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Critique these classes for a 5e mythic Greece setting

Outremer

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#31
Outremer, do you see a hunter from Greek mythology as separate and distinct from a D&D ranger?
Not really. But some ranger abilities might have to be modified or restricted a bit to better fit the concept. For instance, favored enemies should probably be at least slightly natural (no constructs or undead). Fighting styles like dual-wielding wouldn't really fit (archery would of course be much more appropriate). And spellcasting should probably be replaced by a few special (but less supernatural) abilities.
 

Evil Scientist

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#32
I agree that Rangers don't need much work. Rename them Hunters, perhaps take away some of the spellcasting...


Yes, the hardest part is to map ancient Greek stuff on the spellcaster classes.

Unless you want to include Ray Harryhausen style skeletons, Greek "undead" are mostly revenants, ghosts and such. The powers of the Cleric-replacement class could include necromancy, speaking with the dead, divination... And also the knowledge to make proper sacrifices to gain actual bonuses.

Witches like Medea or Circe are more on the Sorcerer side as far as magic powers are concerned, but also know a lot about herbalism, potions.

Now that I think about it, Initiates of mystery cults and "occult societies" are more likely to become Wizards. How about a Pythagorean magician? The Orphics aren't strictly Bards, but have strong connections to the Underworld, necromancy, spirit life.
 

randomgamer8466

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#33
Ha! Evil scientist, we are definitely thinking along the same lines because as I thought about this setting and what makes it distinct, one of my first thoughts was "no undead... oooh, but those Harryhausen skeletons, though..." I am going for a nebulous middle ground between fun and faithful to the literature. I think skeletons will be in the setting, in honor of the late, great special effects master.

Greek spellcasters are different and subtler than fantasy mages. I'm hesitant to say "you can't have Fireball or Teleport or Wish" because culling their spell list makes spellcasters less attractive to play.

I don't know much about Pythagorean magic. Are we drifting into medieval alchemy here? What do you see as the characteristics and abilities of a Pythagorean magician?
 

Evil Scientist

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#34
Ha! Evil scientist, we are definitely thinking along the same lines because as I thought about this setting and what makes it distinct, one of my first thoughts was "no undead... oooh, but those Harryhausen skeletons, though..." I am going for a nebulous middle ground between fun and faithful to the literature. I think skeletons will be in the setting, in honor of the late, great special effects master.
Good, good!

I don't know much about Pythagorean magic. Are we drifting into medieval alchemy here? What do you see as the characteristics and abilities of a Pythagorean magician?
I'm not sure either!!!! :D

A "wizard" is a scholar whose knowledge allows them to bend the cosmic rules. Mathematics, philosophy and occult teachings are one and the same.

I have a feeling that most of the more "magic-like" magic can be not of Greek origin, but brought over from Mesopotamia or Egypt.

Just some haphazard thoughts, sorry.
 

mindstalk

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#35
I have a feeling that most of the more "magic-like" magic can be not of Greek origin, but brought over from Mesopotamia or Egypt.
Note that Medea was from Colchis, on the east edge of the Black Sea, about as far east of Greece as you could get and still be in their sphere of awareness; not sure she was considered Greek as opposed to barbarian. She was also granddaughter of Helios (and niece of Circe, daughter of Helios). And yes, priestess of Hecate, goddess of magic (and other things, and called Great Goddess in hymns, and she had shrines in Athens, so not a simple evil/dark goddess). Wikipedia says Circe was sometimes called a daughter of Hecate instead. Calypso was a nymph, aka a minor goddess.

So, these aren't good Greek people using magic, but god-blooded outsiders and/or or outright goddesses. Ironically the closest a good Greek or proto-Roman Trojan man gets to performing magic might be 'casting' speak with dead via blood sacrifice (with Odysseus and I think Aeneas did with instruction -- from a woman.)
 

vitruvian

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#36
Note that Medea was from Colchis, on the east edge of the Black Sea, about as far east of Greece as you could get and still be in their sphere of awareness; not sure she was considered Greek as opposed to barbarian. She was also granddaughter of Helios (and niece of Circe, daughter of Helios). And yes, priestess of Hecate, goddess of magic (and other things, and called Great Goddess in hymns, and she had shrines in Athens, so not a simple evil/dark goddess). Wikipedia says Circe was sometimes called a daughter of Hecate instead. Calypso was a nymph, aka a minor goddess.

So, these aren't good Greek people using magic, but god-blooded outsiders and/or or outright goddesses. Ironically the closest a good Greek or proto-Roman Trojan man gets to performing magic might be 'casting' speak with dead via blood sacrifice (with Odysseus and I think Aeneas did with instruction -- from a woman.)
Not RAW Speak with Dead, since they didn't have the shades' bodies, IIRC... so it could either be a variant of the spell requiring you be at a Hellmouth, sorry, entrance to the Underworld, or just the way that you have to deal with that variety of encountered shade so not really a spell at all.

It's definitely a good question as to whether the ability to cast what mortal magic appears was more a function of foreign birth and training, or of divine lineage, since most of the major examples possessed both. So Circe has some spell or ability, possibly potion-based, better than 9th level Mass Polymorph, since it wasn't duration limited, with moly working as a counterspell or at least a bonus to save. If Hesiod and later writers referencing Telegonus are correct, she may also have Resurrection of some form. Calypso has some form of longer-lasting Charm Person, similar to the Holmes version or a RAW dryad's ability, which makes sense considering she is a nymph. Medea has the ability to brew a potion of fire resistance, some kind of sleep potion or spell, considerable healing prowess, and possibly something like Planar Ally for the chariot pulled by dragons sent by Helios, if that's even a spell rather than just having family connections. Those are some real hodge podges of spells, with nary a direct attack spell in the mix.
 

vitruvian

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#37
Just stipulating that yes, we caught this ref.



Relatively unarmored dude who wrestles a lot could be done by refluffing monk, making a monk archetype, making a barbarian archetype, or making a rebuild of fighter or barbarian with some features exchanged for unarmed combat boosts (or just take the grappler feat). Really the biggest part about monk that doesn't work for the greak version is that I see pankration, greco-roman wrestling or boxing types as at least as much Str-based as Dex-based, and not particularly Wis-based. Perhaps a monk who uses barbarian AC, and otherwise Str where monks use Wis?
Yeah, allow for unarmed strikes at least as good as those from Tavern Brawler, but bake grappling ala that feat's other benefits and the Grappler feat right into the class from the beginning, most likely. One good path, although being a part of your familial background it should probably start at 1st level, for a subclass would be something like Earthborn - like Antaeus, you gain benefits such as an improved Str bonus, or Bull's Strength, plus some form of regeneration or temporary hit points boost but only so long as you are touching the ground. Honestly, a reskinning of the Barbarian Totem Path would do for most of it.
 

randomgamer8466

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#38
Regarding magic-users, I think that Calypso, Medea, and Circe are sorceresses with a divine bloodline (as opposed to a draconic bloodline; maybe I have to come up with path features for that). You could do a warlock with a pact to Hecate as Infernal or Fey, and Typhon or Echidna could serve as a Great Old One. Wizards don't have clear analogues in Greek myth but I think that's why you reskin them as Inventors.
 

vitruvian

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#39
Regarding magic-users, I think that Calypso, Medea, and Circe are sorceresses with a divine bloodline (as opposed to a draconic bloodline; maybe I have to come up with path features for that). You could do a warlock with a pact to Hecate as Infernal or Fey, and Typhon or Echidna could serve as a Great Old One. Wizards don't have clear analogues in Greek myth but I think that's why you reskin them as Inventors.
Sorcerer with a new Sorcerous Origin of Divine Bloodline (unsure of appropriate features for that) seems most appropriate, since no one of them displays more than a pretty small number of distinct spells. There's also a definite bent towards potions and herbalism as the mechanism for enacting spells. Or Cleric could fit, honestly, if summoning the dragon-pulled chariot was Medea casting Planar Ally (or Bard with Magical Secrets). Of the three iconic mythic sorceresses, two are NPC/monster encounters with Legendary and Lair actions, covering the better-than-PCs-can-ever-do version of Mass Polymorph Circe pulls off, with Medea the only one who could possibly be an example of a PC joining an adventuring party.

As for more typical D&D clerics and wizards having no clear analogues, I believe that's true for the myths themselves, but if you bring things up to Alexandrian times you start to get lots of detailed magical rituals on papyri that could form a basis, while still having the occasional report of encounters with the gods:

http://site.pelgranepress.com/index...3-true-ways-the-hellenistic-era-is-fantastic/
 
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