Who Rolls Up the NPCs? Homeric Poetry As an RPG

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 meBecause I constantly joke about the ‘campaigns’ of myth in terms only those who have wielded a 20-sided die might enjoy.

Image result for ancient roman 20 sided die

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.

Image result for ancient roman 20 sided dieThey 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

  1. 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.

    1. That sounds great! As a polydice-roller myself, as well as Classics teacher, this is right up my street.

      1. 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

  2. One more from me, there’s another RPG called “Pendragon” that has a Glory mechanic which would work perfectly as a κλεος count.

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