MYTHIC GREECE FOR MERP

By Daniel M. Myers

Edited by Lowell R. Matthews for The Guild Companion

1.0 Introduction

Initially, the Mythic Greece: The Age of Heroes campaign was designed for Rolemaster™ (Second Edition) and Hero System™ users. Therefore, Middle Earth Role-Playing System (MERP) users have had to filter through the RM2 rules to play the campaign. Following the procedures detailed below, the MERP user will be able to gain the same pleasure from the Mythic Greece campaign as RM2 or Hero users. It is hoped that the following conversion will be compatible with MERP to the point that players will be able to switch their characters from one campaign to the next with no problems. Hence, MERP players should be able to enjoy the Mythic Greece campaign in many ways, whether they prefer the American television portrayals of these heroes (for example, Universal's Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, and Young Hercules) or a straightforward adaptation of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.

This article will achieve its objective in a number of ways. First, it will modify the character creation rules presented in Mythic Greece into MERP format. Second, it will present descriptions of cultures and races in Mythic Greece in the same format as the Dúnedain, Hobbits, and Elves are in MERP. Tables for Adolescence skill development and Racial Modifications are also presented in MERP format.

2.0 Character Creation

In creating a Mythic Greece character, players follow the normal rules of MERP, rolling for stats, developing skills, choosing professions, etc. Mythic Greece, however, presents the players with the opportunity of playing extra-powerful characters. A player can create a character with the immense strength of Hercules or the impenetrable skin of Achilles. Despite these awesome powers, there is a flip side—the character will be harassed continuously by a god who hates him. This god is called the Hunter. At the same time, the character will also have a patron god who grants the character the great powers and will occasionally help the character in times of need. This god is called the Watcher. The player will have to choose the character's Hunter and Watcher according to the character's background and personality. A short list of gods is located in Section 2.9.

2.1 Creating a Mythic Greece Character in the MERP System

The first part of creating a Mythic Greece character is to choose a race. In Greek mythology, all of the heroes were human, or more specifically, Achaean or Minoan. They were also all aristocrats. Occasionally, an outsider such as a Thracian or Amazon aristocrat will perform death-defying feats and great tasks, but in Greek mythology they are usually the supporting actors and actresses of a grand quest. Non-human characters are treated as non-player characters to be encounter as part of a quest or task. However, a Game Master (GM) and players might want to bypass the typical Greek hero stereotype and create non-human or non-Greek player characters. Therefore, descriptions of non-human and non-Greek races have been included in Section 4.0.

2.2 Rolling Stats

The PC is constructed following the MERP rules for rolling stats. According to what power level and background options the player and GM choose, some stats may increase to extraordinary potentials. This will be explained further in Section 2.4.

Note: Some cultures or races have special requirements for placing stat rolls. See the individual culture's or race's description for more information (Section 4.0).

2.3 Choosing a Profession

In choosing a profession, the PC is restricted to the professions listed in Table 2.3 below. These professions are further restricted by the Profession Restrictions of the cultures or races chosen by the player. Spell-users of Essence are unknown in Mythic Greece; therefore, they do not exist—at least, not as PC options.

Table 2.3: MERP Professions in Mythic Greece

Standard Professions

Optional Professions

Warrior

Barbarian

Animist

Rogue

Ranger

Explorer

Scout

Scholar

Bard (C)

Civilian

The Bard profession is treated as a Channeler and follows the armor restrictions of a Channeler. Bards still draw their power points from Intelligence.

2.4 Choosing Power Levels

A player can choose to create a character at three power levels. The first power level, similar to a normal MERP character, is the Lesser Hero. In Greek mythology, Lesser Heroes are usually the supporting actors to a Greater Hero or Demigod. (For example, in Universal's Hercules, the character Iolaus is a Lesser Hero who serves as Hercules' sidekick.) Lesser Heroes lack the magical powers of Greater Heroes and Demigods, but they also generally do not have Hunters or Watchers meddling in their affairs and causing problems.

The second power level is the Greater Hero. These characters begin with magical powers; however, the gods, generally one Hunter and one Watcher each, will occasionally meddle in their affairs. Therefore, the GM and players must choose the appropriate Watcher(s) and Hunter(s) for Greater Heroes according to their background and personality traits (see the example below).

The third power level is the Demigod. These characters begin with great magical powers making them far more powerful than the average PC; however, the gods constantly meddle with them and pry into their affairs. As for Greater Heroes, the GM and players must choose the appropriate Watcher(s) and Hunter(s) for Demigods according to their backgrounds and personalities.

Examples: A Minoan named Autolycos is the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman. Therefore, the player and GM assign Poseidon as his Watcher. Since Autolycos possesses great honor and abhors battle lust, they assign Ares as his Hunter. (Ares, the God of War, i.e. battle lust, detests those of acumen in the strategy of war.) In Universal's Hercules, the title character has two main Hunters, Hera and Ares; Zeus and Aphrodite might be considered his Watchers.

In Mythic Greece, each power level costs a certain number of background option (BGO) points. Table 2.4 lists the cost of each power level and how many times each can be bought. Note some cultures or races may have restrictions and some may have their power level already set.

Table 2.4: Mythic Greece Power Levels

Power Level

Cost

Restrictions

Lesser Hero

1 BGO

None

Greater Hero

3 BGO

One per character

Demigod

4 BGO

One per character with GM permission

Example: Autolycos the Minoan is made a Greater Hero. According to the Adolescence Table, Minoans begin with four BGO points (see Section 2.8). Therefore, Autolycos' player spends three of his BGO points on a Greater Hero power level, leaving one point. Since he cannot buy another Greater Hero or Demigod power level, the player spends the remaining background option on a Lesser Hero power level.

The following sections explain in detail each power level and its options.

2.4.1 Lesser Hero

A Lesser Hero power level is handled in the same manner as background options for standard MERP characters. While lacking the magical powers of the higher power levels, the Lesser Hero does not have a godly enemy (at least, not from the beginning). Background options from this power level can be taken more than once. For each Lesser Hero power level purchased, a player may choose from four options, special abilities, hobby skill ranks, stat increases, and languages, each worth 1 BGO point. A Greater Hero or Demigod can also take these options (and is in fact required to spend leftover BGO points on them). The Lesser Hero Option Table below provides the details.

Table 2.4.1: Lesser Hero Options and Special Abilities

 

Lesser Hero Option (each option costs 1 BGO point)

 

Stat Increase (only lesser heroes may increase stats with Lesser Hero Options)

 

Increase one stat by 2 points; OR

 

Increase three stats by 1 point

 

Hobby Skill Ranks

 

Increase one primary skill by 2 ranks; OR

 

Increase one secondary skill by 5 ranks

 

Languages

 

Learn one language to rank 5

d100

Special Abilities

01–20

Extra Wealth: Hero re-rolls for an additional 1–100 GP.

21–40

Gift: Hero receives a special item that adds +10 to the skill with which it is used, OR the item is a +1 spell adder.

41–50

Extra Skill: Hero receives a special +5 bonus to any one primary skill.

51–60

Craftsman: Hero receives a special +15 bonus to any one secondary skill.

61–65

Great Piety: Hero Priest starts with one spell list learned from his Watcher. If the hero is not a Priest, re-roll.

66–70

Empathy: Hero has empathy with any one type of animal. Hero starts with one loyal companion animal of this type.

71–75

Resistance: Hero receives a special +10 to RR's versus diseases and poisons.

76–80

Lightning Reactions: Hero receives a +5 to all offensive and defensive bonuses.

81–85

Nimbleness: Hero receives a special +10 bonus to all Moving Maneuvers.

86–90

Observation: Hero receives a special +10 bonus to Tracking and Perception skills.

91–95

Charisma: Hero receives a special +10 to all Influence skills.

96–00

Hardiness: Hero receives a +3 bonus to each d10 roll for concussion hits.

Notes: Unlike in MERP, the Special Items category is listed as part of the Special Abilities category as Gifts. This is because the occurrence of magic items in the Age of Heroes is low; while they do exist, magic items do not just "pop" into a character's hands. The majority of these Gifts are keyed to the character's culture or race. Likewise, the Extra Wealth category is listed as part of the Special Abilities category because all heroes will be aristocrats (nobles or monarchs) to whom money is not very important. This wealth roll is to signify a particularly wealthy aristocrat.

The Special Abilities give the character extraordinary talents that allow him to be called a Lesser Hero. These powers are not derived from the gods of Olympus (or any others). The Hobby Skill Ranks give the player two options. He can increase one of the PC's primary skills by two ranks or one of his secondary skills by five. The Stat Increases also give the player two options. He may increase one of the PC's stats by 2 points or three stats by 1 point each, to a maximum of 101. Players who already have chosen Greater Hero or Demigod options for their characters may not choose this option. The Languages category allows a character to learn one additional language to rank 5 (fluency).The GM may restrict which languages a character may learn, see Section 4.0.

2.4.2 Greater Hero

The Greater Hero power level costs 3 BGO points for one Greater Hero Option and may only be purchased once. However, the player may use remaining BGO points on Lesser Hero Options excluding Stat Increase. The Greater Hero Option (Table 2.4.2) has three categories from which the player can choose, Spell Powers, Great Skills, and Statistic Powers, explained in Section 2.5.

Table 2.4.2: Greater Hero Options

Greater Hero Option (worth 3 BGO points, limit one)

Choose one of the following options:

  • One of the six Statistic Powers

  • A Spell Power to Level 5

  • A Great Skill: Apply 15 skill ranks to any one category.

These extra powers are derived from the gods of Olympus (or, rarely, others), either because the character is a descendant of one of them or because he has become involved in some way in their affairs. Due to this divine attention, the player of a Greater Hero must choose at least one Watcher who occasionally aids him and at least one Hunter who occasionally harasses him.

2.4.3 Demigod

The Demigod power level costs 4 BGO points for one Demigod Option, and like the Greater Hero power level, it may be purchased only once. However, the player may use any remaining BGO points on Lesser Hero Options excluding Stat Increase. The Greater Hero Option (Table 2.4.3) has three categories from which the player can choose, Spell Powers, Great Skills, and Divine Hero, which gives the Demigod two Greater Hero Options.

Table 2.4.3: Special Abilities for the Demigod Option

Demigod Option (worth 4 BGO points, limit one)

Choose one of the following options:

  • A Spell Power to Level 10

  • A Great Skill: Apply 30 skill ranks to any one category.5

  • Divine Hero: Choose two Greater Hero options.
  • Like the magical powers of a Greater Hero, those of a Demigod are derived from the gods of Olympus (or, rarely, others) due to some special relationship with them. The player of a Demigod PC must choose at least one Watcher who will frequently act to guard the PC's safety and at least one Hunter who will frequently harass the PC.

    Naturally, players will want to choose the Demigod power level. Players wanting a Demigod character must first create the character as a Greater Hero. But, players must tell the GM that they want a Demigod character. The GM will evaluate all the characters that want to be Demigods, then choose the one whom the GM thinks will work best in the campaign as the primary character. The GM will tell the player to give his character the extra power that the Demigod gets. There should never be more than one or two Demigods in a campaign.

    2.5 Special Powers of the Greater Hero and the Demigod

    The following sections detail the special powers of the Greater Hero and Demigod.

    2.5.1 Great Skills

    All skill ranks must be applied to one category and may not be applied to skills whose initial development point allocation is zero. Example: Autolycos the Minoan chooses Great Skill in the Greater Hero package and would like to invest his 15 skill ranks in a Weapons Skill category. As a Minoan, Autolycos may invest his 15 skill ranks in one-hand edged, two-handed, missile, or pole-arm weapons skills because those initial development points are not zero (see Section 2.8). However, Autolycos cannot invest his skill ranks into one-hand concussion or thrown weapons because their initial development points are zero.

    2.5.2 Statistic Powers

    Players have six PC Statistic Powers from which to choose:

    Table 2.5.2: Statistic Powers for Greater Heroes and Demigods

    Statistic Power (taken only with Greater Hero or Demigod Options)

    Great Beauty

    Temporary Presence increases to 120, Appearance to 110

    Great Cunning

    Temporary Intuition increases to 120, Intelligence to 110

    Great Dexterity

    Temporary Agility increases to 120, Intelligence to 110

    Great Prowess

    Temporary Agility and Strength both increase to 115

    Great Strength

    Temporary Strength increases to 120, Constitution to 110

    Great Vitality

    Temporary Constitution increases to 120, Strength to 110

    These Statistic Powers provide the character with traits far beyond the normal character's capabilities. Since MERP lacks any rules concerning potential stats, Table 2.5.2.1 below defines the Statistic Powers in MERP game terms. The Statistic Power represents the PC's potential, not his normal ability. The Statistic Power is channeled to the PC from his Watcher (who may or may not be paying attention, Table 2.5.2.2) only in times of need or desperation.

    2.5.2.1 Bonuses for Extremely High Statistics

    Table 2.5.2.1 below (adapted from RM2) shows the stat bonuses and power points that arise from stats in the range 100–120.

     

    Table 2.5.2.1: Bonuses for Extremely High Statistics

    Stat

    Bonus

    PP

    100

    25

    3

    101

    30

    3

    102

    35

    4

    103

    40

    4

    104

    45

    5

    105

    49

    5

    106

    53

    5

    107

    57

    6

    108

    61

    6

    109

    65

    6

    110

    68

    6

    111

    71

    7

    112

    74

    7

    113

    77

    7

    114

    80

    7

    115

    82

    8

    116

    84

    8

    117

    86

    8

    118

    88

    8

    119

    90

    8

    120

    91

    9

    2.5.2.2 Watcher Intervention Attempts

    Every time a Greater Hero or Demigod PC attempts to channel his Statistic Power, he must roll on Table 2.5.2.2-A below to determine his degree of success or failure. Some modifiers are permanent (e.g., GM decrees or modifiers accruing from past absolute successes or blunders); others are temporary as described in Table 2.5.2.2-B.

    Table 2.5.2.2-A: Resolution of Watcher Intervention Attempts

    Result

    D100 (OE)

    Spectacular failure—your Watcher thinks of you as a dishonorable coward. You are at –50 in all future attempts due to your Watcher's lack of confidence in you. Loss of confidence reigns for 1–10 days.

    –26 and lower:

    BLUNDER

    Your Watcher is off in Elysium. You are at –30 in future attempts for the next 1–10 days.

    –25 to 04:

    ABSOLUTE

    FAILURE

    Your Watcher is busy watching over someone else. You may try again in 24 hours.

    05 to 75:

    FAILURE

    Intrigued by your situation, your Watcher begins to pay attention to your petty concerns. Roll again in three rounds.

    76 to 90:

    PARTIAL

    SUCCESS

    Other Olympians are showing interest in your situation, thereby drawing your Watcher's attention. Try again in three rounds with a +10 bonus to see if you can win your Watcher's attention.

    91 to 110:

    NEAR

    SUCCESS

    Well done. Your Watcher urges you forward and grants you the Statistic Power.

    111 to 175:

    SUCCESS

    Astonished at your feats of bravery and cunning, your Watcher grants you the Statistic Power and gives you full attention for the next 1–10 days. You are at +30 to all future attempts.

    176 and higher:

    ABSOLUTE

    SUCCESS

     

     

    Table 2.5.2.2-B: Modifiers to Watcher Intervention Attempts

    Condition

    Mod.

    When was the last time the character asked for the Statistic Power?

     

    Over a month ago

    +20

    Over a week ago

    +10

    4–7 days ago

    +0

    1–3 days ago

    –20

    Within the last 24 hours

    –40

    What is the character?

     

    Greater Hero

    +10

    Demigod

    +20

    What is the character confronting (includes monsters of equivalent status)?

     

    Lesser Hero or below

    –15

    Greater Hero or Demigod

    +10

    Minor God

    +15

    Major God

    +20

    Is the character performing a maneuver?

     

    Extremely Hard (–30)

    +0

    Sheer Folly (–50)

    +10

    Absurd (–70)

    +20

    Anything Less

    –15

    2.5.3 Spell Powers

    Spell Powers provide the character with magical abilities. Players may choose one of the pre-created Spell Powers taken from Greek myths and legends listed below for their PC's. A GM may want to modify, limit, or add more Spell Powers to suit his style of playing. The majority of the listed Spell Powers are level 5 unless otherwise stated; they are categorized below by name (bold) and, in brackets, level, Watcher type, race restrictions, and mechanics.

    Level: Greater Heroes may only use Spell Powers to level 5; Demigods may use them to level 5 or level 10 according to the option chosen.

    Watcher Type: Players may only choose those Spell Powers which correspond to the chosen Watcher's specialty or area of influence. Specialties marked Any may be assigned to any PC. Example: Hector's Watcher is Apollo, whose specialty is Enlightenment. Therefore, Hector may choose any Spell Power from the Enlightenment or Any types. A list of gods and their specialties can be found in Section 3.0.

    Race Restrictions: Some Spell Powers are race-specific.

    Mechanics: These instructions determine how the Spell Power can be used. Those designated Separate Power Points require a separate power point allocation dedicated solely to the Spell Power chosen—3 PP per level, unmodified by stats, magic items, or special factors. For spell-users, this will mean having two sets of power points, one for casting normal spells and the other for using the Spell Power. These power points are used effortlessly and can be used at any time. The Spell Power effect level (5 or 10) is determined by the power level, Greater Hero or Demigod.

    Note: Those GM's who wish to provide a greater range of Spell Powers should consult the Mythic Greece "Spell Power" Section (1.3.3), page 7. The book goes into detail into how to create a Spell Power and expands the number of Spell Powers to include Rolemaster spell lists.

    2.6 Skills Development

    For skill development, follow the MERP format for developing Adolescence and Apprenticeship skills. Due to the nature of Mythic Greece, there are several modifications to skills. First, most human cultures and races in Mythic Greece do not ride horses; only Amazons and some Asians ride them (usually without stirrups, an Oriental invention). Instead, the majority of Mediterranean human cultures and races use chariots. Therefore, the GM should change Riding to Charioteering for most humans.

    The second modification deals with magic use. In Mythic Greece, all spell-users are priests or otherwise possess knowledge of religious matters. Therefore, all spell-users are required to possess the skill Priesthood, which is placed in the Magical Skills category. The effects of Priesthood on spell-casting will be clarified in Section 2.7.

    Secondary skills follow the normal MERP format.

    2.7 Spell-Users

    In Mythic Greece, magic does not exist in the same form it does in Middle-earth. There are no Mages or Wizards in tall pointed hats, nor a Sauron watching over the land for uses of magic. Instead, the vast majority of magic used comes from the gods. The few mortals who can use magic are priests of a particular god and users of the realm of Channeling. As far as PC's are concerned, the realm of Essence does not exist in Mythic Greece.

    2.7.1 How To Create a Spell-User

    In creating a spell-user PC, a player has to do two things. First, all spell-users (including Bards, Animists, and Rangers) are priests of a particular god and must add the skill Priesthood to their Magical Skills category. The spell-user must develop Priesthood to a rank greater than or equal to the level of a particular spell in order to cast that spell. Second, the spell-user must have a god as Patron, for whom the spell-user will be a priest. With GM approval, a player may make his PC's Patron different from his Watcher.

    In Mythic Greece, magic is derived from the gods; each god specializes in a particular type of spells (see Section 3.0). Zeus is the God of the Sky. Hence, Zeus' specialty is Sky and all spell lists relating to the sky are his specialty. Thus, priests of Zeus can only cast spells from the magical specialty Sky. However, there are spell lists possessing the magical specialty Any. These spell lists may be learned by any spell-user without Patron restrictions. Those spell lists not included are not available because they fall outside the bounds of magic in Mythic Greece; therefore, they cannot be learned by PC spell-users.

    Example: Medea the Achaean chooses to be a Bard. (Remember that Bards in Mythic Greece are treated as users of Channeling. Hence, Bards have access to the Open Channeling lists and Bard base lists.) For Medea's Watcher, Hera is chosen because of Medea's fealty to the family; however, Medea is made a priestess of Apollo. Therefore, Apollo is her Patron and Hera is her Watcher. Apollo is the God of the Arts and Music, so his magical specialty is Enlightenment. The spell list "Surface Ways" has the magical specialty of Enlightenment. Therefore, Medea can learn that spell list and any other list in her Profession containing the magical specialty Enlightenment. Likewise, Medea cannot learn "Sound Control" because it is not within the purview of Enlightenment. (Only priests with the magical specialty Underworld may learn that spell list.) However, Medea can learn the spell list "Protections" because it is classified Any. Therefore, Medea and priests of any magical specialty may learn that spell list.

    Normal MERP rules apply for learning and using spell list and spells.

    2.7.2 Non-Spell-Users

    Those non-spell-user characters who wish to learn spell lists must also follow the rules above. The character needs a Patron god or goddess and, to be a priest, that means he must learn the Priesthood skill. The character will also need to possess the Priesthood skill to ranks greater than or equal to the spell level to cast a particular spell. This will probably mean that the non-spell-user character will have to advance levels before casting spells of any significance.

    2.8 Adolescence Skill Development Table

    The table below presents MERP adolescence skill development points for the races and cultures more fully described in Section 4.0.

     

    Table 2.8: MERP Adolescence Table for Mythic Greece

     

    Achaean

    Amazon

    Dryad

    Centaur

    Minoan

    Myrmidon

    Nereid

    Oread

    Satyr/Silenus

    Movement & Maneuver

                     

    No Armor

    0

    1

    1

    2

    0

    1

    1

    1

    1

    Soft Leather

    0

    1

    0

    0

    1

    0

    0

    0

    0

    Rigid Leather

    1

    0

    0

    0

    1

    1

    0

    0

    0

    Chain

    1

    0

    0

    0

    0

    1

    0

    0

    0

    Plate

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    Weapon Skills

                     

    1-H Edge

    1

    1

    1

    0

    1

    1

    0

    0

    1

    1-H Concussion

    0

    0

    0

    2

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    2-Hand

    0

    0

    0

    0

    1

    1

    0

    0

    0

    Thrown

    1

    1

    1

    0

    0

    0

    0

    1

    1

    Missile

    0

    2

    0

    1

    1

    1

    0

    1

    0

    Pole-Arms

    2

    1

    0

    1

    1

    2

    0

    1

    1

    General Skills

                     

    Climb

    1

    1

    4

    0

    0

    1

    0

    1

    0

    Ride

    0

    4

    0

    0

    0

    0

    1

    0

    0

    Swim

    2

    0

    1

    0

    3

    0

    6

    0

    0

    Trickery Skills

                     

    Ambush

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    Stalk/Hide

    0

    0

    4

    1

    0

    0

    3

    3

    3

    Magical Skills

                     

    Read Runes

    0

    0

    1

    1

    1

    0

    2

    1

    0

    Use Items

    0

    0

    2

    0

    0

    0

    1

    1

    1

    Misc. Skills

                     

    Perception

    1

    1

    3

    2

    2

    2

    3

    3

    2

    Body Hits

    2

    2

    1

    4

    2

    3

    1

    1

    3

    Special

                     

    % for Spells

    5%

    5%

    20%

    7%

    5%

    7%

    30%

    20%

    10%

    Languages

    3

    5

    4

    4

    3

    3

    4

    4

    3

    Background

    5

    4

    4

    5

    4

    4

    4

    4

    4

    Racial Modification Table

    The table below presents MERP racial modifications for the four races more fully described in Section 4.0.

    Table 2.9: MERP Racial Modifications Table for Mythic Greece

     

    ST

    AG

    CO

    IG

    IT

    PR

    ESS

    CHN

    POS

    DIS

    Human

    +5

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    Centaur

    +5

    –5

    +10

    0

    +5

    0

    0

    0

    +10

    +20

    Nymph

    –10

    +10

    0

    0

    0

    +5

    0

    0

    +20

    +100

    Satyr or Silenus

    +5

    +10

    +10

    0

    –5

    –5

    0

    0

    +20

    +100

    3.0 Gods and Magic of Mythic Greece

    The entire collection of MERP spell lists has been reviewed and either assigned a magical specialty as shown below or rejected as inconsistent with Mythic Greece. Because all magic derives from the gods in Mythic Greece, a selection of the major gods and goddesses and their magical specialties are also presented. In most cases, players should choose PC Watchers and Hunters from this list.

    Notes: The specialty Enlightenment is abbreviated Enl. in the tables. Priests of gods whose specialty is None may only learn the Any lists.

    Table 3.0-A: MERP Spell Lists in Mythic Greece

    Spell List

    Magic Specialty

    Spell List

    Magic Specialty

    Open Channeling

         

    Detection Mastery

    Any

    Calm Spirits

    Enl., Fertility

    Sound/Light Ways

    Enl., Sky, Underworld

    Surface Ways

    Enl.

    Protections

    Any

    Spell Defense

    Enl.

    Nature's Movement

    Earth, Sea

    Nature's Lore

    Any

    Animist Base Lists

         

    Plant Mastery

    Earth, Fertility

    Direct Channeling

    Enl.

    Animal Mastery

    Fertility

    Bone/Muscle Ways

    Enl.

    Blood Ways

    Enl.

    Organ Ways

    Enl.

    Purifications

    Enl.

    Creations

    Earth, Fertility

    Ranger Base Lists

         

    Path Mastery

    Any

    Moving Ways

    Earth, Sea

    Nature's Guises

    Earth

    Nature's Ways

    Earth, Enl., Sky

    Bard Base Lists

         

    Controlling Songs

    Enl.

    Lore

    Enl.

    Item Lore

    Crafts, Enl.

    Sound Control

    Underworld

    Table 3.0-B: The Gods of Olympus

    Name

    Interests

    Magic Specialty

    Name

    Interests

    Magic Specialty

    Zeus

    King of the Gods; the sky, Oracles, aiding fugitives

    Sky

    Hera

    Queen of the Gods; motherhood, womanhood

    None

    Aphrodite

    Love, lust

    Fertility

    Apollo

    Music and the arts, healing, hunting

    Enl.

    Ares

    War

    None

    Artemis

    Hunting, Womanhood

    Enlightening

    Athena

    Wisdom, warfare, crafts

    Crafts

    Demeter

    Agriculture, fertility, the seasons

    Earth, Fertility

    Dionysus

    Wine, fertility, agriculture

    Earth, Fertility

    Hephaestus

    Metal crafts, crafts

    Crafts

    Hermes

    Messenger of the Gods; trade, trickery, gambling, athletics

    Underworld

    Poseidon

    King of the Sea; earthquakes, horses

    Earth, Sea

    Hestia

    Home and hearth, fire

    None

    Hades

    King of the Dead

    Underworld

    Hecate

    Patroness of Magic

    Enl., Underworld

    Pan

    Shepherds, flocks

    Fertility

    4.0 Culture and Race Descriptions

    4.1 Humans

    4.1.1 Overview

    Humans in Mythic Greece are comparable to those of modern times in height, weight, and many other attributes. However, humans during this age have extensive interaction with the gods. Hence many will have godly blood in them, making them far more powerful than normal humans, as evidenced by the existence of Greater Heroes, Demigods, and spell-users. Humans of the Age of Heroes possess lifespans with peculiar variances. Some age at a normal (modern) pace; they achieve young adulthood around age 16, their prime around age 30, middle age around 45 or 50, and old age at 60. Others, because of the godly blood in their veins, live in their primes for generations, dying at long last on the battlefield. Others reach old age at the normal rate, yet continue to live on in an active old age for 300 years or more. In short, the GM and player can decide how each PC ages individually; with good reason, the PC could be relatively youthful forever (which, of course, has consequences). Also, all of the characters will be monarchs, nobles, or their children. Therefore, all human characters will begin with 20 gold pieces worth of goods or equipment. All human cultures follow the guidelines above unless otherwise stated.

    4.1.2 Achaeans

    The Achaeans are called by numerous names, such as Danaans, Minyans, and Hellenes. This is the culture that everyday people associate with ancient Greece. The Achaeans possess a very colorful culture based on sea-travel and war. They are also great builders and architects. They are a bold and confident people who live throughout the mainland Hellas region and the surrounding islands. Their culture has produced some of the greatest heroes, such as Hercules and Theseus. The majority of inhabitants in the Age of Heroes are Achaean.

    4.1.3 Amazons

    Amazons have a matriarch-dominated, warlike culture and live primarily in Amazonia and Hespera. Amazonia is located on the coast of the Black Sea, whereas Hespera is located on the coast of North Africa; therefore, Amazons from Amazonia tend to be fair, whereas those of Hespera are dark in complexion. Men occupy a different social status in each region. Both groups of Amazons train their bodies for warfare from an early age by performing all the fighting and hunting in their societies. They enjoy hunting, physical games, and warfare. They are also fine horse-tamers and keep great herds of horses. Amazons employ horseback cavalry in war. They sacrifice horses in the same manner as Achaeans sacrifice oxen. All Amazons are female. However, any "liberated" women from male-dominated societies can choose the Amazons' adolescence skills instead of those of their host cultures.

    4.1.4 Minoans

    Minoans are a talented, sophisticated people. They possess a love for jewelry and beautiful art objects. They are a peaceful people and maintain a rule of law. Above all, Minoans maintain a close link to nature and the sea. This is reflected in their palace-temples, which are adorned with flower gardens, birds, fountains, and butterflies. They also use grottoes, caves, and mountaintops for religious ceremonies. In addition, Minoans are highly original, imaginative people. One of their many amazing accomplishments was to install running water and plumbing. Their culture flourishes in Crete and the surrounding islands. They are a powerful trading nation and have established several colonies in distant places. Minoans are great sea-travelers and are known as adept sailors. Women play an important role in their society and are held as equal to men in all respects except warfare. Minoans enjoy numerous sports, including one particular sport known as bull leaping, in which young males and females attempted to somersault over the backs of charging bulls.

    4.1.5 Myrmidons

    Long ago, the islands of Aegina and Phtia were besieged by a great famine which annihilated the entire human population. To repopulate these islands, Zeus converted the ants living there into humans called the Myrmidons. Although now human, Myrmidons share many traits of their ant ancestors. They are hardworking and determined. They lack individuality and appear nearly indistinguishable from one another. Culturally, Myrmidons are like their neighbors, the Achaeans—warlike. They also lead communal lives where property holds no meaning and the well-being of the community is placed before that of the individual. Thus, Myrmidons have a mixed culture with characteristics of both ants and Achaeans.

    4.2 Non-Humans

    In the myths and legends of Ancient Greece, human heroes encountered non-human characters only as part of an epic or quest. These non-humans either aided or attacked the human heroes. However, many players will want to choose non-human characters. The type of role-playing involved should be adjusted for non-human characters. Since all of the non-human races dislike towns and cities, their adventures should take place in the wilderness. Non-human characters should not be the norm in a Mythic Greece campaign, and there should usually never be more than two in a single group. But as this is the individual GM's world, he is free to choose to ignore this guideline as he wills. Non-humans are divided into two broad classes by nature, Composite Creatures and Nymphs.

    4.2.1 Composite Creatures

    4.2.1.1 Centaurs

    Despite the stereotype of being uncivilized and crude, Centaurs are quite sophisticated. They possess a deep respect for the harmony of nature, which often translates to their profound understanding of nature and the stars. They are a prideful race. They live in the open pastures and the wilderness. Of all of the non-human races, Centaurs interact the most with humans. In appearance, Centaurs are a composite creature, half man, half horse. Thus, they combine the traits of the two species into one, the intelligence of man and the nobility of nature. A few Centaurs have been noted for their wisdom; many Achaean monarchs have sent their children to wise Centaurs for tutoring. In classic Greek mythology, all Centaurs are males.

    4.2.1.2 Satyrs and Sileni

    Mischievous forest folk, Satyrs and Sileni (singular Silenus) represent the chaotic and gamboling traits of Mother Nature (Gaia). They are hedonistic and carefree. At one moment, they can be seen drinking and partying, and at another, industriously working on their wine vintages and gardens. At other times, they are slothful, sleeping away the day, or busy frightening and harassing the local human shepherds. Despite their hedonistic lifestyle, the curiosity of Mother Nature and music has lead some Satyrs and Sileni to become great teachers and musicians. In fact, some monarchs of Asia Minor seek them as tutors for their children. In appearance, a Satyr's upper torso is that of a hairy man while his lower torso is that of a goat; a Silenus' lower torso is that of a horse. In general, Sileni tend to be taller than Satyrs and slightly more studious. In classic Greek mythology, all Satyrs and Sileni are males. Satyrs inhabit the wilds of Hellas and Italy, while Sileni inhabit Phrygia and the surrounding lands. Both races are immortal and their members will only die from violence. Disease is unknown to them. Note: Satyrs and Sileni are very similar to each other; therefore, they have been combined into one section here. They share the same characteristics unless stated otherwise.

    4.2.2 Nymphs

    Nymphs are a broad category of beings whose life forces are magically tied to a particular ecological or geographical feature. In the following sections, Nymphs are divided into three groups, Dryads (Wood Nymphs), Nereids (Water Nymphs), and Oreads (Mountain Nymphs). Although racially the same, they possess distinctive cultures and abilities. Within each group there are tens of sub-races and cultures. For example, among the Nereids, there are Oceanids, Naiads, and Limnads. Each sub-race represents a distinct geographical or ecological feature. For example, Oceanids are tied to the ocean, Naiads to rivers, and Limnads to lakes or stagnant pools. The magical bond gives Nymphs unique abilities, outlined in the race descriptions. However, damage to or destruction of a Nymph's bound feature results in illness or death for the Nymph.

    Nymphs are closely related to the gods; a few have obtained the status of minor goddesses and are considerably more powerful than the norm. Like the gods, Nymphs are immortal and will only die through to violence to their persons, destruction of their bound feature, or transformation into a flower or other natural object. Nymphs usually appear as beautiful, young human women. Due to their relationship to the gods and their magical bonds with ecological or geographical features, all Nymphs are more adept at employing magic in their daily lives than humans. Although rarely seen, they are widespread. In classic Greek mythology, all Nymphs are female.

    4.2.2.1 Water Nymphs—Nereids

    Of all the Nymphs, Nereids are the closest to the gods. Some serve as maids for the gods while others are caregivers. A few have gained the status of goddesses in their own right or have married gods. Consequently, Nereids employ magic as part of their daily lives. Nereids are tied to a geographic body of water, such as a river or a lake. The drying up or the damming of a Nereid's geographic feature results in illness. Nereids are excellent swimmers, at home in the water, and often live in underwater caves or watery places. They enjoy music and songs and are skilled singers. They revere beauty.

    4.2.2.2 Wood Nymphs—Dryads

    Dryads, like Nereids, are beautiful young women, but Dryads tend to live in forested areas. They are bound to a specific ecological feature, such as an oak, maple, linden, or olive tree, and damage to that tree can cause illness or death. Because the survival of their particular tree is so important for the Dryads' well-being, they often act as guardians of the forest, healing and caring for trees and animals. Consequently, they revere the forest and all its living things. Dryads are adventurous and enjoy the company of other forest-folk.

    4.2.2.3 Mountain Nymphs—Oreads

    The oldest of the Nymphs, Oreads are tied to mountains and hills. Damage occurring to their bound geographical features from such things as erosion, earthquakes, mining, or forest fires will cause illness and eventual death. Often confused with Dryads, Oreads appear as beautiful young women who live in mountainous areas. They are graceful and charming, yet strong-willed and stubborn once they have set their minds on something. They enjoy hunting and physical activities, such as sprinting and jumping. They revere the stars. They are the "databases" of the world, possessing great knowledge of the history of their lands.

    5.0 Languages

    Since the majority of the myths and legends take place in Hellas, it is recommended that player characters speak at least some Greek.

    Table 5.0: Languages of Mythic Greece

    Region

    Language Ranks for Starting Characters

    In and Near Greece

     

    Greek

    Achaeans 5, Minoans 4, Myrmidons 5, Centaurs 5, Satyrs 5, Dryads 5, Oreads 5, Nereids 5.

    Minoan

    Achaeans 2, Minoans 5, Satyrs 3.

    Pelasgian

    Achaeans 4, Myrmidons 3, Satyrs 3.

    Sintian

    Achaeans (from Lemnos only) 5.

    Asia Minor

     

    Phoenician

     

    Hatti

     

    Phrygian

    Sileni 5.

    Amazon

    Amazons 5.

    Luwian

    Sileni 3.

    Lydian

     

    Northern Africa

    Amazons of Hespera have one African language to rank 2.

    Egyptian

     

    Libyan

    Amazons 3.

    Ethiopian

     

    Amazon

    Amazons 5.

    Eastern Europe

    Amazons of Amazonia have one Eastern European language to rank 2.

    Colchian

     

    Thracian

     

    Scythian

    Amazons 3.

    Slavic

     

    6.0 Conversions to Rolemaster (Second Edition)

    Tables 6.0-A, B, and C are a conversion of Table 2.9; they list the racial stat modifiers in RM2 format for those races and cultures described in Section 4.0. In general, RMSS stat bonuses are 40% (2/5) of RM2 bonuses.

    Table 6.0-A: RM2 Racial Stat Modifications for Mythic Greece

     

    CO

    AG

    SD

    ME

    RE

    ST

    QU

    PR

    EM

    IN

    AP

    Size

    Achaeans

    +5

    –5

    +5

    0

    0

    +5

    0

    +5

    0

    0

    0

    +5

    Minoans

    +5

    0

    +5

    0

    0

    +5

    0

    +5

    0

    0

    0

    +5

    Amazon

    +5

    +5

    +5

    0

    0

    +5

    +5

    0

    0

    0

    +5

    +5

    Myrmidons

    +10

    0

    +10

    +5

    +5

    +5

    0

    0

    –5

    –5

    –5

    +5

    Centaurs

    +10

    –5

    0

    0

    0

    +10

    –5

    +10

    0

    +10

    –5

    +10

    Satyrs

    +10

    +10

    –10

    –5

    +5

    +5

    +10

    –5

    0

    0

    +20

    0

    Sileni

    +10

    +5

    –5

    –5

    +5

    +5

    +10

    0

    0

    0

    +20

    0

    Nymphs

    +5

    +15

    –15

    0

    0

    –10

    +10

    +5

    0

    0

    +30

    –10

    Table 6.0-B: RM2 Racial RR Modifications for Mythic Greece

     

    Poison

    Disease

    Heat

    Cold

    Ess.

    Chan.

    Ment.

    Psionics

    Fear

    Achaeans

    +5

    +5

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    Minoans

    +5

    +5

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    Amazons

    +5

    +5

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    0

    Myrmidons

    +15

    +15

    +5

    +5

    0

    +5

    0

    0

    0

    Centaurs

    +10

    +15

    0

    0

    0

    0

    –5

    0

    0

    Satyrs

    +20

    +100

    0

    0

    0

    –5

    –5

    0

    0

    Sileni

    +20

    +100

    0

    0

    0

    –5

    –5

    0

    0

    Nymphs

    +20

    +100

    +20

    +20

    0

    –5

    –5

    0

    +100

    Table 6.0-C: RM2 Racial Recovery Modifications for Mythic Greece

     

    Soul Dep.

    Stat Det.

    Rec. Mult.

    Hit Die Type

    Max Hits

    Achaeans

    10

    0

    0.7x

    d10

    150

    Minoans

    10

    0

    0.7x

    d10

    150

    Amazons

    10

    0

    0.7x

    d10

    160

    Myrmidons

    12

    –1

    0.5x

    d10

    160

    Centaurs

    10

    0

    1.0x

    d12

    220

    Satyrs

    20

    –2

    0.5x

    d10

    180

    Sileni

    20

    –2

    0.5x

    d10

    200

    Nymphs

    20

    –2

    0.5x

    d10

    150

    7.0 Bibliography