spell and I can imagine that it is very easily wasted. As there is no question of it working, however, once cast, it provides a definite assurance whether a trap is present or not. So when entering that dungeon treasure trove... this is a very good spell to have in your Cleric's toolkit. I'm for it.

I rate this spell 4 Stars out of 5 for usefulness.

Hold Person: This spell is the same as that for Magic-Users except that it's duration is 9 turns and its range is 18" (540')

The Magic-User spell by this name has a duration of 6 turns + the level of the caster. So potentially you could have up to, oh lets say 22 turns, for your tippy top level MU. So this spell for Clerics caps at 9 turns instead. But the range is much further (the MU version is 12" (360')). So further range, but pretty much less duration in most cases. Hmmm... Not sure. Oh heck, I'll say they are roughly equivalent. It acts like Charm Person but for more people. Charm Person is ridiculously powerful, basically making anyone who falls under the spell the caster's power "completely under the influence of the caster". This is a kick-ass spell, even with the limited duration.

I rate this spell 5 stars for usefulness.

Bless: During any turn the prospective recipients of a Bless spell are not in combat the cleric may give them this benison. A blessing raises morale by +1 and also adds +1 to attack dice. The spell lasts six turns.

Right. Before combat get your blessing and for the first six turns you fight with heightened skill. Check.

I rate this spell 5 Stars for usefulness.

Speak with Animals: This spell allows the Cleric to speak with any form of animal life, understanding what they say in reply. There is a possibility that the animal(s) spoken with will perform services for the Cleric, and they will never attack the party the Cleric is with. (The manner of handling the probabilities of action by animals is discussed in the next volume). Duration: 6 turns. Range: 3" (90')

Well, depending on the type of world you run this could be very handy. That said, frankly, I have not often ran into animals in most GMs worlds. But that may simply be a result of no one having selected this spell...? Not sure. It might be that most GMs run higher than 1st level campaigns and animal encounters are simply off the grid. But in any case, if you do run into animals this could be quite handy indeed. I can see a lot of potential. Even in a dungeon... there are rats, and bats and snakes and lizards and all sort of creepy crawly things that could provide incredibly useful intel. Yep. I'm thinking this would come in handy for sure.

I rate this spell 4 Stars for usefulness.

And there you have it. Our 2nd Level Clerical spells. Not bad.

Ok, next time we will cover, you guessed it - 3rd Level spells. Till then, ciao. :)