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The Yellow Wizard » The Bar » Bloggards » [Campaign Idea] A Greek Odyssey pt. 1

[Campaign Idea] A Greek Odyssey pt. 1

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Great Adventurer
Great Adventurer
Just a little notepad for a campaign idea that's sprung up and I feel I like the flavour of.

The Setting:
Ancient Greece/Rome. Maybe a few other Mythologies creeping in. Much like the Odyssey, you're trying to get somewhere or do something, but disaster after disaster befalls the party. Some of it might even be your fault.

Mechanical things:
I'll use Pathfinder probably because that's what I'm familiar with. But, there will be some notable changes and or rules I'll use especially:

Ability Scores: Low fantasy i.e. Point Buy 5. Alternatively, a slightly cruel variation on Heroic and Classic: Roll 2d6 + 3 six times. In order, these are your ability scores.
Notably, this means that a 14 is a pretty good ability score. You can get a base 18 if you don't mind being absolutely terrible at everything else.

Gear: Everything metal is bronze. Iron is around, but rare. Big chunks of metal are practically unheard of. Only Padded, Leather, Hide and Scale Mail armours exist. Only light metal weapons exist, but polearms and the like are around. Shortbows, slings and blowguns are the only missile launching weapons that exist, but most thrown weapons are around.
Alchemy is around but rare. Not as rare as magic items, however. It will make Eberron look magically high-tech by comparison.
Due to the huge weapon variety change, and also themeatically, most exotic weapons also count as martial weapons.

Magic: Proper, in depth studies of magic haven't really been made yet. As such, casters are almost exclusively spontaneous and use wordspells. Witches are a notable exception that use standard magic. Limited Magic rules may be in place, or some severe spell progression may be in order.

Skills: There's an awful lot of stuff that simply isn't known, largely because Literature isn't a thing yet. Rather than the conventional knowledge skills, you instead have knowledge of specific areas or terrains. These are typically tales picked up from travellers, which is how you know them. There is, however, a lot of error in these reports. Knowledge is not a class skill for anyone, with the exception of for areas you have spent a lot of time in.
Traps and locks have not yet been invented, so Disable Device does not exist. Likewise, magical items are rare enough that Use Magical Device cannot be taken unless it is a class skill for you (but you don't get the bonus, unlike normal). On the other hand, life's a lot tougher now, so everyone gets Survival as a class skill for free. If you have survival as a class skill already, you instead gain a +2 bonus to survival.

Classes: Well, this is the fun part, for me. Everyone will start out as an NPC class. The actual choice is up to you. Depending on your class, certain options will open up for taking PC classes, typically by meeting someone who is willing to give you special training or by earning the favour of a powerful being. As some initial ideas:
Commoners can take any class
Aristocrat can take Cavalier, fighter, Bard or Paladin
Warriors can take fighter, Barbarian, Cavalier or Ranger
Experts can take Rogue, Bard, Monk, Druid or Wizard
Adepts can take Witch, Sorcerer, Oracle or Druid

Races: Humans are dominant, as usual. Most of the Bestial races are also around: Catfolk, Ratfolk, Nagaji, Vanara, Grippli, Kobold and Gnoll. Less common are Merfolk, Changelings and Skinwalkers. Most of these have roughly the same personas that they do in the standard game.
Geniekin, Aasimars and Tieflings are rare, but around and tend to be considered to be demigods. Distinctions between the races are poorly defined, but they tend to be considered mostly like Aasimars traditionally are.
As such, while playable, most trainers and powerful beings are unwilling to give you class levels, mostly because there's the idea that being a demigod, you couldn't possibly need their feeble help. It is, however, easier to get help from your parents. Mechanically, you will get your PC levels later than others, but you can always become an Oracle, Sorcerer or Witch.

The other Core Races are rare or do not exist. Where they do exist, they are different to how they are normally portayed.

Dwarves are known as exceptional craftsmen, if insular. They are an old and noble people, prone to solitude, but far more knowledgeable than nearly any other race around, particularly about magic. If they can be befriended, however, they are known to be quite generous. As foes, they tend to hold grudges. Dwarves tend to be Neutral or Neutral Good in alignment.
They receive a +2 racial bonus to Intelligence instead of Wisdom and their Defensive Training applies to Magical Beasts instead of Giants. Stonecunning becomes a +2 racial bonus to spellcraft, knowledge(Arcana) and a craft skill of their choice. They have a +2 racial bonus on Caster Level checks to overcome spell resistance, and lose Greed and Hatred. In addition, they can always take levels in wizard.

Both Elves and Gnomes exist, but in these early times, they are barely distinguishable from fey. They are cruel, mischievous and exceptionally beautiful. Most settlements live in fear of such creatures, and tend to attack on sight, with good reason. Elves tend towards cold cruelty and desire the respect they feel they deserve above all else. They tend to capture foes to torture them for years on end, keeping them as broken slaves who will worship them once their bodies and souls have been broken. Gnomes are spiteful and hate-filled, pulling off sadistic tricks on unsuspecting travellers or sometimes following them and haunting them maliciously for years. Elves are usually Neutral Evil in alignment, while Gnomes tend towards Chaotic Evil.
Both Elves and Gnomes are not humanoids, but instead fey with the elf and gnome subtypes respectively.
Elves have a +2 racial bonus to Charisma instead of intelligence, and replace Weapon familiarity, Elven Immunities and Elven Magic with DR 5/Cold Iron or Elyssian Bronze.
Gnomes replace Weapon familiarity, Defensive Training and Illusion resistance with DR 5/Cold Iron or Elyssian Bronze. They swap Gnome Magic for the alternate gnome racial trait fell Magic. Gnomes can carefully study a single creature once per day as a move action to gain a +2 racial bonus on attack and damage rolls against them (replacing Hatred and Obsessive).

Half Elves, Halflings and Half Orcs do not exist.

There may be more forthcoming, depending on if I can think of anything else that might be necessary to include, or if people express a lot of interest in trying this at some stage.

Practitioner of Do-It-Yourself surgery and supplier of black market livers.
Alice 'the Watcher' Crivens - Watching you, wherever you go, whatever you do, never blinking, always smiling. Changeling Mesmerist 1
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Post on Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:28 am by UnsavouryCharlot

Stick with Greece, probably using the Mycenaean Greece or Greek Dark Ages for the time period.

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