What is the Elthos Company?

Elthos is run by a single person, Mark Abrams. The Company kicked off in 2014, and officially "went live" in 2018 with the Mythos Machine, though the Elthos RPG was actually created originally in 1978, and made public in 2009. All development of Elthos RPG and the Mythos Machine, including website development, rules book creation, editing and styling, as well as all related business activites, have been done by Mark Abrams, with the occasional help of Charles Hoge (thank you!), Tod Foley (thank you!), who helped with the formating of the rules book, and/or the website at certain points. Much thanks must also be sent along to my wonderful play testers who since 2009 have been providing steady games and feedback on the Elthos Rules, the Mythos Machine, and various business efforts. Thank you Chris, Ryan, Terry, Charles, Monica, Tim, and all of the cameo players along the way!

As such, the company itself is a classic "one man shop". Consequently, please do not expect full-blown corporate level of service (though it is strived for), but instead one might view the company as a craftsman's paradise. Elthos has been, for most of its life, a hobby project. So, Elthos offerings may be, in some cases, a bit homespun, and possibly occasionally old fahsioned, but everything has been created with a craftsman's touch. It is hoped that fans of Elthos appreciate the nature of the endeavor and find the Elthos Products and services we provide to be well-crafted, entertaining, useful, and in their own way, at least a little bit magical. It should also be noted that for this reason, and the sheer size of the project, Elthos tends to advance at Museum Speed. But advance it does, and work is always being done on it, somewhere!

The Elthos RPG Rules Books

An RPG Framework For Creating New Worlds

The Elthos RPG Core Rules Book is the Elthos flagship product. The Elthos RPG is designed to focus on one thing – helping and encouraging Gamemasters to exercise their own imaginations and create their own Worlds. And to do this it makes the creation of new worlds as easy as possible by providing a simple rules framework upon which all the Elements of a world can be creafted. No fuss, no muss. The Gamesmaster merely has to think up what would be fun for their world, and assign a few key properties for each Element, and voila, the World is updated for it. There is no need to create new charts for anything, unless you specifically wish to. Because Elthos RPG is designed to create new Worlds, the rules book itself does not provide a Setting for it, but instead provides samples of Settings to give the GM the room to flex their own creative muscles. Why rely on someone else’s idea of a World when you can create your own? If you’re the creative type, Elthos is built for you. And if you aren’t, you should probably get Elthos and start exercising those creativity muscles anyway. It’s good for you. And frankly, GMing your own World is a lot more fun than riding along on someone else’s creativity. You just need to get started. And Elthos is a great place to start.

The Elthos RPG Core Rules Books are designed to minimize grunt work, enable coherency, and facilitate creativity. The 80 page book includes a Table of Contents, an Introduction to the Philosophy of the Elthos System, Gamemaster Advice on running the system, Rules on everything you need to know to build your World and run your games, including Character Generation, Skills & Mystic Powers building, Combat, a wonderful set of Optional Rules, Example Combat with weapons and magic, as well as printable Elthos Character, Combat Tracking, and blank Hex Map & Square Map Sheets for your convenience, plus three handy Appendices, and a handy Page Index. It also provides the (optional) Tactical Combat rules that I devised in the early 1990's for those who like to get down to the nitty-gritty. Needless to say it's been reasonably well tested over time, though frankly I'm pretty sure I will never really be done tinkering with it. Nor should you be! This is a rules framework designed for GM tinkering. The books also feature my own homespun artwork that I created for my various Elthos Campaigns along the way. It's a nice system, and not that difficult to learn. There's even a few innovative ideas in there as well (at least they were innovative in 1978 afaik, and in some cases they may still be innovative). What I can say for certain is that my players and I have enjoyed it a lot over the years... and you might, too.

Get your copy of the Elthos RPG Core Rules Book on DriveThru RPG World today.

Elthos Artwork

Every Game There Is More Art

Elthos Artwork Over the years as the Elthos Project has progressed and many games played, there’s been a growing portfolio of artwork created by Mark Abrams related to the the various Worlds that have been created. Usually done in pencil, sometimes augmented with colored pencil, and pen, on watercolor paper, and lately digital, these pieces have become part and parcel of the project as a whole. Our goal is to inspire people to think creatively about their RPG Worlds, and the artwork often times helps to sprout new ideas. Some of the Elthos Artwork is being offered on DeviantArt, and there's now a line of T-Shirts on which some of these pieces will also find a home. What better way to show your support for the Elthos Project than to wear a lovely 100% cotten T-Shirt, or imbibe your coffee from a mug with a beautiful bit of Elthos Art on it? At any rate, the goal is to encourage Gamemasters to get creative with their Worlds and the hope is that the Elthos Art will inspire others to do likewise.

Professional Gamemastering

Gamemaster For Hire

Mark Abrams has been Gamemastering since 1978 with the first Elthos World with two Campaigns named "The Iron Legions of Telgar" and "The City of Stone". Then in 1996 Mark ran his first Professional Gamemastering gig at the local Community Center in Chappaqua, NY, earning a wopping $6.25 / hour, and entertaining 36 middle schoolers at a time! The money wasn't great, to be honest, and the amount of work that went into it was tremendous. But one thing is for sure, it was an absolute blast, and the kids had a great time! Since then Mark has run a number of Professional Gamemastering gigs using the Elthos RPG, usually for kids between the ages of 9 and 12, and usually paid for by the parents. Then in 2014 Mark started up the Professional Gamemaster Society, and has fostered the idea among his fellow GMs. Since then a number of websites have been created to help Gamemasters go Professional with their games, and the PGMS is there to help brainstorm and strategize about how best to go about it, discuss tricks of the trade and generally help foster the fledgeling industry.

If you're interested in hiring Mark for Professional Games running the Elthos RPG, do get in touch!

Read more about The Professional Gamemaster Society.

The Elthos Tarot

Elthos Tarot Deck

Don’t Get Lost in the Cosmos Again!

Always find your way back to your home dimension quick and easy with the Elthos RPG Celestial Island Cosmological Map! There is one on the back of every Elthos RPG Tarot Card!

The Elthos Tarot Deck was created by Mark Abrams, with original Artwork by Jason Moser, and serves as a touchstone for the Elthos World cosmology that underpins the Alignment System aspect within the Mythos Machine. It embodies the correspondences between astrological signs and Jungian Archetypes, as well as their associated elements, plants, trees, gem stones, animals, musical notes, and many other interesting things, and is used to give Gamemasters a framework by which to make symbolic associations for their Worlds.

Find out more about the Elthos Tarot at the Elthos Book Shop on DriveThru RPG.

The Mythos Machine

Build Your Own Elthos World Online

The Mythos Machine is a wonder of 21st century technology that fuses your web browser with the Elthos RPG. It is primarily a game prep tool that helps Gamemasters create and maintain their own Worlds by smoothly and efficiently doing all of the number crunching for you, and providing a centralized online location to store your World’s Characters, Places, Adventures, and Story. It also allows your players to generate and maintain their Characters online. Elthos RPG Tools is a comprehensive system designed to make your Gamemastering easier, faster and more elegant. Read more about the Mythos Machine

Mythos Machine Worlds Market Place

Create and Sell Your Own Worlds Online

The Mythos Machine allows Gameasters to create entire Worlds, and then put them on the Worlds Market Place for other Gamemasters to install and use. Gamemasters can set their own prices for their Worlds, and the Elthos site will take a small commission.

Learn more about Elthos World Publishing

But Wait! There’s More!

Ok that’s a lot. But there’s even more the Elthos Project. We really believe in Role Playing Games! In fact, my opinion is that they will become the entertainment of the future. Why? Because RPGs invite you to exercise your own imagination. Why watch someone else’s story, when you can be the main Character of your own? That’s what RPGs do for you. And that’s why they’re so incredibly fun.

But (there’s always a but, isn’t there?), seriously… RPGs can be hard to get into. A lot of people find them just a little too hard. So our mission at Elthos is to make RPGs just that much easier. We do this by bringing together a light-weight yet traditional style RPG and an amazing Web Application that supports the Gamemaster with dozens of integrated services. Overall the goal is to make Gamemastering easy-peasy.

And that’s just the basic concept. We’re also working towards encouraging higher caliber Gamemastering through two support groups. One is dedicated to help Gamemasters find ways to tell interesting stories with their Role Playing Games. This is the Literary Role Playing Game Society. It’s goal is to explore ways to bring literary motifs and methods into Role Playing Games so that the stories that come out of the games are of a higher, more literary quality. Why just watch your players hack and slash their way through a murder-hobo, when you can be Gamemastering a story as awesome as King Solomon’s Mines, The Three Musketeers or Lord of the Rings?

The second support group is the Professional Gamemaster Society, which intends to help Gamemasters level up their GMing skills to the point where they can “Go Pro”. This idea has generated a lot of enthusiasm among some Gameamasters. We recognize that Gamemastering is something that requires a lot of skill and a lot of talent to do well. And it takes a lot of time to both create a meaningful World, and prep for games. It has dawned on not just a few of us that if we could do this full time, rather than as a hobby where we can only devote a few hours a week to it, we could really hone our skill and become – well, brilliant at it. So to this end we are encouraging Gamemasters to level up, and Go Pro. The Society is here to help brainstorm and discover avenues of approach to this goal, and support one another on our journeys.

The Big Vision is that in the future there will be amazing Worlds crafted and run by truly astounding Gamemasters using state of the art technologies to help them amaze and astonish their Players. And those Players in turn will awe and inspire themselves and their friends with the incredible adventures they have. Personally, I feel certain that the future holds great things in store for Role Playing Games, and my dream is to help others to see the potential and inspire them to achieve it.