Mystos is an easy-to-learn table-top fantasy RPG which takes place in dark and wartorn realms, where the freedom of your people rests in your hands.
Within fifteen minutes of reading the rules presented in this Quickstart Guide, you can sit down with your friends to play your very first Quest Module. The rules of Mystos are minimalist in nature, allowing you and your players to spend more of your time role playing and exploring great stories.
In this role playing game, you can take on the role of one of two Character Classes: The mighty Warrior, or the legendary Wizard. Each class has their own set of attacks and defenses, both against one another and against their own class. In addition to Warriors and Wizards, there are many allies and foes to be found in the world of Mystos, from the mundane to the legendary.
Creating your first character in Mystos is one of the easiest things you will ever do in a tabletop RPG. You don't have to spend a single moment rolling stats or worrying over kits, weapons, or spells. You make the choice between playing a hard-hitting Warrior or a cunning and powerful Wizard. Assign a pair of skills, and you're done! Your character is ready to face his or her first foes in the world of Mystos!
This is a dark mythological fantasy game that takes place in a bronze-age setting. Magic – at least among Mortal Men – is still in its infancy, and powerful beasts lurk around every corner. Regardless of the class you have chosen, your role in Mystos can be hero or villain, soldier or rogue, conqueror or king – however you choose to play the game.
What You Need in Order to Play Mystos:
Three things are required to play Mystos – a set of Mystos Dice (and one optional standard 6-sided die), one or more Players, who take on the role of Warriors or Wizards in your game, and a Storyteller – also known as a Game Master or Referee. The Storyteller’s job is exactly what it sounds like – he or she presents the story of the game to the players, referees all dice rolls, and enforces the rules of the game.
Other than these three things, groups who wish to use miniatures and battlemaps may certainly do so, though this is far from a requirement. With a little imagination, Mystos can easily be played without any maps or miniatures at all!
The minimalist rules in this Quickstart Guide are tailored to fast-paced action, where the last thing anyone around the table wants is to spend hours leafing through the pages trying to find a specific rule. As stated above, Mystos can be learned in just minutes, and we are sure the game will provide you with countless hours of exciting adventures, harrowing battles, and dark mysteries.
The World and History of Mystos:
Set within ancient, storm-shrouded lands, Mystos is a game built around the struggle between the fledgling mortal races and the dark mythological beasts loyal to the El'ohir, also known as the Immortals. The realm of Mystos is one of high adventure, where danger lurks around every corner.
For more than six thousand years, all of Mystos was the domain of The El’ohir. They ruled over the lands with grim and cold purpose, forcing their mortal slaves to build ever greater monuments to the glory of The El’ohir. Somewhere during this time, The Elders – grown weary of watching the ambition and jealousy of their creations – retreated beyond the borders of the world to begin their eons-long slumber. The El’ohir, who believed they had defeated The Elders, decided to take on the role of gods themselves.
They began to give life to their own creations – from the noble Centaur and Rez’a races to the reptilian Ssarathor, the vile Gothin, and the mindless Trogars. All of these races were made to serve, toiling away alongside Men for countless generations. The El’ohir ruled the great cities and empires of Mystos as God-Kings. Their reign was unchallenged, and they began to breed with Mortals, finding that Immortals of pure bloodline were growing increasingly infertile. Though this diluted the blood (few El’ohir were truly Immortals any longer, though they still had lifespans that could be counted in centuries) it was considered a necessary evil. These offspring – though not as powerful as their Immortal parents – likewise came to rule over the enslaved races of Mystos, often with even more cruelty than The El’ohir themselves.
The introduction of mortal blood changed The El’ohir in other ways as well. Gone were the days of unity among the Immortals – and although the traits of ambition, pride and jealousy had always existed within them, the introduction of mortal blood only strengthened these vices. The El’ohir and their offspring eventually fell to infighting, and a great war was fought between the Three Great Houses - The House of Krytos, The House of Ilmenion, and The House of Ar’os. The consequences of this civil war would change the fate of Mystos forever.
The War of the Titans:
The War between the greatest houses of El’ohir raged on for more than a century, and Men and Centaurs were increasingly used as foot-soldiers and fodder by all three sides. Though hundreds of thousands of mortals were slain in the wars, those who survived began to learn much of warfare and strategy, as well as the long-hidden weaknesses of The El’ohir.
Eventually, the Tetragon was formed - a council of 5 heroes among Men, and together they decided that Men and Centaurs would no longer serve as slaves to The El’ohir. Rebellions throughout Mystos - bloody and indecisive at first - began to slowly unnerve those El’ohir who saw the implications of the Mortal Races being free. Little by little, these rebellions and uprisings began to erode the foundation of Immortal power and rule, as Men were slowly becoming more proficient at making war upon their former masters.
Too late, The Three Houses saw the danger for what it was, and called a truce with one another. Marshaling their remaining forces into a unified army, they marched upon the forces of Men and Centaurs. A great battle was fought on the slopes of The Titan's Caldera, pitting the vast armies of Free Men against the last remaining El’ohir and their minions. Though ten thousand heroes fell that day, the battle was won, and the Men of Mystos overthrew their masters once and for all.
Now, almost 30 years after that great battle, many of the ruined cities of Mystos still stand in rubble. The alliance of the Tetragon has become a tenuous one, at best, and many veterans of the Battle of the Titan's Caldera proclaimed themselves as petty kings and warlords after the war, carving up the lands of Mystos into a myriad of tiny, feuding kingdoms and city-states. The Tetragon itself rules over a small league of allied cities known as the Tetrarchy, and the relative prosperity and peace enjoyed by the citizens of the Tetrarchy has attracted the roaming eye of the many warlords who border the lands.
The El’ohir were beaten, but not all of them were slain - nor were their minions. Though exiled from the Free Lands of Mystos, many El’ohir still walk the realms, plotting to retake their domains no matter the cost. Some of their dark minions - including more than a few remaining creations of The Elders (including Wyrms, Hydras, and Giants) - also roam the wilds and the battle-scarred borderlands between kingdoms, looking for unwary travelers to devour.
This is where you, the players, enter the scene.
As simple as it may sound, Mystos is built around the maxim that the rules should never get in the way of a good time.
In development since 2013, the game is based on the rock-paper-scissor concept, where each choice overcomes - and is in turn overcome by - one other choice.
Mystos takes the basic mechanics of paper-rock-scissors and revolutionizes them; improving upon the core principles in two major ways:
1) Mystos entirely removes the cognitive bias of the standard rock-paper-scissors mechanics by replacing hand motions with dice rolls. As your character levels, you are given an increasing number of reroll chances; helping to sway the random nature of die rolls in your favor.
2) Mystos uses the idea of opposed resolution (offense vs. defense). By use of oppositional dice rolls, we take the well-known formula of paper-rock-scissors and turn it on its head. Instead of a single set of variables, we introduce the concept of Offensive and Defensive options for each set of opposed rolls. Thus, you have an Offensive set of paper-rock-scissors-style options, and an entirely different Defensive set. Each action you take in Mythos requires one or both of these Offensive/Defensive roll combinations.
As simple as it is to play, Mystos' game mechanics allow for a surprising variety of encounters and character types through its innovative skill and combat systems.
Mystos Offenses and Defenses:
Melee Offensive Dice have 2 sets of 3 symbols - The Arrow, representing a warrior's speed and cunning, The Dragon, representing a warrior's rage on the field of battle, and The Sword, representing a warrior's strength and dedication.
Melee Defensive Dice have 2 sets of 3 symbols - The Raven, representing a warrior's courage and patience, The Shield, representing a warrior's discipline and steadfastness, and The Tower, representing a warrior's confidence in the face of the enemy.
Magic Offensive Dice have 2 sets of 3 symbols - The Demon, representing the darker side of a wizard's power, symbolizing might and mystical power, The Dragon, representing the chaotic fury of magic, and The Staff, representing a wizard's mastery over his or her powers.
Magic Defensive Dice have 2 sets of 3 symbols - The Circle, representing a wizard's cunning and fortitude, The Henge, representing a wizard's patience and mastery, and The Orb, representing a wizard's foresight and courage in battle.
Each Offensive dice symbol either Defeats, is Warded by, or is Defeated by a Defensive dice symbol.
Defeats: This means the Offensive symbol rolled has defeated the Defensive symbol, causing 1 Wound to the opponent.
Warded by: This means the Offensive symbol rolled was held at bay by the Defensive symbol. Depending on character class and skills, this can mean anything from no damage done to the foe taking a Wound, or even skill-specific benefits being gained!
Defeated by: This means the Offensive symbol rolled was defeated by the Defensive symbol. In most cases, this doesn't cause a Wound to the Offensive player, but grants the Defensive side some sort of benefit.
The following charts detail Offensive symbols (left-hand side in red) and whether they defeat, are warded by, or defeated by the Melee and Magical Defensive symbols in the right-hand columns.
Our Expanded Reward Levels:
Citizen: $1 USD.
We thank you for your support, and will keep you informed of our progress through project updates.
The Shield: $4 USD.
Backers who contribute $4 to Mystos will receive a full-color digital copy of the Mystos map, as well as a personal thank you note from BSE for their generous support.
The Tower: $9 USD.
Backers will receive a .pdf copy of our Quickstart Guide. Within this Quickstart Guide are all the rules necessary to play your first game in the realms of Mystos!
The Centaur: $15 USD.
Backers will receive a .pdf of our Quickstart Guide, and your name will be included in the Guide as a supporter.
The Henge: $20 USD.
Backers at this level will receive a 'Game Set' of 8 Mystos dice - that's 2 x Melee Offensive dice, 2 x Melee Defensive dice, 2 x Magic Offensive dice, and 2 x Magic Defensive dice. Slay your enemies, defend your people, and stand vigil against the coming darkness!
The Raven: $22 USD.
Backers will receive a .pdf copy of our Quickstart Guide, as well as our very first Quest Module: The Sands of Kael, which will take your first Characters in Mystos through their first deadly challenge!
Tier 1 Early Alert!!!: $25 USD (Limit 20 of 20)
The first 20 backers at this level will receive our Quickstart Guide, our first Quest Module, and 8 Mystos Dice! Everything you need to play the game!
The Sword: $35 USD.
Backers will receive all of the Raven-level rewards as well as your own Mystos T-shirt. If funded, backers will receive a survey asking them about their preferences for Size and Color.
The Hydra: $35 USD.
Backers will receive all Raven-Level rewards, plus a set of 8 Mystos Dice!
Tier 2 Early Alert!!!: $50 USD. (Limit 10 of 10)
The first 10 backers at this level will receive the hardcopy version of the Mystos Quickstart Guide, a Mystos T-shirt as well as 8 Mystos Dice, and a .pdf of our Sands of Kael Quest Module!
In the Name of the Elders: $50 USD.
Backers will see a setting-appropriate NPC (name, personality, description, etc.) of their own creation as a permanent resident of Mystos. This individual will appear in multiple Quest Modules and figure prominently in the game's story arcs. *BSE reserves the right to restrict the names and personality traits of said NPC to standards of decency and setting-appropriate norms. Backers will also receive the .pdf of our Quickstart Guide and Sands of Kael Quest Module.
The Demon: $55 USD.
Backers will receive all of the Raven-level rewards, a set of 8 Mystos dice, and a Mystos T-shirt. Their names will also appear in the Quickstart Guide as producers of the game. Your steadfast support will be known to all of those who play our game!
The Dragon: $85 USD.
Backers will receive all of the Raven-level rewards, as well as a full-color 24"x24" map of the realms of Mystos. The map will arrive in a heavy duty shipping tube to ensure its protection during its perilous journey to your home!
The Tetragon: $150 USD.
Backers will receive all Raven-level rewards, 16 Mystos dice, a full color 24"x24" map of Mystos, the Mystos T-shirt, Producer credits in all subsequent Mystos hard copy and digital game material, as well as the eternal gratitude of all of us at Blackstone Entertainment, Inc. You will also have the opportunity to submit your own original setting-appropriate art and or written word for publication, with full creator credit if used in our products.
Risks and challenges
Blackstone Entertainment Inc. is a small, veteran-owned independent game publisher located in the heart of the northern Shenandoah Valley.
Mystos is our very first Kickstarter project, but we have been in the business of independent game design for a while now. Some of you may know us from our '47 Series' system-neutral fantasy gaming supplements on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG. The '47 Series' is a series of inexpensive role playing and story telling aides for game masters and players alike, and is available for purchase on RPGNow.com and DriveThruRPG.com. A few others may know us for our largest ongoing project, the in-development grim fantasy role playing game Greystaff: Legends.
We have entirely finished the rules and setting (as well as the first Quest Module) for Mystos, and now the only step left is the actual manufacturing of our custom-dice.
The manufacture of the uniquely specialized dice used in Mystos is a large financial hurdle, and as a relatively new independent RPG publishing house, we are forced to outsource the effort. Our manufacturers will take between 2-3 months for each batch of custom dice, not counting the time it takes for us to bag and ship them to our customers.
We already have the proof batch, and the designs look awesome (you can take a look at them on our main story page). The level of backing we get here will determine the size of each of our batch orders - hopefully we can order in huge bulk quantities, but we'll make the decision as to how to handle that as things progress.
Should a batch be delayed by unforeseen production or shipping issues, BSE will notify each and every one of our affected backers of the updated delivery dates, and keep you posted as things progress. We will hold ourselves accountable for each and every order, and have a very good system in place to track everything coming in and going out of our shop.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)