The material on this site is owned by Samuel Penn, and any queries should be directed there. Most of the material on this site is licensed under CC-BY-SA.
Myths is a fantasy game system I designed and used back in the early 1990s. It started because I had got annoyed with 2nd Edition AD&D, and decided to clean up that system. In the end, I had 'cleaned up' most of the rules to the point where the end result bore no resemblance to AD&D.
The system was used in my Land of Kythe setting.
I dropped Myths soon after leaving university, and started work on Yags, in an attempt to get away from the complexity of the Myths system. It is clunky in places, but overall worked quite well. It's one of the few systems I know of which scales down as well as up.
The game is now released under the BSD-like license, and the PDFs are available for download here. The original source files no longer exist, and even if they did they would be unreadable to most people since they were produced using Impression Publisher on RISC OS.
Myths was a skill based system similar in some respects to the Star Wars d6 system. The base die type though was a d10 rather than a d6. Characters choose templates at the start to give themselves skill packages, but they had no effect on later progression.
The magic system was highly flexible, and in completeness was inspired a lot by Ars Magica. There was a complete set of rules to cover long term study, spell invention and item creation.
A few of the main features are highlighted below.
All skills were measure in Dice, where Dice was the number of d10 rolled. A character might have a 5D skill, or a 7D skill, meaning they rolled 5d10 or 7d10 respectively and compared the total against some target difficulty (just like in Star Wars).
Each Die was split into five 'pips', going from +0, through +2, +4, +6 up to +8. This was written as 4D+4 or 6D+6 etc. The '+' was another die type, so 6D+6 meant roll 6d10 + d6. This gave a reasonably smooth progression from one full Die to the next.
Since average human attributes were 5D, it became very easy to simulate small and weak creatures, or low skill levels. In theory anything down to 0D+2 could be simulated. This is one of the things I liked about the system - it scaled downwards as well as upwards.
The combat system was roundless. At the start of combat, initiative was counted and all actions took some amount of time. Dice could be sacrificed off skills to reduce the time an action took, so a character with 7D skill performing an action taking 9 segments, could perform the action in 7 segments at 5D skill, or 3 segments at 1D skill.
There were no rounds, so initiative just kept on counting upwards until the combat finished.
The magic system was a mixture of set spells and flexibility. Each spell was represented by a formula. For example, Fireball might be '10 + D10 + R1 + I2'. This meant that the base difficulty to cast a Fireball was 10 (relatively easy), but that gave you a small spark at the end of your finger which did no damage.
The various modifiers could be raised to increase the effect of the spell. 'D10' meant that the distance (range) of the spell could be increased by 10m for each +1 to the spell difficulty. 'R1' meant +1m radius of effect for each +1 difficulty, and 'I2' meant +2 to the damage for each +1 of extra difficulty.
A magus could have a weak, long range fireball, or a close, small area but powerful fireball, or any combination chosen at casting time. Other modifiers such as subtlety (make the magic difficult to detect with magical detection) or potency (getting through anti-magic) could also be used. It meant some arithmetic when casting spells, but in practice players tended to write down the levels of the most commonly used effects.