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MYTHIC HERO: What Do *You* Want To See?


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At last it can be revealed!   At last it can be revealed! I took advantage of some free time in ace artist Eric Lofgren's schedule earlier this year to get him to create a beautiful piece of art tha

Come to think of it, it's probably time for an update on the project.   I am currently in the middle of the Celtic Mythology chapters (that's plural because there are three of them; it's too

Progress! It's taken me months longer than it should have due to my ongoing health problems, but I've finally finished the Incan and South American Mythology chapter of MYTHIC HERO. Woot!  

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It hasn't happened yet, but Steve has continued to write this book in his "copious spare time" for years. He's declared he intends to find one way or another to publish it, and posts to this thread periodically to inform us of his ongoing progress. I get the strong impression this is a passion project for him, like Golden Age Champions was for Darren Watts. So I'm confident we'll at least see an announcement that MH is finished in the not-too-distant future, at which point the money situation will need to be addressed.

 

(You're still on my list for dispensing lottery winnings, Steve.) :yes:

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Forgive me for not answering this latest question more quickly -- Hurricane Michael knocked out my power for the past 72 hours. On top of that, some wind god who's annoyed with me for some reason pushed a large tree over on my house, so I'm dealing with a lot right now. (If you want to see what that looks like, check my Facebook feed for a bunch of pictures. ;) )

 

Fortunately, LL responded with all the right answers. ;) I'm still working on Mythic Hero as much as possible, and hope to get back to it full-time later this month once a couple other obligations are off my desk and house repairs are underway. I am currently thick in the middle of researching Celtic Mythology, a subject so broad I've divided it into 3-4 chapters. I have a loooong way to go yet on the chapter, but it's taking shape. I'll keep y'all posted whenever I have something to announce, but in the meantime you are more than welcome to post questions here for me.

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  • 5 months later...

Steve, will there be a section discussing divine "perks", such as (optional) Divine Ranks?  I did see such a thing in one or two Hero books, as I recall(being a Greater God was worth 50 points, IIRC).  I suppose there might be a few other divine skills, talents and powers which might merit some discussion as well.  

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9 hours ago, megaplayboy said:

Steve, will there be a section discussing divine "perks", such as (optional) Divine Ranks?  I did see such a thing in one or two Hero books, as I recall(being a Greater God was worth 50 points, IIRC).  I suppose there might be a few other divine skills, talents and powers which might merit some discussion as well.  

 

There will be a section on building gods in the HERO System, which covers common divine powers and how to build them, and other such subjects. I'll probably touch on the optional Deity Perk there. It's not something I'm using to build the gods in MH, but in a campaign where the PCs are deities, it could come in handy to determine the pecking order. ;)

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Steve, 

I know you have Chinese mythology listed, but I urge you to consider the mythological beings (gods, creatures, etc.) and folklore of Taiwan. Taiwan folklore is different than that of the mainland since it incorporates native islanders (aboriginal) myths which are unique, and a fascinating mythology in itself. Here's one site that has maintained a repository of Taiwanese folktales and traditions.

 

Thanks in advance for considering Taiwanese mythology.

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I know you have Chinese mythology listed, but I urge you to consider the mythological beings (gods, creatures, etc.) and folklore of Taiwan.

 

No worries, I'm already ahead of you. ;) I have a small section on Taiwanese mythology that I will include either in the Miscellaneous Mythologies chapter, or as a sort of "appendix" to the Chinese Mythology chapter. And if I can find enough sources, I will turn the section into a full-fledged chapter.

 

Thanx for the suggestion!!

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  • 5 months later...
On 1/6/2020 at 4:15 PM, Duke Bushido said:

Ouch.  Twice.

 

 

I guess we are pundits.  Sorry, my wife and coworkers groan at my puns too.  I am a recovering addict.  Its been 10 seconds since my last pun. :)

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  • 1 month later...

When Steve put up a Kickstarter for this project years ago, the big stumbling block was raising enough for him to devote time to writing it instead of earning a living doing something else. By working on it in his spare time all these years, he has to have dramatically cut the margin needed to get it ready for publication.

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Yes, it's still going on. I work on Mythic Hero as much as I can, which lately has been a lot. Once I finish one (maybe two ;) ) semi-related projects, I will be back on it full time. I don't care if I have to leave final instructions for publishing MH in my will, it is going to be published! :)

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Come to think of it, it's probably time for an update on the project. ;)

 

I am currently in the middle of the Celtic Mythology chapters (that's plural because there are three of them; it's too large and diverse a topic to handle in just one). Unfortunately things have been at that stage for a long time, due to various distractions and real life what-not getting in the way of what I really want to.

 

But fortunately, the main distraction actually helps me write Mythic Hero! What I've been working on for most of the past year, and pretty steadily for the past few months, is a nonfiction project:  The Encyclopedia Of Mages, Magic, And The Arcane (or "EMMA" for short ;) ). For years I have looked for a reference book specifically about terms for magic and users of magic. For example, I want to be able to look up what they call a witch or a wizard in, say, northern Australia, or Borneo, or among some obscure African tribe, or in parts of historical Europe. And then maybe I could also read about their terms for magic, how they think spells work, and other fun details.

 

But unfortunately for me, AFAICT, no such book actually exists. So after decades of looking and hoping, I finally decided, "The hell with this -- I'll just write it myself." ;)

 

So as I read and did research for other projects (primarily MH), when I ran across a term I wanted to remember, I wrote it down. I began doing this years and years ago in an informal way, but now I really started paying attention. And if I had some spare time, I'd pore through the various encyclopedias of the occult that I own and copy out relevant terms. Eventually I had a long enough document that it hit a tipping point early last year where I finally had to begin focusing on EMMA full-time and turn it into a published book. And that's what I've been doing ever since. I've read dozens of books since then for research, and I have a bunch more I can work with -- but I am also entering the information I get from reading them into my master document. When I have no more books to enter data from, I intend to stop research (no matter how many books still wait in their stacks, as yet unread), and get the book ready for publication (layout, printing, etc.). Otherwise I'll just go on researching until I keel over.

 

As I like to put it, EMMA is "a reference book listing and describing terms for magic, people who use magic, and related subjects from around the world and throughout history." It's intended in part for writers and gamers, of course, but I think it has some solid academic value as well (since, as I said, AFAICT no other reference book about this specific subject actually exists). Its chapters cover the following topics:

—Terms For Magic (general terms for supernatural, arcane, or occult power);
—Specific Magic Powers And Abilities (words for magical powers or spells of more limited scope, such as inedia, the magical ability to survive without eating);
—Divination (various ways to foresee the future, often called “mancies” because of the frequent use of the suffix -mancy, which derives from the Greek word for divination);
—Users Of Magic (names and titles for practitioners of magic, such as “wizard” or “karcist”);
—Other Mystic Terms (any other mystic, arcane, occult, or “weird” term I considered worth making note of, or which I thought I might use someday);
—Amulets And Talismans (names and descriptions of these enchanted items from around the world); and
—Mystic Stones And Metals (mythical and legendary stones and metals which purportedly possess special magical powers). 

 

Naturally, this is a subject I can never fully exhaust. Once the book is published, I'll continue taking notes as I read, and eventually there'll be a Second Edition. ;) Heck, there's stuff I could add (like more detailed info on Alchemy and Voodoo).

 

I hope to have it all finished within a few months so I can get back to working on MH, but the fact of the matter is that a lot of my work on EMMA is also work on MH. As I read through my various references, anthropology books, and the like, I come across information on various religions and mythologies in addition to information about magic and its practitioners -- after all, for many peoples, the two subjects are closely related. So I take notes about the myth-related stuff too, and it will go into Mythic Hero. Heck, thanks to all the work I've already done, the MH chapter on Uralic/Siberian Mythology is practically ready for me to start writing! That goes for some other chapters, too -- and my EMMA research has even provided me with enough data to add some chapters (or significant subchapters) to MH, such as Huichol Mythology and Ulchi Mythology. :D

 

I am not sure yet how I will publish EMMA, since I've never done anything like this before. It would be great if I could interest an actual academic publisher, but I don't know any and I'm not sure if they'd publish a (largely un-annotated) book by someone with no "academic cred." Still, I may ask a couple friends in that general field for advice about who I might approach for this. Beyond that, if I want to keep it simple, I could easily turn the manuscript into a basic PDF (few/no illustrations or whatnot) and sell it on DriveThroughRPG and other such sites. (And there has to be a well-prepared PDF of the book available; that way people can search it easily and bounce through the hundreds, maybe thousands, of cross-references with a click of a mouse instead of lots of page-flipping.) And of course there are lots of other ways to self-publish -- assuming I can't find a publisher inside or outside the RPG industry who wants the book but will let me keep all the rights.

 

Depending on how this all works out, I may just finance the whole thing out of pocket -- if I stick to just a basic PDF and only free art, and do the layout myself, it won't cost that much. (And there could be a POD option, too.) But if I have to print a whole bunch of books myself, it may be time for another Kickstarter. Though I have my doubts that a project like this would succeed as a Kickstarter if I asked for what I think the book's legitimately worth.

 

So anyhow, that's the update on MH, by way of EMMA. I hope you enjoyed it. ;)  If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to PM me or post 'em below.

 

And keep on HEROing! :hex:

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I had thought about that, but there are several reasons (that I'd rather not go into on a public forum) why I don't think McFarland would be a good fit. But I won't dismiss the idea completely; you never know what might happen. Thanx for the suggestion!

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I would like to see a section on the concepts of chaos and order. Such a chapter would not only provide useful food for thought about all the other pantheons, but a good framework for figuring out stuff like The Force. And I know that intellectual property is prohibitively hairy business, but it would be cool to see popular fictitious religion in general. The Force, Triforce, The Nine Divine, stuff like that.

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