Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-22-2008, 09:51 PM   #261
mjj1976
Banned
 
mjj1976's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Default Re: Homegrown fantasy setting in classical Greece

Though I'm unfamiliar with the intricacies of Greek mythology (and therefore not in a good position to critique), I'd still like to say that your project is shaping up to be an interesting piece.

I was surprised to learn your interpretation of sirens were seagull-like beings, though. I certainly never imagined them like that! :D
mjj1976 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2008, 02:05 PM   #262
Mercator
 
Mercator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Default Re: Homegrown fantasy setting in classical Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjj1976
Though I'm unfamiliar with the intricacies of Greek mythology (and therefore not in a good position to critique), I'd still like to say that your project is shaping up to be an interesting piece.
Thank you; "interesting" is precisely what I'm aiming for; I want people to want to play in BtA, not just read it. So if you have any idea that would make the setting more playable, even if it has nothing to do with Greek mythology, I'll be happy to hear it.

Quote:
I was surprised to learn your interpretation of sirens were seagull-like beings, though. I certainly never imagined them like that! :D
My train of thought was something like this: as this is low(ish) fantasy, I want to keep the spirit of the mythical creatures, but make them believable as pseudo-realistic biological species; so I asked myself: if the classical descriptions of the creatures were written by an author in a state of shock/panic/awe when he met them, and later exaggerated, embellished etc in the writing, what could the original have looked like?

The sirens were classically described as birds with female heads (see here, for example), so for BtA I had to find a more "toned down" version while keeping the spirit of the description. Seagull-like creatures with disturbingly human eyes were the best I could think of. I imagined the siren song as a the cry of a thousand seagulls at once, only stronger and infinitely more beautiful.

Incidentally, I made sirens a whole species with thousands of individuals instead of a triad of nymphs, because I think they are more interesting that way. The same goes for the Nereids, and maybe for the Gorgones as well (maybe humans with a magical disease and a social stigma like real-life lepers or fantasy undead; I'm not sure yet, I've had the idea right now ;-)).

Cheers,
M.
__________________
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; 03-24-2008 at 04:29 AM. Reason: Minor corrections
Mercator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2008, 02:21 PM   #263
mjj1976
Banned
 
mjj1976's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Default Re: Homegrown fantasy setting in classical Greece

I recall seeing the picture in that link before, yet for some reason I've always equated sirens with mermaids. Is it just my mistake, or have more modern portrayals tended to combined the two concepts?
mjj1976 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2008, 02:37 PM   #264
Mercator
 
Mercator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Default Re: Homegrown fantasy setting in classical Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjj1976
I recall seeing the picture in that link before, yet for some reason I've always equated sirens with mermaids. Is it just my mistake, or have more modern portrayals tended to combined the two concepts?
The latter; it's a more modern mix. I don't know how old, but I'd venture XVIII or XIX century.

In fact, I also thought for some time that sirens and mermaids were the same thing; the fact that Spanish (one of the two languages I was raised in) uses the same word for both --sirena-- didn't help either . . .

Cheers,
M.
__________________
Behind the Aegis - My dark fantasy setting in Classical Greece (discuss it here!).
Conversion of the supernatural skills in the Basic Set to Powers.
Mercator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2008, 07:56 PM   #265
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: Homegrown fantasy setting in classical Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Carnifex
To add my two cents:

There may indeed by additional lumber available, but given that the Aegean and surrounding areas are now going to be inhabited by various beasties, monsters and nymphs, not to mention a fickle and testy Poesidon, I think war fleets are not going to get very much larger. The sinkings due to divine/monstrous intervention are going to balance (somewhat) the increased number of ships available.

As far as governments go, I could imagine that if the Olympians have started taking an interest in human affairs again, you could see a resurgence in Heros as well. This might tilt many cities back towards the monarchies of the Heroic Age; those cities were prone to carrying on low-level warfare and antagonism with as may of their neighbors as possible. For additional pathos, you could have Athens clinging desperately to its democracy, and/or Sparta to its aristocracy in the face of Heroic attempts to bring back the traditional monarchies.

If you wanted to go with the Pelopennisian War theme, you could subtly twist it, with a militaristic, expansionistic Sparta trying to overcome the scrappy democrats of Athens. Throw Gods and Heros on both sides. Remember that one of the distinctive features of the Pelopennisian War in our history was the fact that land-locked Sparta was unbeatable on land, but nearly all of Athen's colonies/vassal cities were in Ionia and the Aegean, where the Athenian navy was supreme.

I think it'd work best if you leave the world outside of the Aegis alone for a bit. Run the campaign for a while as is. Then, if you need to expand, you can send the PC's sailing to Egypt, or Persia, or Britain, and decide what to do about those places then. The Macedonians or Romans can be a lurking menace, to be brought into the game if you need a fresh start or outside threat forcing the Greeks to band together. Perhaps the Roman gods really are the Titans in disguise?

Speaking of the Titans, you've got a lot of the major elements of a mythos:

Cronus => The all-father and sky god
Hyperion => The sun
Oceanus => The sea
Prometheus => The creator / crafts god
Eichidna => Mother of monsters

You could model Titan-gifted powers much like you do with Olympian gifts. If it were me, I'd be tempted to make the Titan-gifted a bit more powerful, but sadle them with bizarre limitations and disadvantages; this'd reflect a more primal nature, but one out of harmony with the gods and the balanced state of man.

Technology wise, it's up to you. I could see using the Olympians as a means to slowly devolve the fundamental tech level: bronze and iron are pretty much the same thing when put against the orichalum of Hephaestus. And if you've got Heros with the strength of ten men running around, there's less of a need to drive technological advancement, so the situation (if not actually regressing) could logically stagnate, especially if Hephaestus or Athena don't feel like sharing any craft secrets with mere mortals.

Hope that helps...

+++|<=== Lord Carnifex ---
"For additional pathos you can have Athens clinging to its demoocracy and/or Sparta to its aristocracy in the face of heroic attempts to bring back the traditional monarchies"

Battle of Chaeronea?
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2008, 09:11 PM   #266
Agemegos
 
Agemegos's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oz
Default Re: Homegrown fantasy setting in classical Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjj1976
I recall seeing the picture in that link before, yet for some reason I've always equated sirens with mermaids. Is it just my mistake, or have more modern portrayals tended to combined the two concepts?
I'm not certain, but I think that [German] figure of the Lorelei might have had something to do with drawing the Sirens into conflation with mermaids.
__________________

Decay is inherent in all composite things.
Nod head. Get treat.
Agemegos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2008, 01:00 PM   #267
Mercator
 
Mercator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Default Re: Homegrown fantasy setting in classical Greece

Hi again,

That pesky real life keeps getting in the way, so I haven't written much for BtA as of late; however, I managed to include in the PDF the much-improved creature stat blocs from the threads labeled "Greek [Creature] writeup", where [Creature]=[Centaur, Empusa, Harpy, Satyr, Siren]. The modified PDF is already up.

I haven't given up on BtA -- far from it. I just can't devote much time to it right now --at least to create new stuff; I'd welcome comments on the existing material. I hope this changes soon.

Cheers,
M.
__________________
Behind the Aegis - My dark fantasy setting in Classical Greece (discuss it here!).
Conversion of the supernatural skills in the Basic Set to Powers.
Mercator is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.