Tag Archive for: Trojan War

Fantasy AGE Trojan War: Now Available!

Fantasy AGE Trojan War

Available Now! In the Green Ronin Online Store, and DrivethruRPG!

Cross the Wine-Dark Sea and Storm the Walls of Troy Again!

Fantasy AGE Trojan War, which is available now, revives the classic 3rd Era historical fantasy supplement in streamlined form for Fantasy AGE. This book explores the Homeric Age: a period that’s half history, half myth, and all about dramatic action, where gods and heroes battle each other…and the inescapable judgment of destiny. Enter the Iliad and other ancient tales in Fantasy AGE, using a host of new options:

  • Play Achaean Greeks, Trojans, and other ancient peoples, from Amazons to the divine offspring, with new backgrounds appropriate to the era.
  • Five new talents and six new specializations, from the Swift-Footed fighting style to Amazon ferocity and the strange magic of the Pharmakeus.
  • Three new magical Arcana, over 30 new magic items, and discussions of the role of magic in Homeric mythology.
  • Weapons, armor, and other gear appropriate to the Homeric Age, including rules for hit locations and partial armor in combat.
  • Chariots and ships of the Homeric Age, and how to use them.
  • Rules for divine intervention which let gods and heroes meaningfully interact without compromising divine immortality. Fall under the eye of a deity through a Divine Bond, or feel the wrath of their manifestations.
  • Advice for Game Mastering the Homeric Age, from changing mythology to suit you to interpreting Fantasy AGE monsters through the lens of Greek Mythology.

Inspired by the original d20 release, Fantasy AGE Trojan War takes a “Fantasy AGE native” design approach, where instead of a formulaic subject by subject conversion, we substantially designed for Fantasy AGE from the ground up, from specializations to divine intervention. This includes updating research to support a wider range of interpretations, from stricter Mycenaean technology to the ahistorical blend that made up the Iliad itself, and discussions of how to bring increased diversity to the legends.

Return to the Battlefields of Troy

Available in PDF and Print On Demand at DrivethruRPG, Fantasy AGE Trojan War requires the Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook to play, and while it refers to the Fantasy AGE Companion, that book is not required. With minimal adaptation, it can be converted for use with other Adventure Game Engine roleplaying games.

Fantasy AGE Trojan War: Sing, O Muse, of the Rage of Achilles

Fantasy AGE Trojan War is a compact adaptation of its D20 System predecessor. Instead of just doing item for item conversions, we worked on this as a shorter Fantasy AGE work, with most design happening from the ground up. Over the course of doing this we omitted a few things—most notably, game statistics for Troy’s heroes. We figured GMs might prefer their own interpretations, and in any event, the focus is on Player Characters, who in most games will be the true heroes.

Nevertheless, I’m sure some of you are curious about how we would do it! So here are Fantasy AGE statistics for Aristos Achaion, greatest of the Greeks: Achilles, son of Peleus and the goddess Thetis. Achilles represents the apex of power possible for Fantasy AGE Trojan War Heroes—and the raw might of this hero at the apex of his power. These game statistics represent Achilles after the death of Patroclus, but before he slays Hector.

Achilles, 20th Level Divine Offspring Warrior

Achilles, son of Peleus and the goddess ThetisAbilities (Focuses)

Accuracy 8 (Brawling, Bows, Light Blades, Throwing +3), Communication 5 (Leadership), Constitution 6 (Running), Dexterity 6 (Initiative +3), Fighting 8 (Bludgeons, Heavy Blades +3, Spears +3), Intelligence 2 (Military Lore), Perception 5, Strength 6 (Driving +3, Intimidation +3), Will 5 (Courage +3, Morale +3)

Speed: 20, Health: 230, Defense: 18, Armor Rating: 10

Talents: Arete (Master), Athletics (Expert), Berserker (Specialization; Master), Charioteer (Specialization; Master), Swift-Footed Style (Master), Thrown Weapon Style (Expert), Weapon and Shield Style (Master)


Spear of Peleus: +13 to attack rolls, 1d6 + 9 damage

Special Qualities

Special qualities are in addition to class abilities, talents, and specializations, though they may note the specifics of these traits.

Advanced Focuses: Achilles has several focuses with +3 listed, indicating they provide a +3 focus bonus instead of the usual +2.

Arms of Peleus: Achilles carries a bronze-headed spear and ornate shield, each from his father, Peleus. The spear adds +2 to attack and damage rolls and the shield adds +2 to Defense.

Arete: Due to the Arete talent, Achilles can use his choice of the Defensive Stance, Lightning Attack, or Seize the Initiative Stunts for 0 SP on any successful attack, even if it doesn’t score doubles.

Athletics: Due to the Athletics talent in Fantasy AGE Trojan War, Achilles can re-roll a failed Constitution (Running) and Strength (Jumping) test, but he must keep the results of the second roll.

Balius and Xanthus: These are Achilles’ divine horses, which he employs (sometimes along with a third, mortal horse) to pull his chariot. These are horses (Fantasy AGE Bestiary, p. 129) with the Epic template for beefing up adversaries found in the Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook and Bestiary. Each also has an Intelligence of 1 and the Bestial Immortality quality: If reduced to 0 Health, they appear dead, but spring to full Health if left undisturbed until the next sunrise. If burned, dismembered, or eaten, however, they remain dead.

Epic Warrior: As per Fantasy AGE’s Level 20 Warrior benefit, Achilles gains +1 SP to spend on combat stunts when scoring doubles.

Golden Chariot: A gift from Peleus to Achilles, this gilded kingly chariot has a Hull Rating of 3 and grants a +3 to Strength (Driving) tests.

Second Armor of Achilles: This version of Achilles wears the armor he was given after his previous panoply was taken from the body of his lover, Patroclus. It provides an Armor Rating of 10 with no Armor Penalty, and when fighting under the sun, its shine imposes a -2 penalty to enemies’ ranged attack rolls.

Swift-Footed: Achilles’ mastery of the Swift-Footed Style (detailed in Fantasy AGE Trojan War) gives him +2 to Speed in combat, included in his statistics along with a further bonus for his divine offspring ancestry.

Stygian Armor (Optional): The Iliad doesn’t include the later legend that Thetis dipped Achilles into the River Styx as a baby to make him nearly invulnerable. If the legend is true in your campaign Achilles suffers a permanent -2 to all Communication tests, but adds +4 to his Armor Rating, even when unarmored (increasing it to 14 in the statistics above). However, attacks to Achilles’ left ankle inflict penetrating damage. To hit it, an attacker must roll a 5 when determining hit location using the rules in Fantasy AGE Trojan War, or deliberately aim for it by attacking with a -3 penalty. In either case, the attacker only strikes true if they roll 6 on the Stunt Die. All other attacks that reduce the effectiveness of armor do not reduce the Armor Rating given by this quality. The Stygian salve item in Fantasy AGE Trojan War represents a lessened form of this ability; the GM may decide Achilles simply has access to it instead of this quality.

Divine Bonds

Zeus 5 (Ambiguous): As Achilles sets out to kill Hector, his doom may be predestined but he has not yet demonstrated the combination of arrogance, cruelty, and impiety that will seal his fate—that happens after he kills Hector. This Bond is assigned to Zeus as the king of the gods and arbiter of Fate, but he represents the attitudes of the Olympians in general.

Thetis 3 (Favorable): Achilles’ mother Thetis supports her son through such acts as providing him with new armor, made by Hephaestus, after his previous armor is taken from Patroclus’ corpse by Hector.

Fantasy AGE: Trojan War will be available for purchase in PDF and Print On Demand, next Thursday May 13th!

Coming May 13: Fantasy AGE Trojan War

Read the title! On May 13, we’ll be releasing a Fantasy AGE supplement for Homeric Age adventures. Inspired by the classic 3rd Era Trojan War book by Aaron Rosenberg, this 65-page supplement, coming in PDF and print-on-demand, adds numerous new character options, magic items, and special rules for Fantasy AGE.Fantasy AGE: Trojan War!

Note that this isn’t a straight D20 to Fantasy AGE conversion, for the following reasons:

  • Timing and Size: We wanted to make sure we could get this done on time, to get in a Fantasy AGE supplement for mid-2021 before the release of the new Fantasy AGE core rulebook, currently in development. We also wanted to make this a smaller book so people would feel they can spend their money on it without feeling like they have to have a full-on Homeric campaign ready. This means we’ve omitted game statistics for Trojan heroes. This also fits Fantasy AGE, whose smaller number of classes combined with talents and specializations mean there are many ways to interpret these heroes.
  • The Internet: The internet, and the resources it can bring to your table, have expanded since 2005. This means, for example, it would be redundant to describe history and mythology in ways better served by resources such as Wikipedia and other Web resources.
  • 16 Years of Context: We’ve added new context and guidance about how to adapt an era rife with discrimination for contemporary play. For centuries, people have made these legends their own, and by doing the same you don’t violate any kind of “canon,” but follow in the steps of storytellers who changed things to fit their times. We’ve also given much of the original a tune-up to bring forth some of the distinctive elements of the time. For instance, did you know the Trojan War predates the invention of coins? We talk about it.
  • Fantasy AGE First: Fantasy AGE is its own distinct system and handles everything from character creation to armor differently than 3e and its successors do. We wanted to make sure this fit Fantasy AGE’s rules as closely as possible.

Okay, But What’s in It?

Here’s a chapter breakdown:

Introduction: A 101 on the material ahead and an overview of the Trojan War.

Chapter 1: Homeric Character Creation: This section includes rules for characters of human (Trojan, Achaean, and others, including Amazons) and divine heritage, before going into a full set of backgrounds and professions for the Homeric period, and new and modified focuses for such characters. Then we talk about using existing Fantasy AGE talents and specializations before introducing five new talents (Arete, Athletics, Primal Weapon Style, Shield Formation Style, and Swift-Footed Style) and six new specializations of (Amazon, Charioteer, Dedicated Warrior, Demigod, Pharmakeus, and Priest). We finish things off with Divine Bonds, a new system inspired by the Relationships rules in other AGE games, which measure whether the gods love or hate you—and how they might meddle in your life.

Chapter 2: Homeric Magic: After talking about the place of magic in Homeric tales, we introduce the new Charm, Cursing, and Poison Arcana. After that? Magic items—32 of them, to be precise, from the useful herb moly to the head of Medusa—yes, it doesn’t appear in Homer, but the book wouldn’t be complete without it!

Chapter 3: Homeric Equipment: This chapter covers Bronze Age equipment for a Homeric campaign, including how precious metals were counted and spent before the invention of coins. Bare-legged Homeric warriors need special consideration, so this chapter includes new rules for partial armor and hit locations. We also provide a streamlined version of the vehicle rules in the Fantasy AGE Companion tailored for the ships and chariots presented here.

Chapter 4: Religion & The Gods: After providing an overview of divine actions during the Trojan War, this chapter provides complete rules for divine intervention, from the gods spiriting away favored heroes to reckoning with them when they take to the field. New rules let you face down belligerent gods without compromising on their immortality. Finally, for Game Masters looking for a detailed system to track divine favor, we include rules for Piety adapted from the D20 original.

Chapter 5: The Homeric Campaign: This updated Game Mastering chapter not only talks about how to use the Iliad as the basis for a campaign but presents it in the context of a larger body of mythology you can convert to adventures. In the myths, just getting to Troy was an epic in of itself! We also discuss how to change the myths for inclusivity and other play-friendly purposes before talking about which Fantasy AGE monsters fit the period, and how to modify them if they have immortal parentage.

Compatibility Across the AGEs

Fantasy AGE Trojan War was designed alongside the new Fantasy AGE core rulebook, due to come out later this year. Trojan War introduces some concepts from the new rules but is designed with the published Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook in mind. In practice, Fantasy AGE Trojan War should be mostly compatible with the new rules. This is a bridge supplement for both old and new Fantasy AGE players alike.

Watch this space—we’ll announce when it’s out and tell you where to find it at the Green Ronin Online Store and at DriveThruRPG!

Malcolm Sheppard’s Top 5 Green Ronin Picks!

What’s good? Taste is subjective, though I think everybody feels there are certain exceptions, such as the terribleness of the Star Wars Holiday Special, which transcends cultures and times as an object of derision, albeit sometimes affectionately so. So, this list of “Malcolm Sheppard’s Top Five” is just my opinion, though there may be hidden objective excellence rattling around in there, somewhere. This list isn’t in any particular order.

Mutants & Masterminds Basic Hero's Handbook coverMutants & Masterminds Basic Hero’s Handbook

Supers, and generally, point-build systems, aren’t my strong suit as a designer, but I love the genre. The Basic Hero’s Handbook is a masterful introduction to Mutants & Masterminds that communicates everything you need with remarkable brevity and straightforwardness. I especially like the streamlined character creation system, and how after using it, and not having to sweat points too much, you still end up with a character fully compatible with the rest of the M&M line, including characters made using the Deluxe Hero’s Handbook. Plus, it has all the rules you need to run it!

Fantasy AGE LairsFantasy AGE Lairs

This supplement for Fantasy AGE does a great job of mixing function and atmosphere. Each lair presents a creature, location, and situation. None of these are hard-coded adventures, but contain plenty of hooks and suggestions, and can be run sandbox style. My favorite lair in the book is the Lair of the Ghoul Prince, which I’ve talked about before, in a pervious article. Go read it!



Trojaqn War for the D20 system!Trojan War (d20)

Maybe I’m doing this wrong and I’m supposed to stick to current releases, but I love Homeric mythology, and really enjoy Trojan War’s particular adaptation. It covers all the major elements of this mythic-historic event, from gods and heroes to how it all works for original characters using the d20 System. I think it’s still valuable now because of the way it’s structured for games and the fact that d20’s design has been influential enough to seed itself in many other games, making conversion pretty easy. I miss these kinds of treatments of real-world mythology in games, and while there are new ones around, I want more! Maybe I have to do it myself….


The Lost Citadel Roleplaying (5th Edition)The Lost Citadel Roleplaying for 5th edition

Here comes the bias! I worked on the Tales of the Lost Citadel anthology, The Lost Citadel Roleplaying, and The Lost Citadel Fantasy AGE Conversion Codex—but there’s plenty I didn’t work on, in fiction, rules, and concepts, that’s just fantastic. The Lost Citadel is set in the last, desperate, walled city of the living, who struggle with each other while battling for survival against the risen Dead. One thing I love about the setting is it takes the basic conflict in the zombie apocalypse genre—that your living companions are as much a problem as the undead—and renders them on a social scale, in conflicts between the city’s factions.

Threefold A Campaign Setting for Modern AGEThreefold (Modern AGE)

Where The Lost Citadel is a choice tinged by my bias as a designer, well, uh, I’m the principal designer of Threefold. I made up the broad strokes and developed other writers’ work to get what I wanted: a setting for Modern AGE that would use the conceit of planar travel to permit virtually any kind of character, but wouldn’t seem generic, unfocused, or lacking strong story structures. Whether you explore the planes as a member of the Sodality or defend the Earth (sometimes from other Earths) with Aethon, there are always things to do, rivals to deal with, and secrets to uncover. One reviewer said the game felt like its setting had already been established for years. That’s the feel I wanted, and I hope you like it.