Some of you have asked me about MythWalker and what, exactly, it is. To help answer that question, I've added a MythWalker page to this site with a few teasing pieces of information. It can be found under the "MythWalker" link on the left menu.
Now, when I said "teasing," I really DO mean teasing. MythWalker is still deep in early development, and it will change its shape over time as the game gets tested and refined. I'll be posting progress updates here as progress is made, but please know that everything is still fluid.
I've registered for a playtest session at this year's GenCon, and I hope to secure a slot therein and get some feedback from random gamers. The game is far from complete, but it will be beneficial for me to test the current iteration of the core mechanics at this stage. If they're good, then I can move forward with the rest of the game. If not, then I haven't lost too much development time.
So why did you choose to create a card-based role playing game?
I'm a gamer of all sorts. I enjoy console games, PC games, portable games, smartphone / tablet games, tabletop RPGs, collectible card games, miniature games ... I could keep going, but I think the idea is clear. In my explorations of each of these hobbies, I've paid attention to the multitude of player behaviors that surround the games and groups themselves. In particular, I've noticed something with many tabletop RPG gamers that concerns me: the amount of time needed to get a game going.
There is a large amount of preparation needed by a GM to run a tabletop RPG campaign with a particular gaming group. There's also a solid amount of preparation needed by players as well, especially if miniatures are involved. At the most basic, a GM needs to study a printed module's content and prepare assets for the particular session including monster stats, NPC stats, dialogue, plot events, and loot. If the GM is running a completely custom adventure, however, then the preparation needed can increase exponentially. Because of this level of effort, most gaming groups run a tabletop RPG session once a week. Some can manage much more frequently, but my experiences seem to indicate that the once-a-week session is a reliable average for most (my personal gaming group runs once or twice a month).
Compare this schedule to that of your average collectible card game player. How often can a CCG game be played? Does the player have to wait days for his or her opponent to prepare the game? No. Most CCG players will play multiple games in a day. They get their gaming "fix" on a much more frequent basis. The very nature of tweaking one's deck requires multiple test games to truly understand the effectiveness of each change.
I realized that character design in a traditional tabletop RPG can be the same way. How well does one skill work with another? What spells are most effective for my stat build? Should I really spend points on this aspect over that one? All these are questions that come up when building or leveling a tabletop RPG character, but they're done without the benefit of the multiple test sessions that a CCG player has. To me, this is rather disappointing for the player, as he / she cannot truly experience the build any more frequently than once a week. Even MMO's allow players a quick-and-dirty way to test new character builds rather quickly: join up for a random instance or two!
So I began to imagine a game played using only cards. Back in the heyday of the CCG craze, you could easily find fellow players nearby. When Magic: the Gathering was rising, I could walk the halls of my high school and find people playing between classes. And if I wanted to play? I just had to have my deck on me. And, really, how hard is it to carry a deck-sized box of cards on you wherever you go? Portability became something that I wanted to see for this new game. Afterall, a deck of cards is much more portable than a library of hardcovers, a character sheet, dice, and a miniature. And if everyone has the necessary tools to play on them at all times, game frequency increases.
In addition to the portability of cards, I also wanted to eliminate the issue of the "rare GM." This is a problem I noticed mostly from MMO's, but also from traditional tabletop RPGs. There is a huge difference between the number of people creating and managing content for others (GMs, roleplay content, guild leaders, raid organizers, etc) and the number of people consuming said content. This quickly leads to burnout, and burnout quickly reduces the numbers in a pool that's already rather small. I know this effect personally.
Imagine, if you will, a card-based RPG where your deck of cards served as both your character AND an adventure through which other players can run. Imagine further, that EVERY player had the capability of being a GM. Now imagine a world setting constructed to support the idea of the "pick-up" encounter. Imagine a setting where heroes of great power could stride across the cosmos to different worlds and step into a multitude of different adventures. Imagine if your character was no longer restricted to just the one world / setting of your regular GM.
This is the game that I imagined: a game where every player can be a GM; a game where every player has a deck; a game where every player can sit down with any other player and have enjoy the game on their own terms.
This game is MythWalker.