Movement and Action in Myth: Dawn of Heroes

One of the unique traits of the Myth boardgame has always been the way it handles movement and stances. The idea that different kinds of movement provide different bonuses, penalties, and restrictions is built right into the mechanics and the cards themselves.

When we began addressing movement in Dawn of Heroes, we knew that the feel of this gameplay needed to remain, but we had a couple of additional goals:

  • Clarify and distinguish the effects of the stances even further, and
  • Build a system that provides for more non-movement actions.

Let’s talk about how we’re doing that.

Tasks and EP

One of the most dramatic differences veteran players will notice in Dawn of Heroes is the introduction of Tasks. These are objects, people, or locations on the board that the heroes must deal with in some way besides just attacking. Tasks are a further development on the idea of “Non-Combat Actions” from earlier editions. Traps, for example, will no longer have a separate set of rules but will be considered a Task as part of the adventure.

In addition, we want heroes to feel specialized and unique, so different Tasks will require different Skills. You roll Fate Dice and try to match the success symbols designated by the Task description. The difficulty of a task is based on how many successes you need to complete it. So, while a Brigand might be better at Guile tasks like picking a lock, you’ll want the Acolyte to step in when it’s time to heal an NPC.

And how do you get to roll? Well, that requires that the hero be in the right place on the map to attempt the Task and then spend an Exertion Point. You then roll your Fate Dice pool for the attempt. If you have more Exertion Points left, you can attempt again.

Exertion Points replace Movement Points. We needed a new name, because they’re doing so much more than just movement in Dawn of Heroes, and we wanted to make that clear. Other than having a different name and more things to do with them, you can simply translate “EP” to “MP” if you are using new Myth monsters and adventures with Myth classic.

Stances and Gaining EP

One of our design goals for Dawn of Heroes was to make Stances a bit more intuitive but also distinct from each other. In Myth Classic, there are four stances: “No Movement,” “Cautious,” “Normal,” and “Aggressive.”

In DoH, we have effectively kept these four stances, but we are representing them a bit differently. Here’s the way it works:

First, every hero starts each round with zero EP. All EP comes from cards. If you don’t play any cards that gain EP, then you are effectively in “No Movement” stance. However, more hero cards do generate EP to make up for the loss of that base of 2 MP. This means that we can more subtly communicate differences between actions based on how much EP they generate. Players don’t have to understand a “No Movement” stance (which no longer exists) – they can simply understand that they have no movement if they play certain cards.

On the hero cards themselves, there are only two stances listed: Cautious and Aggressive. However, there are three slots on the hero board for your movement token. The third is what we now call the Undecided stance. Being in Undecided stance allows you to play all your cards, but you gain no stance bonuses. Once you choose Cautious or Aggressive (which can happen between card plays), you get all the bonuses of the cards you play in that stance, but also all the restrictions and penalties. You do not return to Undecided until your next refresh phase.

In effect, the Undecided stance replaces the former “Normal” stance. It is a default. You always start your turn there, and you can remain in it as long as you want, but it won’t get you anything extra.

As we get closer to the release of Dawn of Heroes, I’ll share specific examples of hero cards and Tasks and how this all works together. For right now, I just wanted to give everyone an overview of what we’re doing with the new action economy.

7 thoughts on “Movement and Action in Myth: Dawn of Heroes”

  1. John T Coyne says:

    So reading this one question is: Will Loitering still be a thing in DoH? Because not having two base movement points can make it hard to get off the board when cleared.

    1. Eric Simon says:

      Our focus so far has been on adventures, where loitering isn’t a concern at all, because tiles and clear effects are predetermined. Once we have everything tweaked for adventures, we’ll go back to looking at freeform play. But you’re right, it’s very likely that loitering will go by the wayside.

  2. Joshua says:

    To my mind, the term “undecided” implies a decision must be made. But that is not the case, as a character may remain in an “undecided” stance. I’d think “neutral” would be a more intuitive name for this stance.

    In the long run, it doesn’t matter. I will adjust to the terminology. Just a thought.

    I really like the Task and EP changes!

  3. R says:

    I think Movement Points sounds much better than Exertion Points. Besides, movement doesn’t have to mean moving your legs.

  4. Jerry says:

    Exertion sounds right as it covers the energy physical and mental required to prepare a spell, incantation, weapon(Bow, throwing , cleaving. . . I), heal or at 0 take a pause and recover.

    l am less convinced on undecided, maybe static or even motionless though that implies no motion which may not be the case. Maybe even in transition but I feel it needs to be short like staging, shifting, transient or in flux.

  5. Nathan (Aielman) says:

    To be honest after reading alot of the posts today, I think you guys are on the right track! While I have loved the myth system, it can be a PAIN to play because everything is so poorly defined. Conversely, it really sounds like all of the new heros are a huge step forward in the right direction, even if that does mean I have to buy another game to use my minis.

    This movement issue is the perfect example, with EP on the cards you now have a more flexable way to use your cards and what you can do is defined by what you play and is a CLEAR distinction. One of the old issues was trying to remember which stance you were currently in based on a card you played 15 minutes ago and which bonus you took.

    EP sounds like it will be a better fit if it does more then move, and undecided… I mean nuetral sounds better, but I get you need to change the them so as to not mix the two systems. Personally, I like Balanced, as it states more that you are taking no strong action but giving yourself the option of switching later. As long as its fun, the name isn’t a concern in my book.

  6. Brian says:

    I’d agree with Nathan. Cleaning up the terminology and flow of play in the game is critical to making this game successful outside of a Kickstarter. 2.0 cleaned up a lot of the biggest problems with consistent wording, but the game still had serious functionality and accessibility issues.

    I remember opening my box in April of 2014, excited to try the game out so I could teach my roommates the game that evening. And I spent the next three hours with the rulebook trying to figure out how to set the game up and start the first turn. When we did play, we got a trap in the first room that killed the whole group. We spent the next hour trying to figure out what went wrong.

    The design team here seems to have taken those problems to heart (I’m very relieved to hear the trap system is getting some design attention) and I’m impressed with what I’m hearing so far.

    I’m excited to learn more about Dawn of Heroes and what the next edition will bring to the table.

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