There are so many table-top RPGs out there, and they all have something to offer. Something special. Something unique. Even the D&D retro clones all have something different and unique to offer that official versions of D&D don’t have.
So what has MYFAROG to offer that other games don’t? Or what is it MYFAROG does better than other games? Let me list what I deem to be the “selling points” of MYFAROG:
Variable Degree of Success & Failure
Instead of just “fail” or “success” you can have variable degree of success and failure, and also a risk of critical failure. You can also semi-succeed.
The game is very modular, meaning that you can leave out things you don’t like without ruining the other aspects of the game. You don’t like e. g. Cut/Shock effects? Or those detailed modifications for Stealth? Fine! Just don’t use it. It wont break the game if you don’t. You can use only parts of the rules, and then when you know them by heart, include more and more to finally get the full MYFAROG experience!
Believability & Logic
Everything in the game is believable and it makes sense, so there is nothing in the rules themselves that is breaking immersion. You will e. g. never think that: “The Orc points a crossbow at me, and tells me to drop my weapons, or else he shoots, but why should I care? The crossbow does D8 damage and I have 34 HP”… Every mechanic, every modifier, makes sense, is well-researched and when it is relatable it does compute with what you know about the real world. E.g. gravity works like gravity would. When it is not relatable (sorcery) it is explained from the perspective of a world where sorcery is real.
Combat too makes sense and is believable. No, it’s not “realistic”, but it does make sense. A sword has a bigger chance to leave a bleeding wound than a club does. A club is more likely to knock you down or even knock you out than a sword is. An experienced fighter will be able to take a bit more damage before he dies, but he too can be killed by a single well-aimed blow. There is no “hand-holding” in the combat system. The risk of dying is at all times real, and players will always think twice before they enter combat. Oh, and some creatures will be very tough to defeat, even for a party of experienced characters. You will at least some times need to use your head.
Thoroughly-researched armour, shields & weapons
Instead of just copying the stats from other games, the armour, shields and weapons have been thoroughly researched. I have tried armours, climbing with them, fighting with shields, shooting arrows, throwing light javelins with spear slings, etc. etc. etc. MYFAROG is not based on theoretical knowledge only. The advantages and disadvantages of all weapons have been taken into account, and pretty much all weapons have unique advantages and disadvantages. Long weapons e. g. are harder to use in confined space, so in a narrow tunnel the short sword might well be better to use than a normal sword – and much better than a spear. Outside, when fighting under the wide sky, on the other hand, it’s the other way around. A flail is good against opponents with a shield, a dagger is easier to draw quickly from the belt, a lead-weighted dart cannot be thrown very far unless you can throw it high, a battle axe is more likely to do damage to a shield, an Angon (similar to the Roman Pilum) can penetrate your shield and do you damage anyhow, and get stuck and leave the shield useless for some time, etc. A small shield is good for carrying javelins in the shield hand, a large shield less so and it cannot be used on horseback either, but it is better for mêlée, and a medium shield is a compromise between the two.
Armour, shields and weapons are not designed to be “balanced” but to represent actual armour, shields and weapons with their real qualities. And yes, they are all good for something, and have an edge on the others in some way or the other – if nothing else for being less expensive than other armours.
Stamina & Survivalism
There is a system for fatigue, from fighting, from travelling and from lack of food, rest and drink. This means that you have to take into account e. g. that travelling from A to B might actually leave you exhausted, unless you e. g. leave behind that heavy armour or large shield, or simply rest before you enter the dungeon or castle or whatever there. But if you rest, then you might encounter something…. whilst still weary.
You also have to take this into consideration when you fight. E. g. fighting offensively might well wear you out too soon, and leave you exhausted. What if you don’t have the willpower to keep on fighting, and you have to lower your guard?
Or simple leave Stamina out. Unless you fight Wraiths and Ghosts and such, you can.
There are rules for freezing, starvation and finding shelters, and you can easily see MYFAROG as some sort of survivalism game. Because survival alone can be a challenge in Thulê, even when not attacked by all sorts of creatures.
Because horror and fear is so much a part of MYFAROG there is a morale system, where characters can become afraid and even can lose their minds and go insane. The level of fear influences the character’s performance. Characters can even panic and run away in fear. They are not totally under your control – just like you are not really in total control of yourself, in real life.
This makes the characters more alive, and gives them a stronger sense of ‘preservation’. You can push them into situations they would not appreciate to be in, but if you do they might well perform worse than you would want them to or even run away and thus refuse to do it.
Also, courage equals fortitude, in the sense that if you have much courage, you are also spiritually strong, so courage is needed for sorcery…
Yes, because sorcery is linked to the studies of the mind and spirit, the unknown and often death. It is scary!
Certain races, like halflings, are small and physically weak, but they have more courage than anybody else, and thus are more resistance to sorcery.
Sorcery (“magic”) in MYFAROG is based on mythology, fairy tales and real world beliefs. It is weak (compared to magic in e. g. D&D), but can be used for great effect. The sorcerer is not a fire-ball slinging piece of artillery, but one that can influence the weather and the people you meet, one that is better at healing and one that can enchant items, light up a dark dungeon or make a fire in an instant, etc.
There are human (and half-elven) spells, but also dwarven, elven, gnomish and orcish, and although often overlapping on certain points, they are unique for all races.
System built for Setting
The MYFAROG system (using mainly a D20 to resolve skill checks and combat) is designed for the setting, the world of Thulê, and covers every thinkable and even unthinkable situation that can occur there. There is a skill that covers what you want to do and everything you can do.
Also, the system is built for the setting, but is still perfectly compatible with classical fantasy settings (not least Tolkien’s Middle-earth). You can easily modify and use adventures made for other systems and use them with MYFAROG.
An accurate presentation of the pre-Christian Native European heritage
You actually learn a lot from reading the core rule book. Information about our own pre-Christian heritage is all over the book, intertwined with the system itself and seeping into every part of the game. You will learn what our high festivals were all about, originally. Why do we celebrate Yule (“Christmas”)? What is Easter all about? What is the meaning of the Equinoxes and the Solstices? What is Beltane? Etc. etc. etc. It’s all explained in detail in MYFAROG. With little exaggeration, MYFAROG will probably be the best book you will ever have about European Paganism, our traditions and our heritage.
The unique Hamingja mechanics have been introduced to MYFAROG to inspire players to do good and to cultivate the noble hero in themselves, both when they take the role of a character in Thulê and hopefully also in real life. There is a Native European Traditional aspect to it, as it is very much what our forebears believed; that your Hamingja was linked to you, and that it followed you through the ages. That is what it means in the first place; Hamingja from hamr-gengja: “To Walk in Shapes”. You walk in different shapes, in different bodies, and change body when it dies, to be reincarnated in a new one. Your luck remains. Your Honour remains.
Hamingja is your character’s accumulated Honour, abstracted with a number for game purposes. As a concept it is very similar to Karma, but it is not exactly the same. Your character can gain Hamingja when you play, from good deeds and heroic acts, and from acting in a just way.
Hamingja can be used for having good luck, but if you have Bad Hamingja, it gives you bad luck…
The Myth Master gives players Hamingja points when they perform acts that are significant, heroic and honourable and especially when their acts come at a cost for themselves. When they make a sacrifice for others! He likewise takes away Hamingja points from them, and give them bad Hamingja, when they perform acts that are coward, unjust, criminal or dishonourable and especially when done solely for their own benefit.
European mythology is used to create the deities in Thulê, and they are common to all of Europe, so you learn about the different names used for the same deities all over Europe. E. g. Baldr. Yes, it’s the Norse name for Appollon, whom the Celts call Belenus and the Slavs Jarilo or Belebog. These are all the same deity though.
The setting, Thulê, is unique and based on a myth about a part of Norway, said to have been ice-free during the Ice Age even. So people might have lived there during the Ice Age, isolated from the rest of the world.
The area, Lofoten and Vesterålen in Norway, is further easy to find maps for, even digital and highly detailed maps, that you can use when you create your own myths (“adventures”) for MYFAROG. Only the scale is different, as explained in the rule book. Real world towns and villages are there, in the game, with translated names – most of them pretty cool names too, I may add. Like Densewood, Dwarfmount, Ettinisland Harbour, Lynxfoot Island, Riverwall, Rottenwood Bay, Spell Lake Forest, Wardenholm and Weather Island, to name a few of them.
Speaking of names, you also have long lists of appropriate names for your characters, of both sexes, including a separate list for dark elves (dwarves) -made up of all the dwarf names from Norse mythology. Yes, every single one of them.
Ettins are known from other games too, but the ettins in MYFAROG are unique and different from them all. They are based on fairy tales and mythology, and you have stone ettins, fire ettins, frost ettins and giant worms, and they are all special in some way – and highly dangerous. And horrible! They also have stone hearts, with numerous special abilities, that can be used by skilled craftsmen to make amulets with sorcerous powers. Giant worms (dragons) also have scales that can be used to craft dragon scale armour, the overall probably best armour in Thulê.
Then you have the ettin phenomena found in the world of the ettins. They cause all sorts of strange and dangerous effects for those who dare venture into that part of Thulê, and most of all resemble the anomalities of “Roadside Picnic” (the book).
The core rule book has everything you need to play the game indefinitely. The 3.3 edition includes the supplements released for 2nd edition, with some things not fitting into the concept or setting left out, and all of this cost less than 10 bucks.
I keep the price so low because I can, and because MYFAROG is a game that more than other games (in % of the total buyers) introduce new players to the hobby. Men and women who have never played a TTRPG before. I know that because many in the RPG community boycott MYFAROG, because it’s not “politically correct”, and because most get to know about the game via Burzum (my band) and other non-game related sources. So with a low price tag, it becomes easier for them to take the chance and give it a try.
Yes, I can sell it for less than 10 bucks, because I make a living from making music, so I don’t need the money. MYFAROG is my hobby, what I love to do, and my main objective with it is not at all to make money from it. I want to spread the game to promote a hobby I love and to also promote our Native European heritage.
Overall I would describe MYFAROG as a cross between AD&D, Rolemaster/MERP, STALKER the SciFi RPG, old RuneQuest and Call of Cthulhu. If you like any of those games you should like MYFAROG. You can play a style that resembles any and all of these games, if you wish, with the MYFAROG core rule book.
You can get MYFAROG 4.0 from here.