• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

Help me build my Ancient Greece Campaign (13th Age Icons? Challenges? Resources?)

Bellerophon

Unvincible
Validated User
Howdy,

So I settled on the idea recently that I wanted to run something that used the Classics. It's my degree and I'm bored of standard D&D, so I thought I'd try and cobble together something that my group would enjoy. A couple of things I decided at the outset:

- The game would not take place in "mythic greece" - no Hercules running around, or Trojan War. Mainly because I know my players, and when they hear "Greece" they are thinking of Spartans, not Bronze Age folks. I'd thought about Hellenistic Greece, but I ultimately think reaching players who only have a more casual knowledge of Greek history will be easier in a period with more big names (Socrates, Herodotus, Pericles...) so I decided to set the game in 432BCE, at the eve of the war between Athens and Sparta. Tensions high, plenty of opportunity for a band of mercenaries to work as many angles as they like.

- The game WILL have magic and supernatural elements - all of the monsters you'd expect - Chimera, Minotaur, etc - plus whatever else I deign to include. I am going to try to revamp and Greco-ize D&D monsters wherever I can, if they make sense. As an example, I saw the entry for Nagas, and thought it would be neat if the supposed Python Apollo slew at Delphi was in fact a Naga, and the fumes the oracle breathes in are in fact the malign influence of an ageless Bone Naga dwelling beneath the temple, instead of the "rot" of the snake, as in reality. Stuff like that.

- The players love exploration - we did Tomb of Annihilation for 5E about a year ago and they loved the hexcrawl element. When I asked what they'd like to see in this game, they wanted to explore all kinds of islands on their own ship, build a crew, and maybe eventually become tyrants (in the ancient sense of the word). Cool. None of these things are traditionally part of 13th Age, so that's one hurdle to address. I'm thinking of adapting the resource system from Forbidden Lands for their crew's supplies, cargo, and the like. I'll need to look into Naval Battles, Mass Combat, maybe some sort of domain system eventually. And some kind of hireling/NPC system for their crew (my players LOVE getting attached to NPCs and then having them essentially join the party). I am not aware of a Hexmap of Ancient Greece, or even a slightly good, detailed map of ancient Greece I could print and laminate.

So, with all that in mind... Game System. I'm bored with 5E and I love 13th Age. But it will require some tweaks I suspect.

1. Magic? So Clerics can make sense easily enough, though I do NOT want the gods to really make an appearance in the game. I kinda prefer them as distant. Maybe the players meet one at some point in the campaign, but I don't want them constantly popping down to interfere. Druids can be Demeter/Artemis priests, Clerics for everyone else. What about Wizards? I was thinking of running with the idea that Philosophers/Sophists/Pythagoreans are all wizards... Not sure how else this could be spun, but it could work. Necromancers could fit easily, given the Greeks invented the practice. Sorcerer and Chaos Mage seem like no-nos, unless someone has a suggestion. Fighters, Commanders, Paladins, Rogues, and Rangers are PERFECT. Monks... uhhh not sure.

2. Equipment - Will 13A break if I make buying equipment and tracking money more of a thing? I think the feel of the game will benefit from the players having things to spend money on.

3. Subsystems - mentioned above. Any pitfalls to avoid or suggestions for systems to steal to emulate those exploratory elements?


Continued below so I can ramble about Icons
 

Bellerophon

Unvincible
Validated User
4. ICONS - This is the big one. The obvious choice for replacement Icons would be the 12 Olympians, but again I'm not super into having gods constantly interfering in such a direct fashion, so I was thinking organizations instead. I have a few so far, but the main thing I actually made this thread to ask about was suggestions for Icons. I'd like to have all 13 if possible.

So far, I've got:

- The Oracle of Delphi (Replaces Priestess) : Representing not only the Pythia herself but the cult of Apollo, the Oracle’s predictions have tremendous influence upon the Classical world. Her visions, gained through inhalation of the sacred vapors of the caverns beneath Delphi, have been known to start wars and topple kingdoms. Adherents of Apolline philosophy can be found in any city in Greece, preaching the virtues of “Nothing in Excess” and “Know thyself.” What exactly the Pythia and her cult want is unclear - do they seek to control events? Or simply stem the tide of disorder that plagues Greece?

The Delian League (Replaces Emperor): Athens is at the height of its power; the Delian League Icon represents Athens and its allies, as well as the Cult of Athena, who secretly work on behalf of the great democracy. Athens’ reach extends far into the Cyclades islands, and it is not uncommon for agents of the League to be found throughout the civilized world. The naval power of Athens is yet another way in which it enforces its realpolitik, at home and abroad. Is Athens really interested in the defense of Greece against foreign enemies? Or has it turned its sight upon total domination of the Aegean? And is the cult of Athena a mere puppet of the democrats, or does it have its own motives?

The Spartan Oligarchy (Replaces Crusader): Sparta’s resentment of Athenian hegemony has led it to form its own band of city-states, the so-called Peloponnesian League.

And then... a bunch of maybes?

The Pythagoreans
The Mystery Cults (Replaces the Diabolist)
The Socratics (Replaces Archmage)
The Cult of Artemis (Replaces the High Druid)
The Chthonic Cults (Replaces Lich King)
The Order of Hermes (Replaces Prince of Shadows)

Sing to me, oh muses of RPGnet, with your ideas.
 

Bellerophon

Unvincible
Validated User
I'm open to any and all ideas, not just Icons, by the way! Just wanted to get everything I've thought about down on paper.
 

Aegypto

Treelicious
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Considering relations between Greece and Persia, the King of Kings probably should be an Icon.

Wizards could also be Persian Magi expatriates, since the fit the stereotype pretty well. Monks could be based on pankration practitioners - according to mythology Herakles invented pankration, and we have tales of pankration martial artists defeating opponents in full armor with their bare hands, so it's not that much of a stretch.

There are some basic rules for mass combat here - though these are intended to be cinematic, with the focus still on the PCs. One of the 13th Monthly issues had rules for handling domains, though again they are pretty basic.

Vault of the 13th Age used to have homebrew rules for followers, but the site doesn't seem to work anymore.
 

RobertEdwards

Registered User
Validated User
My first thought is the individual City-States should be Icons, but you've got the Big Two covered. A couple of others might make conflicted relationships more interesting.
 

ESkemp

Registered User
Validated User
Some monstrous icons might be well-received. For example, Typhon or Echidna could act as an icon, served by a variety of sapient monsters who don't really want to be driven into the wild places and slain. (If you like your one-to-one comparisons, this would be a good pick for the Three). I'm guessing you're looking for a strongly humanocentric setting, but a monstrous icon could go a decent way to explaining why, for instance, the PCs get to fight a chimera when everybody knows it was already put down by Bellerophon. It would get very interesting if one of the PCs had something other than a negative relationship with them, too.

I can't speak fairly to the idea of adding in more equipment tracking; it's not the sort of thing that our group ever wanted to add back in. I don't think the game would break, exactly, owing to the generous ideas that a fighter can use a sword or a spear equally effectively, or switch to a khopesh with no penalty. It does raise the question of what sort of markets you might have them shopping at as they rise in tiers. I would kind of expect a champion or epic-tier hero to buy gear at the forge of a cyclops, for instance. Or maybe there are strange wonders for purchase if they sail down to Egypt and barter with sorcerers.
 

Lewd Beholder

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Feel free to use what you want. :)




 

Ravian

Registered User
Validated User
One interesting character of the era that could be an Icon might be Alcibiades, if you don't mind a mortal occupying the station. (If it helps, he was often associated with Hermes by his contemporaries) He was originally a figure in Athens as a politician and military commander, but also served under Sparta and Persia as an adviser in his lifetime as he drifted to whomever he hadn't managed to piss off yet from his untrustworthy nature and debaucherous lifestyle. The guy was well-known for just being incredibly charismatic and clever. (Not necessarily smart all the time, but he was very good at finagling things to his benefit) I'm not super familiar with all the 13th age icons, but I'd think that a trickster figure probably would fit in somewhere.

 

hjgz89

Registered User
Validated User
Titan cults ( replaces Great Gold Wyrm)
An interconnected group of worshippers of the Titans, the gods who rules before the Olympians cast them down. They seek to restore worship of the titans to the world, seeing them as more benevolent masters. They make alliance with the Spartans and the Delians when they see fit, but are firmly opposed to the Oracle of Delphi.
 

randomgamer8466

Registered User
Validated User
What timing! I had *just* finished my ancient Greece supplement and decided to share it here. It's all crunch, minimal fluff: new races, classes, feats, backgrounds, magic items, and monsters for a greek setting with no setting assumptions so it should fit into your campaign like Eurystheus into an amphora. It was made on the Homebrewery so it really looks like an official 5e book. Enjoy!
 
Top Bottom