One of my intrepid students sent me a link to this tumblr page which imagines the Iliad and the Odyssey as the product of one long role-playing game. Why did she send it to me? Because I constantly joke about the ‘campaigns’ of myth in terms only those who have wielded a 20-sided die might enjoy.
Now, I am doubly happy because I have met the Commander of Trash in person at the University of Tennessee. I am now triply happy because I hitherto believed that there was not a Homeric Heroes RPG . But there is! A Trojan War RPG has debuted in the world! And there was an Odysseus game published almost 40 years ago (enough time to go to Troy and come back twice.)
I have used role-playing techniques before in modeling historical battles, but I have never tried a D&D campaign. I imagine that it could be exciting, engrossing, and a little intense. You know, like the Trojan War.
They are not playing a board game, they are distributing points to NPCs.
I would love to hear from anyone who has played these games to know what they’re like. But more importantly, what traditional D&D class would Odysseus be? (I think thief or bard, probably). What kind of a + defense would Achilles’ armor have? What happens if you roll a 1 when wielding Philoktetes’ bow?
I have more questions–but for now I will just be contemplating Achilles’ charisma score.
10 thoughts on “Who Rolls Up the NPCs? Homeric Poetry As an RPG”
Awesome! I haven’t played these particular games but when I was teaching ancient history, I often used “character sheets” to give my students people they need to think like as part of in class work and paper writing.
Ooh. Do you have any pictures.of character sheets we could post?
That sounds great! As a polydice-roller myself, as well as Classics teacher, this is right up my street.
I would have included this in the comment above, but couldn’t remember the link. There’s another Homeric rpg you might want to look at – it presents itself as d&d from an alternative timeline where Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson were inspired by Homer rather than Tolkien: http://mazesandminotaurs.free.fr/revised.html
This is amazing. You just combined two things I love: alternative timelines and Homer. Thank you!
One more from me, there’s another RPG called “Pendragon” that has a Glory mechanic which would work perfectly as a κλεος count.
This is amazing. Just when i have been thinking about kleos as a commodity!