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Running a Mythic Game

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 118
Running a mythic game has many similarities to running other games. The PCs still go on adventures, fight monsters, discover treasure, and gain experience. The difference is that mythic games have an added level of drama, theater, and tension. Compared to non-mythic parties of the same character level, a mythic party’s adventures feature incredibly difficult foes and far greater challenges. Of course, there are also splendorous rewards for the bold mythic adventurer (see Mythic Magic Items).

This chapter gives guidelines for running a mythic campaign, including a discussion of what makes a game mythic, types of mythic games, rules for adjudicating the difficulty of encounters, and guidelines for advancing play and fulfilling trials.

Making a Mythic Atmosphere

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 118
For a game to feel mythic, it must evoke wonder and awe in the GM and the players. It represents a power shrouded in mystery and beyond the reach of mortals. When characters encounter the mythic, they should feel as though they’ve just received a glimpse into an unseen world, promising so much more if they’re bold enough to explore its wonders and face its dangers. A mythic atmosphere involves legends coming to life, and the characters will have a part to play in shaping these myths. If they succeed, they’ll be the subject of tales and epic ballads for generations to come.

Running a mythic game requires more than just allowing the players to have mythic power and face off against mythic foes. While that is certainly part of it, creating a mythic atmosphere is just as important. The world itself and the structure of the story need to change to make room for the mythic to exist alongside the normal. This change doesn’t require you to reinvent the world, but mythic creatures and their environments should feel as if they are part of the world; they may be hidden, but they should still be tied to the mundane events and lands around them.

Contrasting the mythic with the normal world is crucial to conveying an atmosphere of legend and mystery. The extraordinary only seems that way if it’s in sharp contrast with the mundane. For example, a flying castle with a 1,000-foot-tall tower at its heart, drifting through the air on a thunderous storm cloud, is certainly a dramatic sight, but only when compared to the pastoral farmland and grime-covered town in its shadow. Picture the same floating castle in a world of towering volcanoes, and 500-foot-tall fortresses and the castle just becomes another extreme element in a world of extremes. If your game is set on Golarion (or some other established world), inserting contrasting mythic elements is easy, since the world already has a specific feel. Making your game mythic simply requires you to push beyond the boundaries of the setting, identifying hidden places where mythic elements have always dwelled, waiting to be discovered.

Different Scales of Mythic Campaigns

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 118
The mythic rules can be used in a number of ways to add truly fantastic elements to your game, from simply including a mythic foe at the end of an adventure to allowing the PCs to play mythic characters for their entire adventuring careers, taking on other mythic foes and rivaling the power of the gods. Ultimately, it’s up to the GM to decide how much influence these rules have on the campaign and world as a whole. The following types of scale are provided to give GMs an easy guideline for incorporating mythic rules into their games.

Rare: At this scale, mythic creatures live only in remote parts of the world, content to be bygones of a lost age. People speak of them in stories, but none have actually encountered them. The PCs are not themselves mythic in this type of campaign, but throughout their travels, they may be up against a mythic creature at the conclusion of a noteworthy quest. Alternatively, a mythic creature might be forced into the world to terrorize the land, driving the PCs to find a way to deal with such a powerful threat.

Limited: At the limited scale, the PCs get a taste of mythic power through some extraordinary event, albeit only for a short time. For the duration of an adventure or short campaign arc, they can wield this power to further their goals. Unfortunately, it’s fleeting, and they soon become normal once again, perhaps with a few remnants of power they might call on in a future time of need. Perhaps their power will return at a later date—possibly even regularly according to some mysterious cycle, allowing them to plan out when they take on more difficult challenges coinciding with their resurgence of power.

Uncommon: Mythic creatures and characters are uncommon in this scale of game, but not wholly resigned to the whispers of legend. The PCs also get mythic power, but their advancement in tier is slow. The GM can control this by limiting the number of trials that are presented. Likewise, mythic foes are still not pervasive, but are found with some regularity—leading secret cabals, harassing quiet villages on the edge of civilization, and dwelling in the dark places of the world.

Common: In the common scale, mythic characters and monsters are an everyday part of life. This doesn’t mean that every town has a group of mythic heroes defending it, but that such characters are known to exist and their deeds are common knowledge. Nobles, priests, and other powerful people call upon the PCs for help against those dangerous monsters and villains others are powerless to fight. In this type of campaign, the PCs begin play with mythic power and see it grow as they gain levels, roughly at the rate of one mythic tier per two character levels.

Mythic Story Structure

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 119
Campaigns and adventures come in many forms, taking shape organically with the whims of the players and the needs of the Game Master, but the key to running a successful mythic campaign or adventure involves a little more planning. The following structure is a guide to help GMs in planning out their mythic experience, regardless of length. This formula can work for a single session, where the PCs gain mythic power at the beginning and lose it by the end. Or you can apply it to an entire campaign, where the PCs gain mythic power early on and retire after of dozens of adventures.

Many mythic stories follow a common narrative structure (see The Monomyth under Mythic Themes). This structure is divided into five parts: the contact, the awakening, the journey, the return, and the life after. In the contact, the PCs encounter a threat too great for them to handle. In the awakening, they’re granted mythic power to handle this threat. In the journey, the heroes quest to increase that power and gain what they need to vanquish that threat. In the return, they finally encounter the threats as equals (or near-equals) and have the opportunity to forever right the world. In the life after, the mythic heroes deal with the aftermath of their trials, and either become normal characters once again or hold onto their new power.

This structure isn’t set in stone. GMs should improvise details to suit the campaign. The steps represent story ideas that might reveal themselves in one or more encounters.

The Importance of Failure

In a mythic game, failure can play an important role in motivating the characters. Failure doesn’t need to mean death, but instead that the PCs’ efforts aren’t enough to solve all problems before them. They might win the battle, but find that around them the town was destroyed, or someone close to them died during the conflict. This failure is a story opportunity—it can be used as motivation to continue on their journey, even against loss and extreme adversity. This also illustrates that the PCs’ enemies have power similar to theirs, and that challenges ahead will test the heroes’ limits and resolve.

Starting Off Mythic

A key part of the mythic narrative is that the characters don’t start out as mythic heroes. Even if they gain their powers during the opening scenes of their first adventure, each character has an ordinary life before their ascension. This helps to ground them in the world and gives them a framework by which they can understand the magnitude of this change within them. That’s not to say the seed of mythic power couldn’t have been a part of them since birth, but such latent power should be hidden from them until the appropriate time.

Mythic Themes

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 123
Mythic adventures can gain their legendary powers in a variety of ways, from a gift from the gods, to the influence of ancient magic thought lost to the world, to traveling to a distant land filled with power. Such themes describe the source of mythic power in a given campaign and give general guidelines about how it functions. Some campaigns will focus on one theme to tell a mythic story, and others will include multiple themes—although the GM should be careful when using more than one theme, as this might muddle the story behind such power. In some cases, merging various themes will make more dramatic sense than using one theme alone.

The following themes are just a few types that the GM can work into the world when introducing the mythic rules into her campaign. These are generally compatible with any type of mythic game. Each one includes the following sections.

Description: This gives a basic overview of the theme.

Scope: This describes how much of an impact the mythic elements have on the campaign, indicating how those elements change the tone of the game.

Ascension: This includes some sample ways the PCs might become mythic using this theme.

Story: This describes the types of adventures and campaigns that work well with this mythic theme.

Challenges: This lists some types of mythic challenges relating to this theme that the PCs will likely face.

Ending: This describes a few ways the campaign might reach its mythic climax.

The Monomyth

The structure of a mythic game is drawn from the concept of the “monomyth,” outlined in Joseph Campbell’s book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. This pattern is found throughout countless modern and ancient mythological tales, from the Bible to The Lord of the Rings. You won’t have to search hard to find examples in books and films. Game Masters are encouraged to read up on the monomyth in more detail, as well as examine other stories and media that use this pervasive narrative structure.

Designing Encounters

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 128
Designing a mythic encounter is a lot like designing an encounter in any other adventure. During play, the PCs will face a variety of challenges: monsters, NPCs, traps, and more. The difference is that during a mythic adventure, the challenges are far deadlier. It’s important to stress to the players, through the encounters that they face, that these are dangers beyond what they might normally expect in the game. Much of this comes through the design of the encounters, which can vary greatly depending on the PCs and how you want to challenge them. In the most basic terms, the mythic rules can be used in one of two ways: to challenge normal PCs and to challenge mythic PCs.

Encounters for Normal PCs: If the PCs aren’t mythic, then these rules can be used to present challenges of an unexpected nature. Mythic creatures and villains are more powerful than their normal counterparts, making encounters significantly more dangerous. See Adjusting CR and Level below.

Normal PCs should be rewarded with experience points and treasure based on this adjusted CR. This means the PCs will face creatures that would normally be below them in terms of their original CRs, but whose strange abilities make them true threats. Such encounters should generally be at least challenging in relation to the PCs’ Average Party Level (APL; see Table 12–1).

For example, a group of four 6th-level PCs is exploring an ancient crypt filled with undead. As they face a variety of normal undead foes, they also begin to discover a far greater evil dwelling within, sealed away centuries ago by a holy brotherhood. Upon breaching the final chamber, they face a pair of mythic mummies crackling with dark magic. The pair of mythic mummies has an adjusted CR of 8, making it a deadly threat to the 6th-level PCs.

Encounters for Mythic PCs: Mythic adventurers are ready for challenges beyond those normally expected for characters of their level. (See Adjusting CR and Level below.) When designing encounters to challenge these characters, roughly one-third of the encounters should use their adjusted APL, one-third should use the characters’ original APL, and the remaining should fall somewhere between those two values.

Of course, individual encounters can vary from these numbers as normal (such as a challenging encounter versus an easy encounter, as noted on Table 12–1). When facing a mythic foe, add half its mythic rank to its original CR to determine the foe’s adjusted CR (as above).

For example, when designing challenges for a group of four 12th-level, 6th-tier mythic PCs, approximately onethird of the encounters they face should be CR 12, one-third should be CR 15, and the remaining encounters should be CR 13 or 14. That means some of their encounters are rather easy (allowing them to dominate foes using their mythic power), some are of average difficulty, and some truly push them to their limits. The challenging encounters should be against other mythic foes, forcing the PCs to confront enemies with similar power.

Adjusting CR and Level

Having mythic tiers changes the effective level of the character for the purposes of determining what threats they can face and what treasures they should earn. Likewise, having mythic tiers or ranks changes the effective CR of the foes heroes must contend with.

To adjust a character’s level, add half his tier (minimum 1) to his total character level. So a 10th-level/5th-tier character is effectively a 12th-level character for challenge and reward purposes, and a 20th-level/10th-tier character is effectively a 25th-level character for those purposes.

To adjust a foe’s CR, add half its tier or rank (minimum 1) to its CR. So a 2nd-rank minotaur is effectively a CR 6 monster, while a 6th-tier champion pit fiend would be CR 23. For the monsters presented in Chapter 6, this calculation has already been made

Mythic Trials

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 129
The saga of mythic heroes is filled with wild adventures, deadly foes, and mysterious forces. For most, their journey is defined by such moments. These trials are the peaks of the story, turning points at which one wrong move or costly mistake might cause the entire quest to fail. In the game, these events denote the stages of the mythic character’s journey. Think of trials as an important plot point, one that is intrinsically tied to the legend of the characters.

Mythic characters advance in two ways: they gain character levels by accumulating experience points, and they gain tiers by accomplishing a number of trials (see Table 1–2: Mythic Trials per Tier). These trials are the true tales of mythic heroism, representing the culmination of an entire adventure or campaign arc in which the PCs overcome a terrifying challenge or achieve some fantastic victory. The trial can be anything the GM imagines, but it’s not accomplished until some major goal is completed—be it to defeat a monster, save a town, or recover an artifact. So while an entire adventure might be a trial, it does not count toward advancement until the heroes complete it.

The rate at which these trials are accomplished determines how quickly the PCs gain mythic tiers. As a guideline, the PCs should face a number of trials equal to the amount needed to gain a tier in the time it takes for them to gain two character levels. This should keep the character’s mythic tier roughly equal to 1/2 the character’s overall level. (Of course, the GM can alter this rate to suit the campaign.) That means if the PCs attain their first mythic tier at 1st level, they should probably face only a single greater trial by the time they reach 4th level, so that they reach 2nd tier at that time. Conversely, higher-level characters that gain mythic power later in their careers might face a number of trials in quick succession to gain tiers quickly, or they might even start with multiple tiers right away to get them closer to the average. Table 1–2 lists the number of trials a character must overcome to gain a new tier, but this number is subject to GM discretion and the needs of the story.

A GM might instead decide that every time the PCs complete a trial, they gain a tier. In this case, such trials are far less common. Alternatively, a GM might double the number of trials needed, and in turn make them more common. Either way, the rate of tier progression shouldn’t feel much different from what would normally happen.

When designing a trial, GMs should keep the following points in mind. Trials represent important stories in the legend of mythic characters. Unlike an anecdote about particularly nasty fight or dangerous trap, trials are lengthy tales of multiple dangerous encounters, against mythic foes and unimaginable adversity. A trial should be the culmination of an entire adventure or a short series of adventures.

In addition, each trial should include at least three of the elements noted in Elements of a Mythic Adventure. These elements define a trial as mythic and help the players understand that they’re approaching a vital stage of their journey without directly telling them that a trial is forthcoming.

Mythic Boons

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 132
Mythic boons are special rewards given for moments of dramatic achievement. Mythic PCs should repeatedly act in a heroic fashion, charging boldly into danger with confidence, and they should be rewarded for accomplishing such astonishing feats of daring, luck, and courage. Awarding mythic boons is one way for the GM to encourage the players to push their characters to their limits.

Granting a boon is simple: when the PCs accomplish an astounding feat of bravery, cunning, or luck, they should regain one use of their mythic power (but may not exceed their total uses). This can represent different things depending on the origin: the divine smiling upon the PCs, eldritch energy surging within, or even a character’s pride made manifest as actual power.

When rewarding boons, the GM should reward all the PCs involved in that moment and keep these rewards balanced across the whole group. For example, if a barbarian champion charges forward and slays a powerful villain with a lucky critical hit with his axe, you might reward the barbarian, but don’t neglect the rogue trickster flanking the villain with the barbarian and the bard marshal granting bonuses on the attack roll with his bardic performance as well. A character should get a boon no more than once per encounter, but the GM might waive this guideline in special circumstances.

Included below are example moments worthy of a boon. This is not an exhaustive list, as any situation can result in an extraordinary outcome. These should not be automatic; if a character is built to perform critical hits, he shouldn’t be rewarded every time he scores three or more in one combat, but only when he does so in extreme circumstances.

Many of these boons require the character to perform the task against a mythic foe, but a suitably challenging normal foe might qualify as well, as determined by the GM. Unless otherwise specified, these moments must take place within the same encounter— the indestructible boon moment doesn’t count if you survive two critical hits in one combat and one in the next, for instance.

Assassinate: With just a single melee or ranged attack, the character defeats a mythic creature that has its full hit point total.

Behind Me: The PCs defeat at least four or more creatures, but only one (or none) of the PCs takes any damage during the battle.

Bloodless Victory: The PCs defeat a mythic foe by dealing nonlethal damage only.

Calm Down: The character ends or prevents a combat against a mythic foe with a single skill check, most likely Diplomacy or Bluff.

Cling to Life: The character survives a single attack that deals massive damage to her (damage equal to or greater than half her maximum hit point total, minimum 50) and exceeds the DC of the subsequent Fortitude saving throw by 5 or more.

Close Call: The character defeats a creature that has him entangled, grappled, or swallowed whole. Counter Caster: The character counterspells three or more spells from a single enemy spellcaster.

Critical Chain: Without failing any attack rolls, the character scores three critical hits in a row.

Deadly Dance: In 1 round, the character provokes four or more attacks of opportunity, but none of them hit.

Death’s Door: The character confirms a critical hit against a mythic foe while at 0 or fewer hit points.

Deep Breath: The character defeats a mythic foe entirely while underwater, without the aid of any spells or abilities that allow the character to breathe.

Desperate Measures: The character starts a combat against a mythic foe without any uses of mythic power remaining (or confidence).

Distant Crit: The character scores a critical hit using a ranged weapon against a target who is in the maximum range increment for the weapon.

Final Gift: While at 0 hit points, the character uses a spell, item, or special ability to heal an ally instead of herself, causing her to fall unconscious and gain the dying condition.

First to Fall: The character defeats a mythic foe at the beginning of combat, before any other creature has a chance to act.

Indestructible: The character survives taking three critical hits.

Maneuver Display: The character successfully performs at least four different combat maneuvers.

Mass Obliteration: Using only one spell, the character defeats six or more creatures, ending the encounter.

Massive Attack: The character makes a single attack against a mythic creature that deals massive damage (equal to or greater than half its total hit points, minimum 50).

Massive Swing: The character deals damage to five or more creatures in a single round with melee or ranged attacks.

Master Healer: Using only a single spell, item, or ability, the character heals a dying creature to full hit points.

Mythic Challenge: In one day, the group defeats a number of mythic creatures with a combined total mythic tier equal to or greater than 3 × the highest mythic tier among the characters in the party.

Outrageous Lie: Using Bluff, the character convinces a creature of a nearly impossible lie (–20 modifier to the check).

Overkill: The character uses a catapult, ballista, or ram to deal massive damage to a mythic creature (equal to or greater than half the creature’s total hit points, minimum 50).

Performance Victory: The character uses bardic performance to inspire its allies for 8 or more rounds.

Pinpoint: The character makes three successful attacks against a creature that has total concealment from him.

Push On: The group overcomes six or more encounters without resting or regaining any abilities.

Resilient Caster: After sustaining a critical hit while casting a spell, the character succeeds at the concentration check and defeats a foe with that spell.

Return to Sender: The creature catches an arrow or other projectile from a ranged attack and uses it to make a successful hit on the attacker within 1 round.

Savant: The character succeeds at a skill check with a DC of 20 or higher when he rolled a natural 5 or lower.

School Display: The character casts at least one spell from each school of magic (not counting spells that are two or more levels below the highest level of spell he can cast).

Shield Ally: Using path abilities, the character prevents an ally from taking any damage from an attack at least three times.

Skill Supremacy: The character exceeds the DC of a skill check by 20 or more.

Solo Warrior: The character defeats a mythic creature without assistance from any allies, including animal companions, cohorts, etc.

Swift Doom: The character defeats a mythic creature with a single spell on the first round of combat, before it has a chance to act.

Swift Victory: The group defeats an encounter in a single round.

Tumbler: In 1 round, the character uses Acrobatics to move through the threatened areas of at least five foes without provoking any attacks of opportunity.

Undead Bane: With a single use of channel energy, the character defeats eight or more undead creatures or four or more mythic undead.

Unstoppable: The character suffers the effects of at least three of the following conditions at the same time while in combat with a mythic foe: blinded, confused, deafened, disabled, exhausted, frightened, nauseated, paralyzed, pinned, and stunned.

Wild Warrior: While using wild shape or some other polymorph effect, the character defeats a mythic foe.

Wrestler: The character reverses a grapple against a foe and pins that foe on the following turn.

Recurring Mythic Villains

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 133
Recurring villains are a staple of fantasy fiction and with a little careful planning you can make your mythic villains memorable opponents your players to remember and talk about for years to come. With the heroes possessing extraordinary power, the villains that defy them should also possess a measure of that power. A memorable, iconic villain will bump elbows with the PCs over and over again. Such a villain builds tension—for even as the PCs foil her plans, they’re kept frustrated by failing to permanently stop this fiend. Creating such nasty villains is challenging as heroes grow stronger and get better at killing off persistent foes. To ensure the mythic villain survives, make use of noncombat encounters, ensure your villain always has an escape plan, and don’t be afraid to reintroduce her after the players think she’s had been finished off.

Noncombat encounters help players develop a connection between their PCs and the villain in a way that doesn’t risk the villain’s life (or the PCs’). Early on, she can appear as a harmless or even helpful NPC. Or, if the PCs have already fought the villain, she can leave notes or use magic to taunt them. Various mythic powers, the Disguise skill, or even simple magic like disguise self, glibness, or nondetection can be used to help a villain blend in and rub elbows with the heroes all while seeming innocuous. Later, once the villain is revealed, she can work behind the scenes, using minions and other allies to accomplish her ends, all the while making it plain to the PCs that she’s continuing to thwart them.

In a world where powerful creatures are hunting you, paranoia and the willingness to abandon plans and allies are key to survival. If you want your villain to fight the players, plan an early exit. It’s okay for a villain to flee even if she might win a confrontation, as her plans are a long game and require that she survive to see them through. There are many spells, mythic powers, and class abilities that give the villain the ability to get away in a hurry. She should use more mundane escape methods when possible, concealing her iconic escapes as much as possible so they’re more difficult for the PCs to counter.

Should the villain be killed, don’t be afraid to have her revisit your campaign for a little posthumous mockery and mayhem. There are many ways to reintroduce a dead villain—sometimes it’s as simple as having a minion cast raise dead or resurrection, but there are other, more sophisticated options. You can introduce a new recurring villain who tracks down one of the PCs’ dead foes and brings him to some semblance of life in the form of an undead minion or possessed item, or who uses speak with dead to learn the deceased foe’s secrets.

Mythic Flaws

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 134
Mythic heroes, for all their might, are still people with troubles and flaws. Many such legendary beings have equally legendary flaws that are ultimately their undoing. Because of the heroes’ great power, these failings and weaknesses are also often dramatic, and if their enemies learn of these flaws, they will seek to exploit them.

The following mythic flaws are optional rules the GM may want to include in a mythic campaign in order to reflect heroes of old. They force characters to suffer a particular ailment in certain situations, one that they can’t mitigate or work off over time—a flaw truly a part of their mythic nature.

Flaws don’t provide great benefits to the characters— including them is purely for dramatic purposes, not to create an optimal character. The GM should carefully weigh whether or not to include them in the game, and decide if their addition is a benefit to the story as a whole and (more importantly) something the players will enjoy playing.

If you decide to include mythic flaws in the game, they are gained at the same time the character gains mythic power, during the moment of ascension. You can select these flaws yourself, making them an aspect of the theme used to grant the PCs mythic power, or you can allow the PCs to select them, integrating the flaws into their backstories. The following mythic flaws are examples of the types of flaws you could include in your game.

Dependency: There is only one food or drink that can nourish your hero, and without it your powers fade. Select one specific type of food or drink (other than water). If you don’t ingest that food or drink at least once per day, you begin to lose your mythic powers. After the first day of absence, you can no longer regain uses of mythic power. After the second day, you lose all the powers and abilities granted by your mythic path. After the third day, you lose all of your mythic abilities, with the exception of ability score increases, bonus hit points, and bonus mythic feats. These powers and abilities are immediately restored as soon as you consume that food or drink.

Elemental Vulnerability: One element above all others has an adverse effect on your power and is capable of harming you like no other. Select either acid, cold, electricity, or fire. You take double the amount of damage whenever that damage is of the selected type. You never benefit from resistance or immunity to that element. When an effect of that type is used against you, it is always treated as though it’s from a mythic source.

Furious Rage: Your rage is a beast, one that you can barely control. Whenever you are hit by a critical hit or demoralized by the Intimidate skill, you go into an uncontrollable rage. This functions like the barbarian’s rage class feature, but you don’t gain a bonus to your Strength or Constitution score (even if you have the rage class feature). This limits the actions you can perform and gives you a –2 penalty to Armor Class. The rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 1d4 plus your mythic tier, but you aren’t fatigued after this duration expires. If you have the rage class feature, this does not count toward your uses of that feature. If you are raging when this flaw is triggered, that rage immediately ends and this effect begins.

Hubris: You are first, best, and above all others. Your power is unrivaled and you know it. You receive a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear. Whenever you succeed at a saving throw against an effect that would have caused you to gain the shaken, frightened, or panicked condition, you instead gain the staggered condition for a duration equal to the duration of the effect that you saved against, as you spend part of each round boasting about your prowess. If you instead fail a saving throw against such an effect, that effect’s duration is doubled as you’re also confronted with doubt or shame.

Material Weakness: There is one material that can penetrate even your toughest defenses. Select cold iron, silver, or wood. Weapons made primarily from that material automatically confirm all critical hits against you and the critical multiplier is increased by 1 (to a maximum of ×4). If you have damage reduction, weapons made primarily of that type always bypass that reduction.

Mercurial Mind: The power that you wield speaks to you, and it befuddles your mind at critical moments. Whenever you’re hit by a critical hit or fail a saving throw against a mind-affecting spell or special ability, you also gain the confused condition for 1d4 rounds.

School Aversion: Despite your power, there is one type of magic that is foretold to be your undoing. Those that wield it are of great danger to you. Select one school of magic (except divination). Whenever you attempt a saving throw against a spell or effect of that school, you take a –4 penalty on the saving throw. The effects of such spells (if harmful) last twice as long if you fail the saving throw. In addition, all spells and effects of that school used against you are always treated as though they’re from a mythic source. You also may not benefit from spells and effects from the selected school, subject to GM discretion.

Weapon Weakness: The prophecies say that one weapon will be your doom. Select one group of weapons from the list of fighter weapons. Weapons from the selected group gain a +4 bonus on attack and damage rolls against you. If a weapon from the selected group scores a critical hit against you, the critical multiplier is increased by 1 (to a maximum of ×4). If you have damage reduction, weapons from that group always bypass that reduction.

Ideas for Mythic Adventures

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 135
Creating an adventure that feels mythic can be a daunting task, as there are a lot of factors to consider. The following ideas give you something to work with when designing your campaign. Each idea includes a basic synopsis of the plot, a list of some of the challenges the heroes could face, a look at the primary adversary, and ideas for further adventures. Some of these ideas imply the heroes’ mythic origin, but they can easily be tailored for PCs who have already gone on other mythic adventures.

Moments of Powerlessness

Many stories in novels, comic books, television shows, and movies involve powerful characters losing their abilities for a short time. It’s tempting for many GMs to make that a part of a mythic campaign. While you can certainly use such a plot device in your game, the loss of power must be handled carefully to avoid turning an otherwise fun string of adventures into something no one wants to play anymore. Here are a few tips to make this idea work in a fun way.

To start with, this is only a good option when the characters are in the middle tiers (between 4th and 7th tier). If the heroes are of a lower tier, they haven’t used their mythic power enough to make the powerlessness storyline interesting. If they’re of a higher tier, the gulf between their mythic story and the story being told now is so great that it may break the flow of the story.

Powerlessness arcs should last no more than a couple sessions, lest the temporary loss of power start to seem like a permanent disability.

Causes of the PCs’ powerlessness need to be explainable— and either the characters know about it beforehand or someone informs them of the cause after they’ve lost their powers. It could be an event that comes to pass, like a lunar eclipse or a great volcano’s eruption disrupting the flow of power in the world. Or a foe might enact a ritual to nullify the heroes’ power. The PCs might even be responsible for their own loss of power, especially if the divine being who granted the powers doesn’t approve of their recent activities.

Solutions to the PCs’ plight should make sense from a story perspective. Events pass, reinstating the PCs’ mythic power (in which case, the PCs need merely to wait, and possibly fight to survive until then). The foe’s rituals are undone by the temporarily normal PCs. Or penance can be granted as the PCs show that they’re still worthy.

Drama happens between the cause and solution: foes that should have been easy before become challenges again, and those the heroes have angered can now retaliate, whether they are monstrous foes or slighted townsfolk. The rewards acquired during this time should reflect the difficulty of the challenges the PCs face.