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Mythic Monsters

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 174
Just as mythic heroes can call upon power beyond reckoning, mythic monsters are greater than others of their kind. Some are empowered by deities or great magic and sent into the world to sow ruin and reap destruction. Others are instead relics of a bygone age when the power of creation itself f lowed through the veins of every living being. Though not necessarily malevolent, these ancient creatures are a force to be respected and feared.

The rules in this book assume monsters that wield mythic power are rare in the world. Such creatures fall into one of two categories: powerful versions of existing monsters and entirely new breeds of monsters. You can easily create the first type of monster by using one of the mythic simple templates presented in this section. Creating the second type of monster is more complicated, and requires adding the mythic subtype and custom abilities appropriate to the creature, with more powerful monsters gaining more abilities than weaker monsters.

This chapter includes over 40 example creatures— mythic versions of cyclopes, demons, dragons, elementals, giants, medusas, and other creatures of legend—each of which represents an ancient predecessor or powerful evolution of the non-mythic version found in the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary. Following these example monsters, this chapter continues with information on the mythic simple templates and mythic subtype, advice on how to create and balance new mythic monsters, and several new universal monster rules used by the monsters in this chapter.

You can find all of the mythic monsters here.

Mythic Monster Origins

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 176
Depending on your campaign, a mythic monster might be unique—the only one of a kind in the entire world or on all the planes—rare, or even relatively common. The following are some examples of how frequently mythic monsters could appear in a particular campaign.
  • Some say there is only one mythic red dragon—the oldest living ancestor of all red dragons—and it sleeps for centuries at a time.
  • A deadly pack of mythic trolls might rule over a hidden realm under the earth. Non-mythic trolls are the least of their kind, cast out because of their inborn weakness.
  • There may be only two mythic medusas, both mourning their third sister who was slain by a hero centuries ago. They now breed giant snakes (with a mythic simple template) to send after the hero’s descendants.
  • A demon lord might imbue some of its servants with mythic power, making them captains and generals over the armies it’s amassing to invade the mortal world.
How prevalent you want mythic creatures to be in your campaign is up to you, and their mythic abilities can be permanent or temporary.

Mythic Rank

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 176
A monster’s mythic rank (MR) is a game statistic for monsters that’s roughly equivalent to a mythic tier— monsters with only a little mythic power are 1st rank, and the greatest mythic monsters are 10th rank. Unlike PCs, monsters usually start with a specific mythic rank and that rank never changes. For example, a mythic troll is 2nd rank and is always going to be 2nd rank, unless the GM has a reason for its rank to increase—like if a tribe of trolls has an artifact that grants the trolls mythic power, and the longer it takes the PCs to deal with them, the more powerful the artifact makes these monsters.

In terms of power, mythic ranks and mythic tiers are similar, but not exactly the same. For any ability, spell, magic item, or other rule that requires a mythic tier or interfaces with the tier rules, a monster’s mythic rank counts as its tier. For example, a sword that gains additional abilities when wielded by a character of 3rd tier or higher gains those bonuses when wielded by a monster of 3rd rank or higher. A few mythic monsters have mythic tier abilities identical to those available to PCs; a monster’s mythic rank counts as its tier for any effects dependent on tier. For example, a monster with the parry spell guardian path ability (see page 30) uses its mythic rank to determine the level of spells it can parry with that ability.

It is possible for a low-CR creature to have a high mythic rank, or for a high-CR creature to have a low mythic rank. For a typical monster that’s acquired mythic power, its rank is equal to half its original CR. For example, a CR 4 owlbear that becomes a mythic creature should be 2nd rank. To determine a mythic monster’s final CR, add half its mythic rank to its original CR. For example, a 2nd rank mythic owlbear’s final CR is 5 (2 × 1/2 + 4). See Designing Encounters for more details. All the monsters presented in this chapter use this typical MR value.

A creature shouldn’t have both a mythic tier and a mythic rank. For example, a mythic creature that gains the vampire template has a mythic tier, and a non-mythic creature that gains the mythic vampire template has a mythic rank, but a mythic creature that becomes a mythic vampire loses its tier and gains ranks instead, as explained in the mythic vampire template. Mythic templates and other effects that grant a creature a mythic rank should include information about what happens when a mythic creature gains that template or effect.

Reading a Mythic Monster Stat Block

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 176
Mythic monster stat blocks work just like non-mythic monster stat blocks, but have a few additional pieces of information. The differences are summarized in the following section.

Name, CR, and MR: The monster’s name is presented first, along with its challenge rating (CR), its mythic rank (MR), and three icons you can use to quickly identify the creature’s role in the game. The monster’s CR already factors in the CR increase it gets for having mythic ranks.

Init and Senses: Several mythic monsters have the Mythic Improved Initiative feat, which allows the creature to expend one use of mythic power to treat its initiative roll as a 20. Because you rarely check the Feats entry for a monster when rolling initiative, it would be easy to forget that ability when using the monster. As a reminder of this ability, a monster with that feat has a superscript “M” after its initiative modifier. The listed initiative modifier already includes the additional bonus from the Mythic Improved Initiative feat.

Feats: The creature’s feats are listed here. If a monster has a mythic feat from Chapter 2, that feat is identified with a superscript “M,” such as “Improved InitiativeM” rather than “Mythic Improved Initiative.” Most mythic feats improve non-mythic feats, and have the non-mythic feat as a prerequisite. In these cases, the non-mythic feat isn’t listed along with the mythic feat—the superscript “M” indicates the creature has the mythic and non-mythic versions of that feat.

Special Attacks: All of the monsters presented in this chapter have the mythic subtype, which grants them the mythic power universal monster ability, allows them to expend uses of mythic power to add surge dice to d20 rolls, and may add other abilities as well. When running a monster with mythic power, always remember that it can use the surge ability—especially because some mythic creatures don’t use mythic power for anything else, so that ability is necessary for the monster to keep up with and challenge mythic PCs. (Plus, part of the fun of using mythic rules is getting to use mythic surges, and the GM should get to do that, too.)

Environment: The mythic monsters presented here list the same environment as the non-mythic version of the creature—by default, mythic trolls prefer cold mountains like common trolls do, and mythic owlbears prefer temperate forests like common owlbears do. Of course, you can change the environment of a mythic monster to anything appropriate for your campaign, especially if the mythic monster is unique. For example, if you want the one mythic hydra in your world to live in the desert instead of in marshes like non-mythic hydras, that change serves to make the mythic hydra even more unusual and iconic.

Organization: The mythic monsters presented here list the same information on organization as the nonmythic versions of the creatures. These stat blocks make no assumptions about the uniqueness or rarity of these mythic monsters in your campaign. This allows you to adapt existing encounters in printed adventures to a mythic campaign by replacing one, some, or all nonmythic creatures in a specific encounter with their mythic equivalents. For example, to challenge a group of mythic PCs in an adventure featuring an encounter with six trolls, you could replace any number of those trolls with mythic trolls—perhaps just the leader is a mythic troll, creating a slightly more difficult encounter, or perhaps all of them are mythic, resulting in a much harder challenge.

Treasure: Most of the mythic monsters presented here use the same treasure notation as their non-mythic counterparts. For example, trolls have standard treasure, so mythic trolls also have standard treasure. However, a mythic monster’s CR will be higher than its non-mythic equivalent, so when awarding treasure you should account for the CR increase and adjust the monster’s treasure accordingly. A mythic troll encountered with non-mythic trolls should have slightly better treasure because of its higher CR ( just as a f iendish troll encountered with a gang of normal trolls should have better treasure). If a monster normally has NPC-type treasure (like an ogre does), the mythic version of that monster usually has better treasure than its non-mythic counterparts, since its CR is higher.

Mythic monsters—especially intelligent ones—may be more likely to use magical treasures found in their lairs, perhaps out of some instinctive cunning about the item or because the item was given to the monster by the entity that granted the monster its mythic power. For example, a mythic hydra with an amulet of mighty fists +1 in its treasure hoard could be a sacred guardian created by the god of snakes, and the amulet could have been granted to the hydra by the god, giving the creature the full benefit of the item.

Special Abilities: These monsters include descriptions of the non-mythic monster’s special abilities, so you don’t need to reference the non-mythic monster in another book to use the mythic monster. In some cases, these descriptions are simplif ied or shortened to make room for the mythic monster’s new abilities. If you have questions about how a monster’s special ability works, refer to the full text of the non-mythic monster’s original description in the Bestiary.

Description: Rather than repeating information about the original, non-mythic monster, this section presents information on the mythic version of the monster, such as suggesting how its origin or its role in the game differs from that of a non-mythic creature of its type. Unless otherwise stated, a mythic monster lives and acts very much like its non-mythic counterpart.

Mythic Monster Advancement

Source Mythic Adventures pg. 224
This section addresses how to turn a non-mythic monster into a mythic monster and how to create an entirely new mythic creature. Just as characters’ abilities depend on their mythic tier, monsters’ abilities depend on their mythic rank (MR), with a higher rank meaning a creature has additional mythic abilities.