I find myself wistfully missing the sight of Ilium
from the hills of Lemnos' eastern shores, back in the Age of Bronze. I
put my arm around Athena and recall when she was Chryse, the Golden One,
and I Herakles, the Idean Daktyl who brought the Mysteria to the
camel-shaped isle we once called home, and then to Samothraki.
Athena and I await him in the garden perched high atop our towering
edifice on Mount Olympus. All is ready. Refreshments and entertainment
will commence on cue. Our marble-white landing port, bathed in the first
rays of Helios, shines like a beacon, celebrating the dawn of a new
Slowly, the fiery orb
makes its way across the sky and toward our tower. As it draws closer,
its path separates from the sun's. The assembled nobility, though jaded, gasps in astonishment at the cleverness of this illusion. In moments it is upon us. Gilbert the
Shaper has arrived! Grooms rush out to tend to the comfort of his solar
steeds and park his gleaming golden chariot. Kores and Kouroi, dressed
in white chitons, strew fresh rose petals in his path and escort him to
the small temple in our garden, where we are seated on matching thrones.
Our herald and seer, Tiresias, announces his presence. We stand to welcome him, as an equal.
not all of them human, gyrate wildly to the heavenly music of lyre and pipe.
Minoan Leapers vault over prize-bulls from Poseidon's herd. Golden
memories of Myrmidons long dead re-enact their exploits from the battle
that irrevocably bound us all to the human psyche...
Gallo stands before us. After the formulaic ritual of greeting, and the
exchange of gifts, we seat ourselves. A matching throne opposite ours
has been brought for our honored guest. and I am looking forward to
exploring Mythos, Olympus Inc, and the other wonders this son of Italy
has wrought. Nektar and ambrosia, as well as many types of grape, are
then served. The
musicians and athletes withdraw to the landing port, allowing us to
comfortably converse with each other.
Part I: Gilbert's Legendary Journey
we are seated, cheeses,
yogurt, honey and other delicacies are served to us, while the main course,
an Erymanthian boar, is being expertly prepared by our warrior-chefs.
Hercules:Greetings O noble Gilbert! Thank you very much for accepting our
invitation to share the tale of Mythos, Olympus Inc and all of your
other active Portals to Olympian Adventure.
Gilbert:I am really honored to meet you, O noble son of Zeus! We finally
fulfill the Oracle's prophecy that foresaw our meeting.
That is indeed so! How were you
first called to explore the timeless wonders of Olympian Mythology?
Actually, I was born in Italy, the same
land where the sorceress Circe lived. Italian culture is full of
Greek mythological references: statues everywhere, ancient Greek
temples, precious artifacts in the museums but above all "fairy
tales". When I was a little kid, my grandma always used myths to
raise me as a good child: "don't be greedy as Midas",
"don't be too proud as Arachne", "listen to your
grandma's advice, or you'll end up like Icarus" and "you're
as beautiful as Apollo". Well, now I know she lied sometimes,
but she did it for a good reason. Nevertheless, I think that was the
moment when my curiosity started growing bigger and bigger, and I
finally fell in love with Greek Mythology.
Hercules:Such passions often take root during our earliest years. What games
did you love playing as a child?
When I was young I loved playing in the
open with my friends and I also liked reading myths and fairy tales
from all over the world. And video games, of course. Both coin-ops
and consoles. I think that video games are one of the best medias to
interactively learn myths!
Hercules:I agree with you wholeheartedly O noble Gilbert. In fact, I often
weave video game content into my adventures. You are building quite a
legend in the RPG arena. How did you first discover them?
Actually, I discovered game books first.
Game books are a sort of "solo RPGs". I still have them
all, and I'm very proud of my collection, which of course includes
the Greek Mythology series "the Cretan Chronicles". One
day, a friend of mine invited me to his house to play a "new
game" that was even better than game books: the D&D red box!
That was the fatal moment when I discovered tabletop RPGs: I was 13
years old and since then I never stopped enjoying these kind of
the Seer, anticipating my interests, jots down “Cretan Chronicles”
on a wax tablet with his stylus. By day's end, locating copies will
the focus of a novice hero's quest. We are brought dolmades, and
grilled lamb on skewers.
Hercules:Was Mythos your first attempt at merging Mythology with role playing?
created different rulesets and settings before, but Mythos was the
first that was genuinely set in the Greek Mythological scenario.
Hercules: What other worlds did you enjoy adventuring in?
Well, old school gamers like myself grew
up with the classics: Mystara, Krynn, Ravenloft, Middle Earth,
Cyberpunk 2020. I particularly like the Conan universe, where we
played for many years thanks to a friend of mine's custom rule set. We
always employed house rules and customized settings so to create the
perfect blend that suited us best.
Hercules: I ran Conan campaigns for decades and reviewed every Conan RPG release by
Mongoose many years ago. What Muse inspired you to create Mythos?
Nobody else but Calliope, the muse of
Epic poetry mother of Orpheus! One day she visited my dreams and
invited me to create a Greek Mythological RPG setting because the
world needed one. When I woke up, I knew what my mission was.
Hercules: That sounds exactly like something that she would do, and you did
well to heed her! Can you please explain the premise of the game?
game is set in the world of Greek Mythology: a flat earth encircled
by the river Oceanus. The Olympian gods rule the world from mount
Olympus and walk frequently on earth, influencing mortal lives. Alas,
the Olympians are powerful and vain: in order to keep them at bay
Zeus started the Heavenly contest: the god who will have the greatest
number of human followers in 1000 years will be his successor. This
way, all the Gods focused on mortal affairs instead of plotting
against him, at least that's what he hopes. While the Gods scheme on
Olympus, on the Earth a lot of heroes are born: either Demigods or
mortals who join the mystery cults of a God, gaining incredible
powers. Heroes are the gods' champions, who should act as shining
examples in order to attract people to temples to ensure the god's
final victory in a thousand year. Heroes depend on a god's favor:
should they disappoint their immortal masters, they would lose their
powers or worse. Heroes live a very dangerous life: fighting terrible
monsters, undergoing difficult
quests and facing difficult choices to attain divine blessing and
Hercules:That is truly epic, and very focused! What type of incarnations are
allowed in the world of Mythos? Is it restricted to those of Olympian
blood? To mortal-born hero-warriors? Gaia's nature-born get? Athenian
market philosophers? Amazons?
In Mythos core book you can play two
different kind of "races": Demigods or humans who joined
Mystery Cults (Initiates).
have Olympian blood in them, they are more powerful than Initiates
but have less freedom and more problems. Their life is constantly
watched by their divine parent and is constantly challenged by their
divine parent's immortal enemies. A lot of powers with a lot of
problems. I guess you know what I'm talking about, right Hercules?
Hercules:Alas, that is truly so my friend!
Initiates are far more powerful than an average human but not
as powerful as a Demigod. They acquire their powers joining the
secret Mystery Cults (each God has its cults). They can choose which
Cults to join so they can have different powers deriving from
different Gods (but this way they must comply to different whims).
Gods are not so obsessed with them and tend to forgive them more if
compared to Demigods.
the "Wine and Blood" expansion you can also play as a Satyr
while in the "Queen of the Labyrinth" you can play as
Minospawn, the Minotaur's offspring.
Hercules: How can those who enter Mythos evolve? Can a mortal eventually attain
to full godhood at the end of their mortal sojourn?
Heroes evolve according to their
choices, both physically and spiritually. They can acquire lands,
riches and incredible artifacts. At the same time they can become
stronger, faster or wiser. It's up to them to decide. The only limit
is: your patron God(s) decide your "superhuman" growth. You
cannot join a Mystery Cult your patron God doesn't approve. Human
Initiates can change their patron God (incurring his wrath, of
course!) but Demigods can't.
Hercules: Can one still enjoy these splendors by adhering to differing systems?
I see that both Savage Worlds and EGS are listed
You're right! In order to let as many
people as possible enjoy the marvels of the greek mythology, we
adapted the setting to two different rulesets: SW and EGS. Each
system has its unique features that make the game experience more
enjoyable for some players. Alternatively, feel free to get
inspiration from the setting and adapt it to your own rules: I did it
myself a lot of times with a lot of different settings!
Hercules:Thank you for your wise words my frend. That is advice well worth heeding! Please tell us about this tome, tiled Mythos Quick Start Guide.
pleasure! The Quick
Start Guide is a brief introduction to the Mythos world for those who want to
dive directly into Mythos world without having to read all the
necessary stuff first. It features an adventure: "The Argonauts’
Legend" , five pre-generated characters and all the mechanics
necessary to use those characters without the need of the core rules.
This is a great way to introduce players and GMs to the Mythos
setting, along with providing current fans with a full adventure
module. Try it, you won't regret it!
Hercules: I can vouch for the truth your words my friend!
we are treated to succulent mezedhes from the sea.
Increasingly more of the nobles and entertainers have gathered around
us to hear Gilbert's tale. All seems well, but Tiresias signals that
we have an apparition in our midst.
Part II: The Mythos of Mythos
While Tiresias and the other Seers work on determining the identity of our invisible intruder, Gilbert and I continue with our conversation.
Hercules: What does the Mythos Core Setting Guide cover?
The Mythos Core Setting Guide is THE guide to fully dive into
the Mythos universe. It features all the important concepts: the
complete story line of the world, all necessary info to create your
own character, a lot of geographical info and mythological
references, a horde of mythological monsters and the description of
some Royal Houses who strive for power (more can be found in the
supplements). I was nearly forgetting that in the course book you
will find the descriptions of the Gods, their roles in the Heavenly
contest and how to anger or appease them. Don't mess with the Gods,
or you'll regret it!
Hercules: Your words are wise my friend, would that mortals heeded them more!
I am about to ask about the Hero's Handbook and Epic
Gamemastering, when the apparition fully materializes. Our Mages and Sages ready their mageia, but I hold up my hand and bid them cease, for before us stands the wise Aaron T. Huss, Visionary Leader of Mystical Throne Entertainment.
Aaron: The Hero's Handbook and Epic
Gamemastering books were actually a publishing decision. The core
setting guide is a large, expensive full-color core rulebook in
hardcover. To make it more affordable for players and the casual GM,
the Hero's Handbook and Epic Gamemastering books were published as
lower cost, black-and-white paperbacks. Hero's Handbook contains all
the player content from the core setting guide and Epic Gamemastering
contains all the GM content (setting, background information,
bestiary, adventures, etc.) from the core setting guide.
Hercules:Thank you very much Aaron.
Please, help yourself to some food and drink. We are
Greeks. There is still plenty of everything left.
from the air are served us, and our beverages refreshed. A
throne is then brought for Aaron, and he is treated with all the
honor and respect due an honored guest. A sampler of all the food
that had previously been presented to us is brought to him on a
golden tray. Once he is settled, my conversation with Gilbert
I see that there are now a series of expansions as well!
Can you tell us about Wine and Blood?
Wine and Blood is the first expansion of the Mythos universe
and it's mainly focused on Dionysus's death and rebirth as Zagreus,
who enters the Heavenly contest (up to that moment the only
contestants were Ares, Aphrodite, Apollo, Athena, Hades and
Poseidon). New "Dionisiac" character archetypes to play
(and a new race: Satyrs), new mystery cults to join, new lands to
explore (India is one of them!) and new monsters to face, never
forgetting to have good time! Believe me, Zagreus' followers are
among the craziest and funniest characters ever made: imagine a
Maenad who forces everyone around to dance the way she wants! If you
thought "bard-like" characters were harmless, well, think
Hercules: What can you share about Queen of the Labyrinth?
No secrets for you, O Mighty Tamer of
Cerberus! "Queen of the Labyrinth" is the second expansion
of the Mythos universe focused on Hera, who decides to "secretly"
join the heavenly contest after hearing the news of Zagreus racing
for the Olympus throne (as you know well, she deeply hates every
single child born from Zeus's illicit affairs). It features new
character archetypes (like summoners), new mystery cults to join, the
playable Minospawn race and focuses on the Island of Crete and its
magnificent Labyrinth. It features a great system to create/navigate
into a maze (and hopefully come out alive) and a lot of info about
this incredible masterwork of Daedalus.
Hercules: Truly epic! And the Battle of Thermopylae?
Battle of Thermopylae is a spin-off of
the Mythos universe. It's an adventure based on a question: what
would have happened if the Heroes of the Heroic Age of Mythology
faced the Persians at the Thermopylae? Face the Persians in this
scenario where anything can happen and seize this unique chance to
re-write history with your bravery!
Hercules: Are there plans to generate more Core Books or Expansions?
Actually, I'd like to write at least
four more expansions, based on the four "missing" Olympians
who will join the Heavenly Contest: Artemis, Hephaestus, Demeter and
Hermes. There are a lot of mythological places and populations I'd
like to describe: if need arises we can do more than four expansions.
Hercules: That would truly be awesome! How about creating even more Portals from other systems?
I like the idea of seeing how the Mythos world runs with different
game systems. Of course I have my own preferences, but I think that
every different system adds a little "flavor" to some
aspects that are not focused in other systems. I would really see a
D20 , Fate or Basic version of Mythos, but I'd play whatever other
system. It's amazing how a different game system can change the game
experience even if you maintain the same setting, and I'll be really
curious to experience it in as many rule sets as possible.
Aaron: We cannot definitively answer if other systems will be
explored or actually be developed.
Hercules: Thank you Aaron! Gilbert, what is your ultimate vision for Mythos?
My ultimate goal is to make a setting
that shows the great features of Greek Mythology: the mood, the
places and the characters (both human and divine ones). All RPGs take
great amount of inspiration from Greek Mythology: monsters, gods,
artifacts, power struggles. I think that nothing is like the
original, so my dream is to let players shape their stories in the
"original" scenario that inspired every subsequent one. In
Mythos you can be a member of the Royal Houses who inspired most of
the tragedies (for example, the Atreides) and play a game of power
struggles that would dwarf every season of GoT. You can fight against
the "true" minotaur in the "true" labyrinth, or
face a "true" siren etc. That's fantasy in its original,
How can we best locate you, and follow your current deeds and
Gilbert: First of all, I'll be glad to wine and dine every single hero who
comes to visit me in Italy! That's how hospitality works in Mythos!
Otherwise, you can be updated on our exploits following Mystical
Throne Entertainment, the Mythos FB page, adding me as a FB friend or
sending me an email to email@example.com.
I welcome any opinion, comment or suggestion so don't hold anything
Aaron: Fans can also learn about new Mythos
developments in our monthly online newsletter, called the Throne
Report, and products are available for purchase at the Mystical
Throne Entertainment webstore, DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, Paizo, and
crowd applaudes loudly. Gilbert and Aaron's timing proves impeccable
as the warrior-chefs soon clang their long knives on the
shield-shaped serving plates, signaling that dinner (roast
Erymanthean boar) will soon be served. We rise from our thrones and
mingle with the crowd as we make our way to the dining area.
Erymanthian Boar is indeed delicious! Gilbert and Aaron are a great
hit with the crowd on Mount Olympus. Aaron informs us that he must
leave to fulfill one of his many creative, visionary and
decision-making responsibilities. It turns out that Gilbert also has
other commitments. Aaron fades from view, and I seize the opportunity
to ask Gilbert a few more questions whilst his chariot is being
Hercules:Before we part ways... What can you tell us about Olympus Inc?
Gilbert:Olympus Inc. is a modern-fantasy setting that mixes the epic of the
greek mythology with a cyberpunk mood and attitude. We call it
"Olympunk". In a world that appears identical to our own,
the Titans of myth have deposed the upstart Olympians and now rule
the heavens. But Zeus and the other gods of Olympus have found a new
way to harvest the power of worship—through mankind’s love of
money! Step into a world of shadowy politics, satyr cyber-raiders,
demigods, and an ongoing clandestine war for control of the
Hercules:How can one incarnate into this new world?
In Olympus Inc. you play as a Demigod who has some divine
genes in his DNA and suddenly "awakens" his/her divine
powers. You can either be a:
Demigod (a.k.a. the golden-ichored): the purest bloodline. You
descend from a single Olympian bloodline or a certain Olympian
bloodline is predominant in your genes. You manifest very powerful
powers chosen from a very limited list that represent your divine
ancestor's areas of influence. Alas, this means you will have also
the defects/hindrances of that ancestor too.
Demigod (a.k.a. the impure). You descend from more than one divine
bloodline but none is predominant over the others. You can choose
which power to manifest from a virtually unlimited array of powers,
although you start less powerful than a golden-ichored one.
Fortunately, you don't have the genetic drawbacks of the
Demigods (a.k.a the shapeshifters). You descend from a single
Demihuman divinity or those genes are predominant in your DNA. You
can shapeshift between a human form (in which you can manifest only a
little part of your powers) and a "divine form" where you
are at full power and are impervious to mundane damage. Demihumans
are either Satyrs or Minospawns.
you will do with your powers is up to you to decide, Olympunk! Watch
out, it's full of ichor-thirsty monsters out there!
Hercules:That is very exciting! When will it be released?
Gilbert:Hopefully, this will be our new year's gift for all our fans! I'd
like to seize this opportunity to thank them all for their support!
Hercules:An awesome way to greet the new year! There are also rumors of a Mythos LARP.
LARP is a "newborn" expansion of the Mythos universe. A
friend of mine created it and it's developing that part. I'm just
overseeing the whole process.
Hercules:We would be honored to conduct separate Mythic Interviews on Olympus
Inc and the Mythos LARP. Would you do us the honor of granting these
Gilbert:Well, as soon as I come back from the Circean Boar Hunt I'll be happy
to visit you all again! Is it OK for you?
Excellent, we will schedule it then, at your earliest
convenience. Thank you once again Gilbert! I greatly appreciate your
granting us this interview, and wish the greatest success in all your
Thank you O Mighty Hercules for your exquisite hospitality. I
will leave into your custody my shield: crimson as the setting sun
and white as Hera's arms embroidered with the crest of my hometown,
Bari. Please accept it as my sincere gift for your great hospitality,
Heracles son of Zeus. May the Gods be favorable to you. Farewell.
This is a generous gift indeed Gilbert!
I will treasure it always. Thank you and farewell my friend!
then approaches, and places a wreath of living Olive from her Sacred
Tree atop Gilbert's head. This is the greatest honor that we could
bestow a-mortal born Shaper, one that truly knows that creativity is
humanity's most divine gift.
crowd applauds Gilbert, and he waves to them as he makes his way back
to his celestial chariot. It is once again hitched to his fiery
horses, who eagerly await him.
steers them West, towards Helios and the Sunset Lands. Soon he has
become one, in our eyes, with the tireless Titan charioteer.
my throne: Tomes that will soon immerse me into the worlds of Mythos and beyond.