Sunday, June 2, 2013

Obscure RPG Appreciation: Man, Myth & Magic pt. III

This is a continuation of my Obscure RPG Appreciation Day overview of Yaquinto's Man, Myth & Magic game. Click here to read part I of the series.


Briton Druid
A major part of MM&M is the concept of Reincarnations. As the game states, "In MM&M, you reincarnate anew for each adventure, enabling you to experience a vast variety of viewpoints and abilities. And from incarnation to incarnation, you carry something of your past experience with you, building up a character type as far beyond your first (character) as a man is beyond an amoeba."

No pressure! Note that in MM&M, and "adventure" is more like what would be a "campaign" in D&D, spanning the equivalent of three to seven adventure modules.
Roman Gladiator

I mentioned in my last post that a character's Accumulated Power affects the Reincarnation Process in two ways:

First, when a character with 200 or more Power dies and the player "Incarnates" (rolls up) a new character and gets one of the same Class, he may ignore this result and reroll until he comes up with a different class. Once a player accumulates 200 Power in a Class, they are done with that Class if they so choose to be. This incarnation is a completely new character starting with zero Power.

Second, a character with 200 or more Power may voluntarily undergo a Reincarnatory Metamorphosis ("one of the most spectacular achievements in MM&M"). By act of will, the character is transformed into a new being, retaining all the character's original possessions and Characteristics (except Skill and Power). Think of it like one of Doctor Who's reincarnations. The player rolls for a new Nationality, Class and Skill level. All Power is lost, except that gained from gold possessed.
Hibernian Leprechaun

For every 25 points of Power the character has accumulated at the time of Reincarnatory Metamorphosis, the character has a 1% chance of retaining a Distant Memory. This allows the character to retain the skills and abilities of his previous Class in his new incarnation. Essentially, this is the way to multiclass in MM&M. A Greek Warrior may reincarnate as an Egyptian Sorcerer and retain his memories and skills as a warrior. The character would have two Skill levels, one for Combat and one for Sorcery. The Warrior/Sorcerer may reincarnate again as say, a Hibernian Leprechaun. He may retain both his previous memories and be a Warrior/Sorcerer/Leprechaun (as silly as that sounds).

Optional Characteristics

Visigoth Barbarian
In addition to the seven primary Characteristics, there are 24 additional Optional Characteristics that may be rolled up. These include Agility, Charm, Determination, Dexterity, Drinking (!!), Devotion, Hearing, Height, Language, Loyalty, Luck, Mental Stability, Read & Write, Senses, Sight, Stealth, Swimming, Throwing, Weight, City Knowledge, Desert Knowledge, Mountain Knowledge, Sea Knowledge and Woods Knowledge. The player rolls d100 to determine the starting levels for each Characteristic (except Luck), modified by Nationality and Class.

The Luck Characteristic is generated by rolling d10 divided by 3 (round up). These points may be used as "mulligans" to reroll failed rolls during the game. Luck points are regenerated at the end of an adventure (though, that should probably read the end of a scenario).

Drinking is used to stave off the effects of intoxicating beverages (this ability decreases by 5% for each drink consumed). Senses (unlike Sight or Hearing) is more like "Intuition," used to avoid stepping on a trap at the last moment. Determination is how many times a character will attempt a non-combat action, such as starting a fire, before giving up. Loyalty determines a character's loyalty to the party, Nationality or character class. However, Devotion also refers to the player's devotion to his party and I don't know which one takes precedence. Height and Weight are used with another table to determine height and weight. A Leprechaun character is never more than 4 feet tall.

As we saw in my last post, this game has a universal task resolution system called the MM&M Paradox. It seems this system is not used with Optional Characteristics. Instead, the rules specify a typical percentage-based system where d100 is thrown to score less than the Characteristic in question, such as rolling under Agility to climb a tree or under Throwing to throw something at a target. However, other examples of Optional Characteristics indicate that rolling low against the Characteristic indicates failure. Also, when a character gets drunk, their Characteristics are "either doubled or halved, whichever is worse for the player." What does that mean? When is having a high stat a bad thing? This chapter needs a good round of editing.

Weapon Skill and More Combat Details

Roman Centurian
The SPECIAL WEAPONS HANDLING ABILITIES rule allows characters to have different skills with different weapon types. The To Hit Number with a Sword is affected by Agility, Skill, Speed and Strength. The Archery THN is affected by Sight, Dexterity and Skill. Other weapon categories include Thrown, Bludgeon, Dagger/Knife and Axe. This reminds me of the Chaosium/Runequest RPG system where many abilities may affect hit chances, not just Strength or Dexterity.

When combat begins, initiative goes to the unit with the highest First Strike Capacity (Speed + Courage). The number of strikes a unit may make in combat before resting is equal to  ((Endurance/10[RU]) + (Courage/20[RD])). A unit's Combined Modifier Figure (Skill + Strength) is added to an opponent's THN when attempting to dodge an attack. I have no idea why it isn't called "Dodge Value" or something. Note that a character's Speed value is reduced by any armor worn.

Next up, we'll take a look at Magic!


  1. I forgot all about this game! I bought it when it first came out, through mail-order from some comic book ad. That was so long ago, I've since lost it ages past. But I do recall a creature in it called either a Nightfang or Nightwing. If you make another post on this game, could you post that pic of this creature? I didn't recall about the characters coming back like that regenerating in Dr Who. That's a cool idea!

    1. Say, do you happen to remember which comic book it was advertised in? Space Gamer magazine #60 has a review that mentions MM&M's "expensive ad campaign, including ads in a major comic book line."

      Unfortunately, I am missing the original Adventure book that came with the rule set. I think the Nightfang/wing was probably in that book. I do plan on posting images from later, published adventures.

    2. When I get my comics back from my storage space soon I'll try and find it. I think I came across it last year, but I may not have as my memory is such that I can recall most of what I remember with the same clarity. I do remember that it was likely in 1982 and was in the first page after the cover. Likely in a Doctor Strange.

    3. DC's: The Warlord, issue 60 1982 is where I have it advertised on the inside cover. The following issue (61) it's gone and replaced by the cinema masterpiece "Megaforce"...Dungeons and Dragons takes the back cover to advertise.

  2. Personally, I enjoy the idea of taking a character all the way into "old age," should "he" survive his many adventures. If "he dies, he dies. I'm not really thrilled with the "reincarnation" aspect.

    Given that this is a teaching and belief of a specific type of religion, how does it work? I mean, surely every character in the game doesn't share the same religious views?

    Does the game simply same: "This is the way it really works and anyone who doesn't believe is simply wrong in their religious views."?


    1. I think that the reincarnation rules may match the game designer's (James Herbert Brennan) beliefs more than the characters' beliefs. He's written a number of books on occult and parapsychological subjects. He also lectures about reincarnation, the astral plane, dreamwork, magical training and so on. According to his bio, his Masters dissertation was on spirit communication.

      You can see his website here: