Monday, April 03, 2006

Bronze Age Adventures

When I was a little kid, I studied ancient history with a vigor inspired by passions almost on the level of my inspirations to read the bible. I read about Heinrich Schliemann, Greek myth, and lost civilizations from before the time of Christ. I always had a fascination with Homer and the Iliad. Hector is my favorite character. He's an honorable combatant and the greatest of the Trojans. Unlike the Romans, who tended to villify their enemies rather than treating them as powerful antagonists, Homer had healthy respect for Hector and the other honorable Trojans. Paris is a different matter; we all think Paris is a selfish, cowardly rat. There's no Vercingetorix, Spartacus, or Hannibal, all brave commanders who met the Romans with success, in the Iliad. Sure, plenty of bloodletting occurs when the Greeks finally do sack Troy, but Odysseus was punished by the Gods he angered for his action with the famous Trojan Horse, as was Agamemnon in his homecoming.

I want to bring the feel of Homer to the gaming table, an environment usually soaked in ideas from Tolkien. Don't get me wrong, I love and respect the Tolkienesque feel of D&D, but I think Bronze Age adventures could be exhilirating: No longswords or steel of any type, no magic in the hands of mortals, direct interference from limited dieties, and plenty of chariots are interesting elements absent from D&D as it's usually played. It should be challenging, and it should be fun.

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