GM Notes (FATE)   Posted by Gamemaster.Group: 0
 GM, 15 posts
Mon 12 Aug 2019
at 07:08
GM Notes (FATE)

Mythos is a new Skill representing a characterís knowledge of and exposure to the horrible realities of Thing That Mankind Was Not Meant to Know. Unlike other skills, characters without the Mythos skill are not assumed to have any significant knowledge of the Unthinkable at all, and thus this skill cannot be defaulted to or used in any way until it has been raised to at least Average (+1). Further, no character may begin play with this skill, nor may it be intentionally advanced at Milestones. Mythos is only advanced through confrontations with the Unknowable or through the careful study of a few, specific books. See the Advancement section below for details.
  • Overcome: You can use the Mythos skill when forced to face the Unimaginable. When presented with a non-Euclidean stairwell the seemingly goes on forever, or an unnatural fog that rises up to conceal the terrors of the night, you call upon your experience with the Mythos to see through the illusions of the mind and see what is really confronting you.
  • Create an Advantage: You can use Mythos to draw upon your knowledge of the Impossible and to help deduce whatever vulnerabilities it may have. To do this you can create aspects on on yourself that indicate your ability to see past the horror of each aberration or to identify some weakness in the Unfathomable thing that you are confronting.
  • Attack: Mythos is not usually used to Attack.
  • Defend: Mythos is not usually used to Defend.

  • Donít look at it!: With the expenditure of a Fate Point, use Mythos to Create an Advantage to help another character to see the Impossible without damaging their sanity.
  • Elder Sign: Given time to inscribe the proper runes and sigils the character may use Mythos to make a Defend action to stop the supernatural agents of the Inconceivable from taking conflict actions against himself or a zone that he has protected. Inscribing such a sign is difficult however, and doing so properly costs a Fate point.
  • Descent into Madness: The character has begun travelling a path that can only end in the cost of his mind and soul. With this Stunt the character may use his Mythos skill to cast any spells that he may have discovered in ancient, dusty tomes. This Stunt may be taken more than once. If taken additional times it can either decrease the costs to Mental Stress from spellcasting by one (to a maximum of 3) or at +2 to rolls to cast spells from a specific tome (this benefit does not stack, though it may be taken separately for different books). Not that the use of certain spells or careful study of certain tomes may require a character to take this Stunt, even if it taking it an additional time would gain the character no bonus or reduces his Refresh to 0 and removes him from play.


Mythos is not purchased at creation or advanced at Milestones like other skills. Instead, points in Mythos are gained by encounters with the Extraordinary which cause enough Mental Stress to result in a Moderate or greater Consequence or through the careful study of Things Man Was Not Meant to Know by reading forbidden books and other complex Mythos writings.


The Mythos skill lowers your ability to cope with the stresses of daily life and separate reality from possibilities of the Unbelievable. As Mythos advances a character must subtract mental stress boxes. Average (+1) or Fair (+2) removes the characterís highest Mental Stress box. Good (+3) or Great (+4) removes the two highest Mental Stress boxes. Given enough skill or practice however the characterís mind learns to work around its deficiencies. A skill of Superb (+5) and above gives him an additional Moderate Consequence slot along that can only be used to offset mental harm.
 GM, 16 posts
Mon 12 Aug 2019
at 07:19

Sanity is a new trait (an Extra) that models the stability of the world view of the character, everyone starts with Good (+3) but a good background or other circumstances at the GM's discretion might raise or lower that by one.

Sanity is the amount of grasp the character has on the mundane reality and the main defense agains the creatures of the Mythos. If the character sees a mangled corpse, then that is an attack on the psyche and not on the sanity of the character, as a dead person is definitely a mundane reality. It might be upsetting and the character might be devastated by the experience but the mind isn't shattered as if Cthulhu itself would have appeared.

Once the character is confronted with the Mythos, Sanity is used to be able to withstand this attack on the sane mind. The occurrence from the Mythos has a Sanity value from Average (+1) to far beyond Legendary (+ 8) and the character has to roll a passive opposition to keep his wits about him against the Sanity value of the Mythos entity. Rather simple and believable spells that can be rationalized are Average, while spells that are harder to ignore like summoning spells (and the arrival of the entity) are Fair or Good. Hideous objects like carvings on the portal door to the ancient, ritual caves or daggers can have a Sanity value of Mediocre (0) or lower. Creatures like Byakhees or Mi-Gos are Great (+4) and the more mind shattering the creature the higher the value, all depending on the situation and how much the character sees or understands.

If the character succeeds the character's sanity and world view held for the onslaught and if he succeeded with style he might gain one step in the Mythos Skill if the situation warrants it.

A character cannot have higher Sanity then Supberb (+5) minus the rating in the Mythos skill, if the Mythos skill in increased the Sanity is immediately decreased to the maximum.

Each character have two Sanity stress boxes, that works as the ordinary stress boxes, worth 1 and 2 respectively, and three slots for Psychosis, which are similar to Consequences, worth 2, 4 and 6. It is possible to have several psychoses at the same value, e.g. three 2 Psychoses and two 6 Psychoses. It is up to the GM to decide if and when a character might take a second Psychoses at a certain level, but it should be restricted.

Psychosis and the effect of the Mythos

When a character encounters the Mythos he has to overcome a passive opposition, equal to the Sanity value of the encounter, with his Sanity. If the character fails, he can take Sanity stress just as if it had been a Mental or Physical attack. If that is not enough, the character can either succumb to the nightmarish onslaught on the vary fabric of reality and accept that this is too much for the brain to accept, and become temporarily insane. Otherwise the character might take a Psychosis, just in the same way as the character could have taken a consequence in combat.

A Psychosis can only be treated with therapy and requires the three times as many weeks of relative full time therapy as the value of the Psychosis slot to remove a Psychosis, e.g. 18 weeks of therapy is needed to remove a 6 Psychosis.

A Psychosis functions as a negative Aspect and will decrease any rolls by -2 where it is applicable, but without the bonus of a Fate point. (Kind GMs might allow for the Fate point reward.) The higher the value of the Psychosis the more frequent it will be invoked and the broader the interpretation of applicable situations should be, at the GM's discretion.

That means, that a "The Shadows Hides Evil Enemies" Psychosis will be invoked in dark basements and creepy places like the forest at night if worth two, but a level six Psychosis will affect the character as soon as there is some darker shadows cast in the lit room.

E.g. the character Ellen, played by Daniel, has a level four "The Shadows Hides Evil Enemies" Psychosis and enters a dark hotel room where the cultist the investigators are looking for lives. As far as Ellen knows, the cultist is out of town on some errand. The GM asks Daniel for a Notice roll to listen if anyone is in there, in a room full of dark shadows... Daniel is told it is a Fair obstacle and the he then rolls Notice, which is Average (+1), and nets 0 on the dice. This is a result of +1, but this is reduced by two by the Psychosis to a total of minus one, a failure. Ellen does not notice that the cultist is at home, until he attacks...

Exactly in which situations the Psychosis is triggered is up to the GM and the group, the some might affect every roll in combat, others might not. It all depends on the Psychosis, the tone of the game and the group's decision.


Should the character fail at a Sanity roll and cannot, or do not want to, use stress or accept a Psychosis, then that character is taken out, which means that he becomes temporarily insane. This will last for at least the current scene and/or as long as the GM decides. A failure of one shift should render the character insane for at least one scene and at least a few hours, two shifts for at least a day and so on. A spectacular failure when the investigators faces a Great Old One or Outer God should make the characters brain shut down for months or even years. An insane character should be handled as under the control of whoever controls the Mythos side in the conflict, that means that the character might end up dead in some way or the other, or in some other dimension without a map to find his way back.

An additional effect of becoming insane is that the Sanity of the character is reduced by at least one. The character might lose more Sanity at the GMs discretion, e.g. if the character failed spectacular or if the encounter had a Sanity value of more then five. The character might also gain some insight in the Mythos and have the Mythos skill increased by one.

E.g. Ellen is attacked by the cultist that casts a spell that transforms the air in the room into a dark vortex that tries to engulf Ellen. The GM thinks that a Sanity roll is called for and Daniel rolls -1, which isn't is so good as the spell has a Sanity value of Fair (+2), Ellen's Sanity is Good (+3) and The Shadows did hide evil enemies (-2), to a total of -1+3-2 which gives a Mediocre result and is a failure with two shifts. Ellen could take Sanity Stress and move on, but an recent encounter down in the lobby has filled the stress boxes. Daniel is considering to take another Psychosis, but both Daniel and the GM think that it fits the story much better if Ellen is so overwhelmed by the sight that she succumbs to insanity and her friends see her engulfed in the dark vortex and the last thing they hear of her is her terrified scream, cut short as she is, unknown to them, teleported to the terrifying Plateau of Leng.
 GM, 17 posts
Tue 13 Aug 2019
at 06:29
It's April 15th 1912, and the PCs have just survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic and are drifting in an open boat in the North Atlantic.  They are picked up by the SS Horizon, bound for New York with a cargo which includes some odd archaeological specimens.  One of the PCs (secretly an NPC) has in his possession a strange artefact.

Titanic hit iceberg at 23:40 14/4, and sank at 02:20 15/4.

The boat had room for 68 occupants, but only contains forty.

S.S. Horizon.  A freighter (occasionally carrying passengers) between Liverpool and New York.

1200 tons.  12 crew, 7 passengers,

235 ft, 12 ft beam.

Top speed: 15 knots.  Ordinary speed: 12 knots.