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Old 06-16-2006, 04:51 AM   #131
Anders
 
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Default Re: Homegrown fantasy setting in classical Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercator
As I say in the PDF, I have not given rigid templates with fixed character costs; I think the trait variability is too large in this period. Rahter, I give suggested Attribute levels, Ads/Disads and Skills (the latter divided in Primary, Secondary and Background). Whenever a trait is mandatory, I explicitly mention it; the rest is optional but recommended for adventuring (PC-like) types. I have also included plenty of notes for each character to explain my choices, expand on possible variants and suggestions, etc.
Looks good, but an approximate number of points (50 - 100 - 200) would be nice. I'll be looking more closely at it.
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Old 06-16-2006, 04:59 AM   #132
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Default Re: Homegrown fantasy setting in classical Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asta Kask
Looks good, but an approximate number of points (50 - 100 - 200) would be nice. I'll be looking more closely at it.
Oops, you're right. I forgot to write it down. I'll do it now.

[Click, click; typetypetype; CTRL+C, CTRL+V, whirrrrrCLUNNK, clik, click] Done.

Cheers,

M.
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Conversion of the supernatural skills in the Basic Set to Powers.

Last edited by Mercator; 06-16-2006 at 05:41 AM. Reason: Report updated PDF
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Old 06-17-2006, 12:53 PM   #133
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Default Re: Homegrown fantasy setting in classical Greece

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Originally Posted by Agemegos
Greek soldiers generally provided their own gear. The poor were rowers in the navy, unarmed (psiloi) or light-armed missile troops (peltastes) in the army. The middle class (who could afford big shields, helmets, and body-armour) were heavy infantry (hoplites), generally the arm of decision in Greek warfare, and the wealthy (hippeis) were cavalry, providing their own horses. It was because of the military importance of hoplites that the middle class gained political power in the 6th-5th centuries, and because of the military importance of rowers that the poor gained political power at Athens.
This is similar to the Republican army, and probably the reason for the republic as well. Though all were farmers, the poorest were velites (skirmishers), the more well-to-do were medium infantry (hastati, principes or triarii and the wealthiest were equites. So it's a common enough pattern.

A greek traveller named Pausanias has written a guide-book to Greece in 200 A.D. - perhaps this would be valuable?
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Old 06-17-2006, 12:55 PM   #134
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I was thinking about this while roaming the supermarket. Before Ephialtes' reforms of 462-461 the chief power of Athens was the Areopagos, the Court of Ares. This was an aristocratic body consisting of all the living citizens who had ever served as archon, and thus was functionally similar to the Senate of Republican Rome. The fact that it was named for Ares may be significant, though I believe that we are not quite sure what the connection was.
Are you certain of this? My sources say it's "Aeropagos", although I do not have an etymology of it.
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Old 06-18-2006, 03:07 AM   #135
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Default Re: Homegrown fantasy setting in classical Greece

Agemegos: Thank you very much for your comments on the whole frikkin' thread! They are both interesting to read and immediately useful for my purposes. I'll answer as soon as I have read them all. There's a lot of material to assimilate.

I liked your comments on Artemis and Apollo. I plan to have a conflict between Hephaestus and Aphrodite (he'd like to support Athens, but then she would don her girdle and...), and perhaps something involving Hera. If we also split these two, it seems we'll have quite a soap opera going on in Olympos...

Cheers,

M.
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Conversion of the supernatural skills in the Basic Set to Powers.

Last edited by Mercator; 06-18-2006 at 03:58 AM.
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Old 06-18-2006, 03:43 AM   #136
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Is it ever any other way?
[Chuckle] Good point.

Cheers,

M.
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Old 06-18-2006, 03:56 AM   #137
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Another thing I'd like to ask about: Asta Kask (I think) suggested that Poseidon supports Sparta and I agree with him, so we need someone to protect Athenian ships in the Aegean. I like the idea of that "someone" being Nereus (having been deposed by Poseidon as the Sea God of the Aegean, Nereus has too many dramatic possibilities to ignore). But IIRC he is a Titan, so he might be a prisoner in Tartarus. Is it so, or he is still free and "available"?

Other possibilities for the role are Triton and Thetys, althought they might be too weak against a determined and ******-off Poseidon... Oceanus is also there, but he seems to be consistently neutral at all times. If he didn't take sides in something like the Titanomachia, i doubt he'll be interested in a "minor" affair such as the Peloponnessian War...

Cheers,

M.
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Old 06-18-2006, 08:13 AM   #138
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I think that if you want the Pelopennesian war to go ahead you might have to delay the divine intervention by twelve months or so. Let Leonidas die gloriously at Thermopylae. Let the Athenians win great credit by evacuating their city and then conniving a glorious victory at Salamis. And then let the heavens cut loose at Plataea. A decisive Greek victory at Thermopylae changes too much.
Hmmm... that would be a pity. I think the Thermopylae would be the most dramatic point for the Return, because of the symbolic value and emotional charge of the battle for all Greeks (and for us!). But you have very good points and I can't argue them. Obviously you know much more than I about Greek history, but still, let me try this:

Let's assume for a moment that the Return happens at the Thermopylae. The Spartans win the day, and see themselves as the Saviors of Greece and True Civilization (...admittedly, with a little help from Above). Their pride becomes arrogance and begin to advocate with increasing aggresiveness for the unification of all the Peloponnesse, and later all Greece... obviously under their lead. It's the Will of Zeus, you see. They do nothing during the first years after the Return, because the shock and the terror are so great, and there are so many new challenges (monsters, forests slowly eating away arable land...) that everybody is busy just trying to survive.

Meanwhile Athens, while suffering from the Return as much as anyone else, notices what's happening in Sparta; as the natural competitors for supremacy in Greece (and natural prime enemies, should a war break out), Athenians begin to invest in reinforcing their defenses and making alliances with the communities in the Aegean and Asia Minor (remember that the Athenian treasury is largely intact, since it was neither sacked by the Persians nor had the city to be rebuilt after the war); the choice they offer is between being allies (well, call them "tributaries") of Athens or helots of the Spartans, if the latter ever set their sights on the Aegean. And they might; remember that they have Poseidon on their side! So the Athenians offer membership on the Delian League and (somehow) the protection of Nereus from the wrath of Poseidon in exchange of a contribution to Athens'... er, the League's treasury, and perhaps a compromise to build warships or some such. Athens gains a resource base and income flux that, being at sea, is hard for the Spartans to attack, even with Poseidon against them.

After a few decades of struggle for survival and social stabilization first, and then military buildup, Sparta begins an expansion campaign in the Peloponnesse with some pretext (lumbering rights in the newly-grown forests? Eris doing the Discord trick on some key people?), and then turns north towards the Gulf of Corinth. Athens is prepared to meet them... the rest, as they say, is history.

What do you think?

Cheers,

M.
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Conversion of the supernatural skills in the Basic Set to Powers.

Last edited by Mercator; 06-18-2006 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 06-18-2006, 11:34 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by Mercator

What do you think?

Cheers,

M.
I think that Athens might have a hard time convincing Greek states to join its empire (er, 'league') without a clear external danger. As is, the Spartans are just noisy during the Pentakotaetia. Perhaps start with Sparta and its allies siezing some small nearby cities- say, ones which they claim were going to refuse to send soldiers to defend the Ithmus of Corinth, or were plotting to betray Greece to the Persians- before being overwhelmed by the new troubles and setting down to a period of defensiveness? Being Spartans, and having other troubles, they would no doubt govern harshly, especially if they get it into their heads that more helots would be a good thing. Add this to Athena's favour and whatever other divine aid the Athenians can muster, and things would look more plausible.
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Old 06-19-2006, 04:23 AM   #140
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Default Re: Homegrown fantasy setting in classical Greece

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Originally Posted by Agemegos
I'm not sure that the Athenians are natural rivals of the Spartans unless and until they get a major rise in status from the events of 480-479 and the Thebans get a huge setback.
Right; you mentioned that in your earlier post, but I somehow overlooked it (so much for me pretending that I know Greek history...;-) ). If anything, placing the Return at the Thermopylae will increase the prestige of Sparta, not Athens. I believe that, in my timeline, much of the Spartan sphere of influence will be composed of poloi that support it willingly. We'd need something to ruin Spartan prestige: Perhaps the willing Spartan allies rethink their position when Leonidas turns most of the population into helots; perhaps Athens capitalizes on Spartan arrogance and tyrannical policy towards its "allies" to rally other cities to its side?

I can imagine a strong leader like Cimon (yes, I know that in real history he was pro-Spartan, but...) gathering intelligence form spies all over Hellas and seeing the Spartan threat grow; he would then urge Athens to prepare for war and build the Long Walls and embark in a PR campaign to gather allies in the Aegean. Why the Aegean, if they don't have to worry as much about the Spartans as the mainland cities? Perhaps they prefer to be potential vassals of Athens than certain helots for Sparta; perhaps Poseidon is sinking ships and sending sea monsters and earthquakes all over the Aegean (to soften up the islands' resistance before Spartan takeover?); perhaps Cimon manages to bribe the right key people (he has *lots* of gold now!).

Oh, and Thebes. That is another important blank to fill in. Give me a bit of time...

Polydamas: your idea of having Sparta attack and enslave a weaker polis in a particularly harsh way (I mean, if you can speak of degrees of harshness in Spartan slavery) is very good and would fit in what I have in mind. Let that polis be a specially strategic one (granting a corridor to the sea, for example), and the other major powers have, if not a casus belli, a clear reason for suspicion and alarm. I have this crazy mental image of Greek the poloi as the European powers right before WWII, indecisive as to what to do about German expansionism, with Cimon as the Hellenic Winston Churchill (At four o'clock this morning, Leonidas attacked, and invaded Corinth. This was no surprise to me...) ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
Remember that the Athenian aristocracy was pro-Spartan until the Spartan snub to Cimon in 461 BC.
We'll have to do something about Cimon. I read your link and I like the character very much, I want him to be one of the "Strong Leaders". What turns him away from Sparta? My ideas are in the paragraph above (if I understand Athenian politics of the time, wide swings in the public mood were not exactly unusual, so why not?).

Agemegos: I like your ideas for an alternative Delian League. Give me some time to think about them and to find an alternative city for the site of the League (...Delphi? one of Apollo's mystical strongholds?). Corinth being patronised by Aphrodite, they might join the Spartan block willingly, and the goddess might impose the condition that "her" protegees are not to be enslaved and/or actual Spartan garrisons to be allowed within the city.

About Athena's temple in Sparta: I didn't know that, but in hindsight, it makes sense that they would revere a warrior goddess. Yes, that would make things complicated for both Athena and the Spartans. Perhaps in my timeline the most belligerent God in the Athenian side is Apollo (putting the League's site -and treasury- in Delphi must have flattered him a lot), with Athena being more indecisive. I don't know yet. But it is a wonderful way to humanize her, making her have tough choices like this one instead of giving her a clear-cut way to follow. Hmmm...

And the Theoi site is amazingly useful, by the way. I plan to steal a lot from it (provided they agree, of course...).

When I have gone through all the new info from the last 3 days, I'll comment on it.

What do you people think about the character conversions? Is there something else missing, excessive or wrong?

Cheers,

M.
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Behind the Aegis - My dark fantasy setting in Classical Greece (discuss it here!).
Conversion of the supernatural skills in the Basic Set to Powers.

Last edited by Mercator; 06-19-2006 at 04:42 AM.
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