LORE & HISTORYThe world of Mythic Frontier follows a history almost identical to our own until the year 1862 when the Nidav Company was founded and released its first invention, The Accelerated Steam Engine. This engine put many competitors out of business as it was tens perhaps even a hundredfold more powerful than any other competitors and to make it worse its design was kept as a proprietary secret. They filed no patents for it instead the Nidav Company, insisted that any who wished to purchase one of their engines also hired on one of their engineers who would be the sole person allowed to operate it.
Normally such a restriction would have lead to their engines not being used at all, however, a newly incorporated company called Union Pacific decided to take the chance and this lead to an overwhelming, almost monopoly, on all train travel as the Accelerated Steam Engines allowed their trains to travel farther, faster, and cheaper than any other company until those companies signed up with Nidav.
Nidav continued to flood the market with other proprietary technologies that improved lives and gave birth to what was known as The Steam Revolution. A massive leap in technological progress that was entirely unprecedented in history and over the course of five years Nidav became a household name. Then the events of August 28, 1867, which came to be known as Waking Wednesday.
Exactly what happened is unknown but the public record facts are as follows: A would be competitor of The Nidav Company managed to steal one of their Steam Engines intent on copying the design. Somehow in the process of taking it apart they ruptured the boiler which caused the entire thing to explode, utterly leveling the warehouse they’d hidden in. The explosion also tore open a rent in the fabric of our reality that allowed and this is a direct quote from a survivor: “A being of such unimaginable horror that my mind still rebels at any attempt to recollect exact features, monstrous in size, covered in something that seemed more akin to steel cable than hair, and with glowing yellow eyes filled with an unspeakable hunger it’s shape unlike anything found on this mortal realm.” To enter our world.
This monstrosity was dealt with by a team sent by the Nidav Company who where then at a state hearing days later forced to reveal the truth. The Nidav Company was founded by dwarves from Niðavellir, who fled after their world was destroyed by such similar creatures a vast majority of their creations were in fact powered by magical means rather than scientific ones and they had only sought to make our world and lives easier through application of this technology.
Since these events it has come to light that many such mythical beings exist and slowly over the years they have stopped hiding their existence from the rest of the world, leading to what has been coined The Magical Renaissance. The year is now 1878 and while still not commonplace everywhere magic is slowly being incorporated into our world, more civilized places have embraced it fully but The Wild West of America has been slow to change. Unfortunately for those people living out there the Frontier is also attracting magical beings looking to etch out their own place in the world turning it into: The Mythic Frontier.
RACESThere are few restrictions on what race you can play in the Mythic West, just understand that playing a non-human race puts you in a minority, the kind of minority that can get attacked by angry superstitious villagers.
If you play a non-human race we also ask you keep to the races that are are not entirely monstrous in size or demeanor. No dragons, for example. We trust you guys to be able to tell what shouldn’t be used just ask yourself if the race you want to play can easily kill a normal person by shrugging really hard, you would then have your answer on how we feel.
Additionally if you play some of the traditional monster races like Werewolves or Vampires and you have views on how they should operate that share commonality with materials like Twilight, please see yourself out. If you pick an established monster race stick to the traditional rules of that race, unless you are adding or changing something for a very solid flavor reason.
Banned Races: Angels (including any variation thereof), Demons (including any variation thereof), Dragons (for Player Characters).
In the Mythic West magic is cast using Ather which can be drawn in from the world around you or generated internally. Ather is a lot like fuel for magic and like some fuels it becomes more powerful the more refined it is. Ambient Ather drawn in from the environment is often the magical equivalent of green wood (difficult to spark magical fuel), but with the right techniques it can be refined. This best done through use of magical rituals to channel and focus Ather into a purer state. Any character can learn how to use ambient Ather without any special requirements. Internally generated Ather is any Ather generated within the character’s body. If your character is capable of generating large quantities of their own Ather then there must be a reason for it. A normal human character, for example, cannot generate their own Ather naturally. Reasons your character can generate internal Ather can be anything from a hereditary ability, to a magical accident, to a magical item.
The final thing to note is specialization versus utility, affinity versus spells. Someone with magical power may have an innate talent with a particular kind of magic, this would allow them to cast spells of that kind more efficiently and with less preparation than other people using similar magics. However, having an affinity makes you less powerful in other branches of magic and having two affinities locks off other branches of magic entirely, as would having an exceptionally powerful affinity. So a pyromancer would be able to cast a fireball with a few simple words and a gesture, someone who is part fire elemental may only need to think about it and raise their hands, where a wizard or other kind of magic user who learns by study instead of talent may need words, reagents, and gestures but could also change it to into an iceball. In short the more potent you are in one branch of magic the less diverse your skills should be, which may make you a double edged blade.
For sake of game balance, please be sure to both define the strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your character's magic during the application process.
TECHThe level of tech in The Mythic Frontier is a bit malleable since the technology available is essentially that you’d expect in a steampunk setting but fueled by magic. The general rule of thumb is that as long as the tech you are using fits the theme it is probably fine, no steampunk rocketships sadly but electricity shooting Tesla rifles, airship powered by dragon fire, mechanical horses that can outrun a car, all of that is fine.
THE OUTSIDERSAs indicated in the Introduction we do incorporate elements of The Cthulhu Mythos into The Mythic Frontier, though this isn’t a straight application of Lovecraft's work rather just something we take inspiration from. In short there are monstrous entities just beyond the veil of our reality that are great, vast, and uncaring. They are attracted to life, especially magically potent life so the more magic that is used in a world the more likely such entities are to take notice.
Unlike in The Cthulhu Mythos we are not completely and utterly powerless against these beings, or at least not all of them. That which they feed on can also be used to harm them, as can big powerful guns! When beings from the Outside come it should be as part of a quest or as a world event, they should not be characters that are played since they are supposed to be outside our understanding so let's keep them to NPCs to be defeated.