Saturday May 18, 2024

Running Mythic with Two Players and no GM

What is this Emulator of yours?

I was slowly introducing one of my best friends into this whole “Mythic” thing. For some reason, I avoided the words “solo” and playing “alone”, and highlighted more the fact of how cool it was, that we could play a story without a GM, without Prep, just pick a cool world we both liked, and let this mysterious emulator run it’s magic.

Of course, it sounded too good to be true, but the good part was interesting enough that the idea clicked. He was already reading about Ironsworn and Starforged, which is for many, an amazing entry point (despite me not having it read yet, since for reasons, system and setting agnostic frameworks catch my attention better).

Pitch Setup

Since I am the developer of Foundry’s Mythic GME Tools, it was out of the question that we were going to play it on Foundry. We started brainstorming cool worlds to play, and kind of decided to play on FATE, to focus more on the story and less on the rules. With one of my modules, Clipboard Image we could both copy-paste images we liked from the internet, directly into the board. After some while, it kinda looked like this:

Foundry VTT Game Board

We were talking about a post-apocalyptic world, in which the focus was not so much on the grim and wasteland, but rather on the discovery of old-humanity wonders. A Skirmish game called Scrappers kind of proposed a post-apocalyptic game where the world got nuked, because of three AIs went crazy. These AIs tried to thrive and carried over Terraforming attempts on earth. This idea fit perfectly, that concept of figuring out a hundred years in the future, what did these AIs try to do in the past!.

World Building and Characters

By creating the characters, we went by throwing ideas into the game, and fleshing out some ground rules about the world. We wrote down Fate Game Aspects:

  • Leftovers and Halfway Projects of Sabotaged AI of the past
  • The Triple Helix Effect is messing up with reality
  • Water is a regional scarcity with harsh consequences

I proposed to roll Backstory Generator (Mythic Variations #1) to inspire our selves for our characters whereabouts. The idea was to avoid long hours of session zero, so we tried to keep it tight and to the point, fleshing out the most important pieces: Theme and Tone.

Sorry, this game was in Spanish. But I promise characters were cool!

For our Relationship Aspects we rolled backstory generators and used them as connections. This I proposed as a homebrew rule for the Mythic Magazines, and Tana included it in Magazine #16 “Connection Generator”, based on this anecdote 🙂

It was fun to discuss character connections

What now?

Big moment came in. My friend was frozen. What happens now? As he was looking at me for answers. I was clueless, too. An important proposal was made: For any Oracle Questions or interpretations, we would randomly choose who would read it. We all know that any two descriptors can mean a thousand of different things to each of us. So to promote pace, we went on with this.

Event Check

Our starting scene would be inspired on this random event, which he read (I have no idea how) as having one rebel faction initiate a violent coup and take a settlement outside the big city. We were running military errands on that town, and got surprised by this rebellion. A good start!

Adventure Action!

The game started very well, we both made questions to the oracle, and took turns to read the outcomes. Our PCs had to escape a warehouse and evade patrols of rebels. There were automated turrets and a post-apocalyptic bazaar town to run through.

We decided to define 1d4 (result was 3) stages to represent the challenges during the escape, and created a quick random table for what could happen in each of those stages:

Ouch, any of this could happen!

This was a lot of fun. Because it was setup in a way that it was very easy to read. Helped with questions and adjective descriptors, things just made so much sense, and there were scene interruptions and shooting and sneaking and jumping, and team work.

Challenges and not so Goods

Was it all happy and fun? For the most of it, yes, but there were a bunch of blank moments in which we were not sure what would happen next. In those situations, Mythic didn’t give us much, so one of us had to wear the GM hat and drive the story forward. That wasn’t a big deal, but it required a mind switch and a mental effort, in a sense that sometimes PCs arrive in a situation, in which we naturally expect somebody to tell us what happens next!

This is what could make some people dislike Emulators. How does the story make any sense, if it is being told on the fly, by any of the players? Well, that is where bookkeeping helps a lot (But yes, it may not be for everyone)

Mythic Threads and NPCs list bookkeeping is key!

The second challenge is that we wanted to explore Fantastic Locations, old ruins of marvelous AIs that once tried to terraform earth. We eventually found one, buried entrance with remnants of androids that were still working and doing something unknown. But this is where our game stalled hard for the first time: “We made a plan to enter the ruins, prepared ourselves, faced some issues and interruptions by old drones that were protecting the place. But eventually, we opened the door, and one of us made the leap. What do we see inside? Well… I have no idea!!!”

I guess to come up with a Post-Apocalyptic dungeon on a fantastic world, on the fly, is no easy task. But who knows, it is likely that we arrived to a good moment where we can check the very Location Crafter and start brainstorming ideas together for what we may expect!


What do you think about playing COOP on Mythic? Have you tried it? How did it go? What challenges did you find? Do share, I am curious 🙂 See’ya!


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