Sunday, June 4, 2017

Swords of the Sea: The Amazon Class (Plus Generators)

And now for something a little different. I've been thoroughly enjoying Blood & Bronze by Olav Nygard and Johan Nordinge; but my favorite sorts of ancient world stuff is Greek. I've always been a big fan of Ray Harryhausen movies and the Hyborian Age when it chose to embrace its Swords & Sandals roots. So my roommate and I have been working on a hack for Blood & Bronze, prospectively called Swords of the Sea, a game about adventuring in the Greece that wasn't. Namely in the Aegean Sea/Archipelago region. Below was a first attempt at hacking together a character class, a bit rough but something that'll get better with practice.

For those who know Blood & Bronze, design-wise the Amazon is built entirely for combat and getting in that last bit of crucial and brutal damage before they die. They are not finesse machines like the Mercenary, and are really built more for butchery. Also included, because that's how I roll, are a series of randomizers to help come up with name/title, appearances, weapons (and a provenance for them), and some basic motivations. I want a class that with a few rolls, you know everything you need to know about how they look and put together a few ideas as to who they are which can grant greater clarity in play. My party embraces random-rolls because we've been gaming for nearly a decade and they like to let things fall as they may. I'd say if you dislike that, use the basic Mercenary weapons chart from the core rules/character compendium.

Steganora the Arrow
art by Chris Wright
The Amazon
A warrior born of Ares and Harmonia. Beautiful but brutal, with a life devoted only to war.

Weapons: Roll twice on the Amazonian Melee Weapons table, once on the Amazonian Ranged Weapons table, and once upon the Amazonian Armor table.

Equipment: sturdy chiton*, a memento from Amazonia (exotic feathers, lock of horse-hair, arrowhead, lock of mother’s hair, et cetera.)*, six day’s worth of dried fish (wt 3), a water-skin (3 uses; wt 3), a grindstone*, a carving knife*, and quiver of 20 arrows (determined below).

Endurance: 14.

Starting Encumbrance: 16/16.

Skills & Ranks: Characters begin at rank 1. When creating an Amazon, you gain vicious and warborn as free class skills. In addition, you may choose any specialization from the list below.

When your character increases her Amazon class rank, choose an additional specialization.

Amazon Class Skills
Vicious: Once per adventure you may add your Class Rank in dice to your pool when making use of the use force or shoot/hurl skill. You may not add this bonus if you intend on allowing the enemy to live through the encounter.

Warborn: You get an additional +1 damage bonus when fighting whenever you kill an individual within that combat, this ability caps out at your Class Rank.

Amazonian Specializations
Daughters of Ares - An Amazon is born into a world, bred for combat by their divine heritage. An Amazon may use their Might for the hurl/shoot skill or their vigor for the use force skill if they so choose to do so.

Inexorable - So long as the Amazon is not injured, they may use their Might to save against Fear, Repulsion and Mind-Controlling Magic, rather than their Lore.
Warrior’s Death -  An Amazon does not become incapacitated from damage until she becomes Injured, allowing them to continue acting until they become scarred, maimed, or dead.

Pride - If an Amazon is tied in initiative with an enemy, she modifies any rolls made to attack that enemy by +/- 1. This specialization may be taken up to three times.

Archer of Renown - Amazons are archers of great prowess. When using the hurl/shoot skill with a bow, each 5+ adjusts reach by +2 and saves by +/-2, rather than the usual amount. This specialization may be taken up to three times increasing by +1 each time after the first.

Warrior’s Respite - An Amazon rolls a d8 for a recovery dice during short rests.

Emasculate - An Amazon’s cruel words can cut through the pride of powerful men and warriors. If an Amazon uses manipulation against an opponent, each 5+ reduces their Defense should they engage in combat with the Amazon within the next 1d6 days. The effectiveness of this is halved on females, reducing Defense by one point for every two 5+ rolled.

Gloryhound - If an Amazon boasts of what they intend to do while adventuring to at least 1d6 people per Class Rank, roll manipulate. For each 5+ she gains a free skill dice to roll while in pursuit of her goals. If the Amazon fails her roll she is mocked and her pride is harmed, reducing any Skills besides use force and hurl/shoot until she achieves her goals.

Amazonian Names
d20
Name
Title
1
Androktona
the Bold
2
Androleteria
the Slayer
3
Ainia
the War-Woman
4
Cyme
the Destroyer
5
Cynna
the Arrow
6
Helene
of Equal Merit
7
Hippola
the Unbroken
8
Steganora
the Bowyer
9
Gryne
the Matriarch
10
Ephesos
the Whirlwind
11
Toxaris
the Excellent
12
Toxoanassa
the Brave
13
Oistrophe
of the Horses
14
Polemusa
the Mare
15
Deianeira
of the Isles
16
Charope
of Clay-Birth
17
Aristomache
the War-Forged
18
Chalkaor
the Mad
19
Areto
the Swordswoman
20
Sparethra
the Amazon

Amazonian Appearance
d20
Appearance (Build)
Appearance (Face)
1
Well-Muscled
Haunted Eyes
2
Tall
One-Eyed
3
Large
Scarred Lip
4
Gigantic
Aquiline Nose
5
Sinewy Build
Exquisite Beauty
6
Wolfish Build
Doey Eyes
7
Mare-like Build
Fierce Eyes
8
Hard-Bodied
Insane Eyes
9
One-breasted
Broken Nose
10
Powerful Stance
Shorn Head
11
Tattooed Arms
Flowing Locks
12
Lanky Arms
Braided Locks
13
Long Legs
Short Haired
14
Calloused Hands
Wild Eyed
15
Heavy Fists
Scarred Brow
16
Missing Fingers
Facial Tattoo
17
Burnt Limbs
Burnt Neck
18
Scarred Torso
Thick Neck
19
Flesh like Ivory
Broken Teeth
20
Flesh like Marble
Determined Expression

Amazonian Melee Weapons
d10
Weapon
Provenance
1
Double-Blade Tipped Spear (d8, wt 4, piercing +2)
Your mother's...
2
Single-Edged Sword (d6)
...made of stone, but keen as bronze.
3
Pitted Kopis (d6+1)
...stained by the tides.
4
Carp's Tongue Sword (d6)
...stained bloody with the stolen lives of countless enemies.
5
Leaf-bladed Dagger (d4+1, backstab +1d6)
...decorated with stag's horn ivory.
6
Razor-thin Dagger (d4, backstab +1d8)
...bound in thread of red-and-gold.
7
Borderer's Axe(d6, versatile d8)
...claimed as a trophy from your last kill.
8
Jagged Akyls (d6, bludgeon d4)
...weathered from years of service.
9
Studded Cestus (d4+1; no crit)
...carved from the bones of your mother's horse.
10
Hooked Sica (d6; piercing +1)
...of humble, utilitarian make.

Amazonian Ranged Weapons
d10
Bows
Provenance
Arrows
1
Hornwood Shortbow (1d4)
...given to you on the verge of womanhood.
...with arrows tipped in flint, carved by your ends. (3-in-6 chance of arrow breaking)
2
Hazelwood Shortbow (1d4)
...that has served you well for many years.
...with sharp, broad-tipped arrows befitting a soldier.
3
Lemonwood Shortbow (1d4)
...purchased abroad and of inferior make.
...with forked prong arrows and striped fletching. (Piercing +1)
4
Pinewood Shortbow (1d6)
...painted with embellishments from distant Aegypt.
...with arrows tipped with blackest obsidian. (+1 damage, 3-in-6 chance of arrow breaking)
5
Bull's Horn Longbow (1d6)
...strung with the tendons of a mighty bull.
...with arrows carved from common pine, to serve your purposes.
6
Pinewood Longbow (1d6)
...crafted by the unmatched bowyers of Crete.
...with arrows, bronze-tipped, which fly like lightning.
7
Lemonwood Longbow (1d6)
...which requires strength as great as mine to string.
...and arrows of eclectic make, picked from the battlefield.
8
Hazelwood Great Bow (d10)
...which rains arrows like a tempest upon my enemies.
...with arrows of brutal barbs, so my foes shall fear their sting. (+1 damage)
10
Hornwood Great Bow (d10)
...that served my mother well, and shall do the same for me.
...with arrows tipped in razor-sharp cruciform heads, meant to bleed their quarry.

Amazonian Armor
d10
Armor
Provenance
Additional Armor
1
Leather Harness (Armor 4, Wt 3)
...embellished with designs of serpents.
An embossed leather helmet with cheek guards.
2
Brass Buckler upon a Leather Baldric (Armor 4, Wt 3)
...painted with grotesque faces.
A well-crafted brass, beehive-style helmet. (Armor 2, Wt 2)
3
Padded Leather Baldric (Armor 4, Wt 3)
...lined with the fur of predatory cats.
An ivory conical helmet, banded in bronze. (Armor 2, Wt 2)
4
Linen Linothorax (Armor 4, Wt 3)
...painted with images of the sea.
A leather helm, covered in bands of boar tusk. (Armor 1, Wt 1)
5
Leather-reinforced Linothorax (Armor 5, Wt 4)
...run ragged with barnacles and oxidation.
A small round brass shield, decorated on the rim. (Armor 1, Def 2, Wt 2)
6
Leather Muscle Cuirass (Armor 5, Wt 4)
...painted with scenes of the night.
A manica of fine copper and leathers. (Armor 1, Def 2, Wt 2)
7
Copper Hemithorakion (Armor 6, Wt 8)
...embellished with designs of feral dogs.
A shield of cow's hide and wicker. (Armor 1, Def 2, Wt 2)
8
Brass Hemithorax (Armor 6, Wt  8)
...crafted specifically for my use.
A heavy bell shield of bronze, painted at the center. (Armor 1, Def 3, Wt 4)
9
Front Plate of Bronze Bell Cuirass (Armor 6, Wt 8)
...battered from a recent conflict and in need of proper upkeep.
A set of solid brass greaves, embellished with lions heads. (Armor 2, Def 1, Wt 3)
10
Partial Bronze Scaled Armor (Armor 6, Wt 8)
...kept polished and in fine condition.
A set of leather worked greaves, finely stitched.
(Armor 2, Def 1, Wt 3)

Amazonian Adventuring Motivations
d10
Why are you adventuring with your companions?
Why are you adventuring with men?
1
To seek glory in magnificent combat, my fellows shall speak of my deeds.
As to remind them that I am capable of great violence and strength.
2
They seem to know more of the Archipelago than myself, there is wisdom in taking their counsel.
Perhaps to inspire them to be more cautious around the softer women of their cities.
3
They are weak in the ways of war, they shall need my insight to survive.
I do what I must in pursuit of my destiny, male companions are of no concern.
4
I dislike speaking to these "civilized" folks, my companions are arguably better at doing it for me.
To find a worthy mate, which may in someday be one of them or a man who slays them.
5
I left my island in disgrace, I accept any fairweather friend who might take me.
To best those who'd view me weak and remind them of their mortality.
6
They've assisted in recovering me from a battlefield, they're of use to me yet.
I am curious as to the disdain my sisters feel towards them, as they seem a mixed bunch.
7
I take pride in cultivating strength from weakness, and they shall be a point of pride to me.
These men invite conflict with their presence, they create many opportunities to prove my power.
8
I was led from the island in pursuit of a man, I believe they shall lead me to him.
If I am to be a stronger individual I must accept insight from all kinds, even men.
9
There is a conflict soon-to-come and all will be tested, I will need allies of all kinds to be victorious.
Some men claim to be chosen by Ares, I wish to see the truth in this.
10
It is likely a mistake to put my trust in them, but I have no other option and hope springs eternal.
I wish to condition one of them into a mighty opponent, and then to test myself with them.


d10
Background (Optional)
1
As a girl you took care of your mother's horses. You know how to ride them and care for them.
2
You were not born an Amazon, you were made into one. Roll on the traditional Background chart to determine what you once were.
3
You were a bully, one who culls the weak from the strong . You can easily read a person under coercion, and you know how to coerce.
4
Your mother worked the forges and you did so as well. You know how to craft a sort of weapon, maintain your own, and read the quality of metal.
5
As a girl you were bullied and abused by the more powerful girls. You know how to go unnoticed and how to take a beating without showing weakness.
6
You worked the orchards of Amazonia with your family. You know of the harvest and how to cook.
7
You were the daughter of many conflicts. You know how to negotiate pay with employers and how to put someone out of their misery.
8
You sailed the sea around your homeland. You know to read the stars and how to sail a ship.
9
Your mother was a butcher, and so were you in more peaceful times. You know how to clean a kill and how to cook meats.
10
You occupied a more civilized role within Amazonian society, necessary for it to function peacefully. Roll on the traditional Background chart.

Example Amazon:
Steganora the Arrow is an Amazon with lanky arms and wild-eyes, as a child she was a bully who took delight in beating her lessers. As an adult, she uses a studded cestus, which once belonged to her mother.

Her bow is a hornwood shortbow which rains arrows like a tempest upon her enemies. Her arrows are tipped in blackest obsidian. She wears partial bronze scaled armor, kept polished and in fine condition. She also wields a small brass shield, decorated on the rim.

She adventures with the party because they've assisted in recovering her from a battlefield, they're of use to her yet. She adventures with men, perhaps to inspire them to be more cautious around the softer women of their cities.

State of the Goblet - October 2017

Just a small update, as things are actually happening. I'm working on a Horror game which I hope to have finished tonight and properly l...