I'm working on the wiki again, and this time around I've done some work on the organization. Not all of it, but I do have a few things done. For you I now present what I have done in terms of the organization.
What Mythus Is
What Mythus isn’t
What A Persona is
Player’s: Heroic Persona
Guide’s: Other Persona
Deciding on Gender
Determining Social Class
Long aint it? And it's going to get longer
Update: And the wiki didn't work out, so I'm doing it as a set of pages.
So I've had a look at the AG Zweihander and I've concluded that where the fighting mechanics are concerned it's too dang abstract. The guide's author is right in that the typical AG makes injury just too abstract what with their limited hit points and all that, and his attempt to present a descriptive scheme for wounds is commendable, but it just doesn't work.
So I've decided to have a look at how Mythus handles injury and harm and I've come to the conclusion that it does offer openings for adjustment.
Now in Mythus a Persona will have a Physical Trait ranging from 36 (a real wimp) to 180 (a gnarly dude) points. Injuries can range from just 1 point, to more than 200 depending on circumstances. So I decided to try setting the amount of damage done to a Persona as a ratio of PTrait. Your HP has taken half damage for instance, he functions at half capability. So Bob has a PTrait of 90 and he's taken 44 points of "ouch". 44/90ths factors out to be 22/45ths, and as near as I can figure it means that Bob functions are at 48% of his normal capability. Don't you hate reality?
You can adapt this to your favorite engine, but it could be a fair amount of tinkering. Tinker away.
The first thing is, Mythus is not a game. Far as I can see not a single so called RPG qualifies as a game. The RPGs I've seen are complex, complicated, and essentially unlimited. A game is more properly limited, constrained if you like. A limited field of play, limited actions, limited goals. In something like Mythus the possibilities are not constrained, but rather nearly unlimited.
The term I prefer for such as Mythus is "Adventure Guide" (AG). A guide to adventure, and more particularly to adventuring in an imaginary world. A guide to playing the role of a person living in an imaginary world, and a person who tends to find himself in the sort of situations that could put your life in dire peril. Or which are just damned inconvenient.
Just as important, "RPGs" can not be about story telling. They do have elements of story, but given that you cannot reliably predict how an adventure will turn out they can't involve story. Just too unpredictable. "Story" is about predestination, RPGs are about free will.
In short Mythus is a guide to adventure, an Adventure Guide (AG). A guide to playing a role in an imaginary world, a fantasy world where goblins dance in seedy dives, elves lecture on metaphysics at the local college, and rakshasas give financial advice. Mythus is about life, and life can be adventurous. That's how I approach things and how I will handle matter in my upcoming wiki.
And please note that AGs don't have rules, they have mechanics. They have an engine or system consisting of the mechanics that describe how the AG works. Rules are prescriptive, mechanics are descriptive. Mechanics tell you how things work, and you can't cheat in all reality. (Yes, I have tried flying by jumping out off a window while wearing a cape. I was 8 and it was fun.)
So forget about all that crap about game and story and just have a good adventure. And remember that adventures aren't always voluntary and sometimes they come to you.
In this post we'll be dealing with tradesmen and trade. Though chapter 5 in City Builder deals with trade, it really only with the retail side of trade. Sometimes a maker will deal directly with the tradesman, more often he will go through a middleman, who usually has more resources for dealing with multiple sources and targets.
In any setting where magick works you can expect it to be used by tradesmen, whether in distribution or in sales.
First you have that magick involved in gaining information. In learning what has happen, what is happening, or what may or could happen. Casting an augury or a horoscope, observing a swarm of hornets or a flight of swallows. For in the matter of discerning patterns we are excellent observers, and with working magick what we observe can tell us a lot.
Then you have the matter of security, with magick being used to supplement or replace physical tools. A wall that weakens any subject that seeks to force his way through it. Or a door knocker a snarling face appears upon to cast a malediction on a would be thief.
For the second story man a brick facing that adheres to his fingers and toes and won't let him go. Or encases him in a cocoon and then puts him to sleep.
And for the distributor different magicks to help him with transporting what he's dealing with to its ultimate customer.
In the case of a livery stable the magick used could include that which deals with the health of the animals housed, the condition of the equipment used, and the state of those working there. A charm to ease the pain in an ostler's arthritic fingers, or a tapestry in corn silk and milkweed that soothes the fears of the horses as they rest within their stalls.
And over all watch spirits and sprites keeping track of man and beast as they go about their lives, reporting back to the owner/manager of the stable so that he can head off trouble before it can really get a start.
Or in a lumber camp magick to keep the tools in good condition; sharp when they need to be sharp, strong when they need to be strong.
Not yet, I'm just not organizing my thoughts at the moment. Anyway, in the next part we'll have a look at chapter 6, Mercantile Places
To start let me point out that we live in a world where magick just doesn't work, no matter what some would like. But there was a time when magick was thought to work, a lot of people tried using it, and work was done to put it on a scientific basis.
In fact a lot of the early scientific work consisted of people experimenting with magick in its various form to learn how and why it worked. Only to learn that it didn't, and couldn't. Or, when it seemed to work to learn just what was going on. From these experiments we got such sciences as chemistry from alchemy and astronomy from astrology.
For the Thing is
That in all honesty science is not a thing, it is a set of techniques, a set of procedures designed for the purpose of discovery and investigation. Combustion is a matter of rapid oxidation, not will. Metabolism involves the physical, not the arcane.
And as with science the laws of magick are not prescriptive, they are descriptive. The Law of Similarity applies because that which is like another will affect it. Nothing moral involved. You get right down to it, science can be applied to magick so long as magick does work in the setting. In a fantasy setting that is the case. That means that magick can be understood. That it can be taught, can be learnt, and can be modified. That our understanding of magick, as with our understanding of science, can be improved and what had once been assumed of magick can be falsified. If that makes a wizard sound like a scientist, that's because he is. A bachelor of magick knows everything, a master of magick knows nothing, and to a doctor of magick neither does anybody else.
So know you have some of my thinking on magick and we can continue with our series.
I'm now getting back to this series, but in this installment we'll be taking a look at magick per se.
For our purposes I'm taking magick as I understand it. And the first thing to do is for us to remember that way back when magick, or magic if you prefer, was accepted as a part of life. Far as everybody was concerned, it just worked. But then people started to have a real look at it, and they learned that in reality it didn't.
However, there are still people who believe in it, and who insist on rationalizing their failure to perform magic. But to be honest with you, in the real world it just doesn't.
Fantasy is another matter. In fantasy you can have magic work, and work however and why ever you want it to. For my purpose I'm going to have magic be the ability of an individual to shape reality without the use of anything physical. That is, entirely through the mind. Call it "desire", call it "will", it all comes down to thought. In addition, it comes down to an ability to manipulate an energy or force that does not exist in our world so far as we know. But in a fantasy setting it can, and for this post it does.
So that's what magic is, the ability to shape reality without anything physical, but through the mind alone. And in addition it is the ability to manipulate a force, an energy we don't have.
You could call it mana. Or you may know it as baraka. There is also vril, orgone, essence, quintessence, chi, or vis. I prefer heka from Dangerous Journeys, so I'll be using that term.
Heka comes ancient Egyptian and was originally the name of their god of magic. He was one of the lesser gods, and apparently the younger brother of the major goddess Hekau. His name apparently means "power", while her name means "words of power" With heka being to the Egyptians that which powered their magic. You could say that heka comes from "he" which may be a word for strength in Egyptian and "ka" which is old Egyptian for one of the seven or nine souls in Egyptian thought. So heka means "soul strength" in a sense.
But whatever term you'd rather use is up to you.
In the Setting
In this case we're referring to a fantasy setting, more particularly a community in that setting. Given that we're talking about a fantasy setting, here we're talking about the magic in that community and setting. Though before we continue let us change the spelling of "magic". Here as a way of differentiating our magic from that of a fantasy world, we'll spell it "magick". But now it's time for a new page.
The Use of Magick
What is magick used for? A lot of things to be honest with you, but for our purposes the main use as far as I can see is to gain information. For mancy; as in necromancy, geomancy, astromancy (or astrology if you prefer) and others is important in life, for without knowing you really can't get anything done. Oh, you could try, but the odds of it working at are going to be very much against you.
Once you know what you're doing and how it could affect things, you can get done to actually doing things, assuming you can.
And that Would be?
Directing others, shaping things, bringing things into existence or removing them. But then you have to take into account just what you are using this magick for. Security at a money lender, or performing surgery at a hospital. Once you know which particular species of wyvern you're dealing with you can provide them with what he needs. And keep him safe from the brats who'd love to pester him with rocks and sticks.
Depending on the system you're using magick could be used for more than you may expect. In Mythus there is magick for food preparation. In systems such as Ars Magica or Pathfinder magick may do as much and very likely more.
Just keep in mind that regardless of the system you're using the setting your adventures take place in is a world. A world where people live and have adventures. And with magick available your players may well likely have tools they need to have an impact. Even if the only thing that magick can do is give the players some idea of what's most likely to happen, that is still an advantage.
And this needs a rewrite. Matter or fact, the series as a whole needs a rewrite because there are things I've forgotten to deal with. But still I can hope you get ideas and inspiration from this.
Just recently I found a set of guidelines for changing SEC in DJ, either up or down. Never noticed that. I assumed that if it's in the back of the book it can't be important. Was I wrong.
You need to remember that DJ is not really a game, but a guide to playing a role in an imaginary world. An imaginary life if you like, and part of any life is your social class. To change your SEC you must either increase your net worth to greater than the maximum for your current SEC, or have it fall below the minimum.
Now your net worth is a range, say between 1,000 and 10,000 forSEC4 or 5,000 and 15,000 for SEC5. Should your Persona be of SEC 4 then raising his net to greater than 10,000 BUCs would raise his SEC to 5. But seeing his net drop to below 5,000 would mean a fall to an SEC of 4.
But keep in mind that your net can't be touched. This money isn't to be spent, it's to keep up the pretense. It's to help you impress your neighbors with your status. Though I should hope you'll be able to find a use for your property during an adventure.
In chapter 4 of City Builder we have a look at a few of the professional places to be found around town. Now the thing to remember here is that the book in question really can't cover every possibility, but we can hope that the reader is inspired to look into other such locations.
And neither can I cover everything that could be covered where magick in a fantasy setting is concerned. For I am a single individual, and real life technology is the product of numerous lives over numerous years. You can expect the same of a setting where magick works and has been brought to apply in numerous ways.
Consider just Dungeons and Dragons, with something like five editions, plus supplements, settings, and net books. Haven't counted all of the magicks available out there, but I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't something like a few thousand of them. In Mythus for Dangerous Journeys there are some 236 effects listed, and they don't all have to be limited to just one casting. For there are probably as many ways to curse as there are magicians.I wouldn't be surprised if sometime in the future there could be around 20,000 or more castings to choose from.
Now consider just what those effects could be used for, and keep in mind that magick in an adventure setting doesn't have to be restricted to just one activity. That's my point in this series, that it is not just the Wizard Tensor who gets to use his famous floating disc, but construction crews around the world.
Now consider how magick could be used in a hospital. To relieve pain, knit together bones and tissue, ease child birth, even raise the dead and regenerate limbs.
Then consider the various medications, mundane and magickal, used in a hospital setting and how they could be abused. Security is a big part of medical care, for while the black lotus say can have beneficial effects wisely used, misuse can be fatal.
And never forget how useful the magick of divination can be. It can make diagnosis much easier, and allow a doctor a more honest look at how a treatment or therapy is working.
As for an architect's office, having reliable information regarding a site and its local conditions can make the job of designing a building a lot easier. Just think about where you work and what you do for a living and soon you should be able to devise a lot of ways in which magick can make your life a lot easier.
In chapter 5 we'll have a look at a trademan's places, with an emphasis on the stable.