Destined: An Interview with Mike Larrimore

I spoke to Mike Larrimore about Destined, his new superhero RPG powered by the Mythras (review) system. The adventure Agony & Ecstasy is out for Destined and is available as well.

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CHARLIE DUNWOODY (CD): Mike, thanks for sharing your thoughts with EN World. Please give us a quick description of Destined – Superhero Roleplaying.
MIKE LARRIMORE (ML):
Destined is a new superhero roleplaying game based on the Mythras gaming system, which was previously the 6th edition of RuneQuest. It was written by Brian Pivik and me for Design Mechanism. The game system uses d100’s for resolution of tasks, and it has a very dynamic combat system. Destined is a standalone game with all the necessary rules included, and our power system uses Core Powers that are always available to use. These powers can be customized by placing restricting Limits on them, or enhanced by adding Boosts. Boosts represent special tactics, tricks, or alternate uses of the power that are something a hero doesn’t use all the time. While the system can create a wide variety of heroes, both unique and based on popular characters, the core book aims for a power range from street level vigilantes to more powerful paragons that have a good range of powers but are not all powerful or indestructible.

CD: The pregenerated PC Eclipse from Agony & Ecstasy has different powers and passions depending on whether it is day or night. This makes Destined stand out in a unique way. How easy is it for a player use the rules to create unique heroes like Eclipse?
ML:
It would be very easy with the system we created. Agony & Ecstasy provided the bones for Destined’s power system and mechanics, but we fleshed it out quite a bit to add a wide array of powers and many options to make the hero you envision. Someone like Eclipse would have a few Limits on her powers to account for the nature of her abilities, and she almost plays like a different hero depending on what time of day it is. We also talk about how Passions, which are core motivations and values for heroes, can be different for different aspects of the person. For example, a hero might act quite differently in their civilian persona and this could be represented by different Passions depending on which mask they are wearing at the time.

CD: GMs are given solid advice on building a comic book setting including themes, GM advice, style, superhero cities, villains, and more. For GMs new to creating a superhero setting, is there a good place for them to get started?
ML:
I would say look to the types of heroic stories you enjoy. For your group take inspiration what you like from comics, movies, and TV shows and incorporate the elements you enjoy and what you think your group would have fun playing. Maybe you want to go back to the more idealistic comics of the Silver Age or you prefer a brutal, violent take like The Boys. Destined is diverse enough that could use it for any story where powers are involved, so you might adapt your favorite anime, play demigods in ancient times, or genetically modified beings from the far future. While Destined is a superhero book at its core, many genres we enjoy follow people with fantastic powers so use it to tell the stories that inspire you.

CD: In addition to Agony & Ecstasy and Destined from the Design Mechanism, you wrote Elevation (review) and The Triton Incident for M-Space (review) from Frostbyte Books (Clarence Redd interview) and The Lost Duke for Mongoose Traveller. Could you give us a brief description of your sci-fi work and was it similar to writing superheroes or a different experience?
ML:
Elevation was a passion project based on a setting I have used for many years, and I was lucky enough to be able to share it thanks to Frostbyte Games for M-Space. The basic premise is what would happen if a benevolent space exploration organization like the Federation from Star Trek fell on hard times and was running on fumes? The characters work for a group called Elevation that is nearly bankrupt and they are trying to do their part to save it. The Lost Duke was another lucky break as Traveller was one of the first RPGs I played many, many years ago. It was the first adventure for the Deneb sector and involved the travellers running into trouble while searching for a missing ship and running afoul of a corrupt local government. Writing the science fiction books was a different experience. In both Elevation and The Lost Duke the characters are the underdogs, often outgunned and outmatched by their opposition. Many superhero stories follow people who are capable of things well beyond the normal, giving them an advantage in even the more dire situations. That doesn’t mean superheroes don’t find themselves in circumstances where they are up against the wall, but usually they can just punch through the wall or fly over it.

CD: Do you have anything planned next that you’re ready to share?
ML:
Currently I am working on the first adventure for Destined, but I really can’t say anything about that yet. Destined is definitely my focus for the immediate future, and we hope we can bring out more adventures and add additional material to further expand the options players have so they can tell whatever superhero tales they want.

CD: Many readers of EN World are D&D and Pathfinder players who enjoy fantasy RPGs. What would you say if they asked why should they should try d100 superhero roleplaying?
ML:
As a longtime D&D player I would ask how different are your typical fantasy heroes from superheroes, especially higher level heroes? Fighters decked out in magic armor with a flaming sword and wizards lobbing fireballs and chain lightning fell giants, best dragons, and reshape the world around them. For many of us the thrill of RPGs is to be the hero and be able to do things not possible in the real world. Playing a superhero game is just another way to live the fantastic in our imaginations and share the experience with our friends.

CD: Any final comments you’d like to share with the readers of EN World?
ML:
I just appreciate the opportunity to talk about all of this with the readers. I have spent most of my life playing RPGs and over the past few years I have been fortunate to be able to contribute to the hobby I love. Hopefully something I have worked on will be give you inspiration to tell some fun stories with your friends and we can all keep rolling dice together for a long, long time.

CD: Thanks for your time Mike. If EN World readers want to check out your work where can they go?
ML:
They can find all my works on DriveThruRPG.com. You can also find Destined, Agony & Ecstasy, and more Mythras games at The Design Mechanism and Aeon Games.
 
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Charles Dunwoody

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