Age of Heroes
- Max Level
The max level possible for all playable races (other than Gods or Demi-Gods) is 10. Level progression is based on a combo of time and experience. Below will be an Approximate level progress chart. All levels above 10 are reserved for Gods, Demi-Gods, and other Supernatural beings.
- Hero Template
A Hero is someone who is favored by fate, destiny, or one of the Gods. Add this template to whatever race you choose. Instead of receiving 28 points for stats during character creation you receive 32. This is the Age of Heroes, do not be surprised to find heroes to be fairly common. Names of legend fall like rain in Classical Greece.
- Point Buy
This campaign will be using a point buy system for all players and named NPC’s. The point total for each character is 28 unless they have the Hero Template (like the players). Use this Point Buy Calculator to determine your stats. (Use the bottom one)
- Average Stats = All 10’s (60% of Greek population)
- Gifted Stats = 28 point buy (30% of Greek population)
- Heroic Stats = 32 point buy (10% of Greek population)
- Aging Penalties
Below is a table listing the penalties and benefits received from the process of aging. For your convenience the level associated with these ages are listed.
Download the Character Sheet here, or simply copy the images below. Note that there is one inaccuracy in that we have combined some of the skills using the Pathfinder system, so you will need to reflect this in your stats. See the Skills page for details. You could also very easily write in custom skills and keep track of the systems unique stats on a D&D 3.5 sheet at Mythweavers. Also note there is at least one mistake on this sheet, in that it should say “Dex Modifier” for initiative but instead sites miscellaneous modifier twice. Keep an eye out for any other flaws and I will make a comprehensive list on the character sheet page.
Welcome to the past that never was. Age of Heroes is a role-playing game set in a world long past, where Greek heroes do battle with horrendous monsters and Egyptian priests pray to weird, animal headed divinities. This is an environment that many role-players will not have ventured into before. Instead of taverns, castles and dungeons, the environment is one of great columned temples, amphitheatres, pyramids and hanging gardens, where wise or corrupt kings rule over their sprawling empires and wars are fought for generations over the hand of one beautiful queen. The world of Age of Heroes is one where true heroes are remembered forever after, where a man favored by the Gods can rise from the humblest of beginnings to command the world. Age of Heroes is set before the rise of the Roman Empire and focuses on the two most influential civilizations of the ancient world, the Egyptians and the Greeks, though other cultures also appear. Those who wish to play the game as a ‘straight’ re-enactment of history may do so, drawing upon accurate historical depictions of weapons, armor, equipment and societal structure. Others, who may prefer the more fantastical may include such mythic elements as the wrangling of the Gods, the emergence of heroes with divine blood and the appearance of monsters truly worthy of the name.
The world of Age of Heroes is one of strong fantasy, in keeping with the ‘heroic golden age’ of the history of that time. Although it can be played without the fantastic elements, with such sections as the Gods being used as a cultural reference for added realism rather than a catalogue of beings who actually exist, many players will prefer the larger-than-life feeling of the myths. To walk in the Ancient world is to live in a time when magic is a fact, when witches weave spells in secret glades under the full moon. The spirits of the dead really do revisit the living and wicked specters lurk in the pestilent places of the earth. Sometimes, even the dead arise and walk again. In a world without technology, the strange and marvelous are dominant. There is no science yet; instead, artificers work mechanical miracles, while priests petition the Gods for their divine intervention. In Age of Heroes, the Gods are always close at hand. Choose your deity carefully and be sure to heed them well, for their support can literally be your salvation and their displeasure, your annihilation. Those who the Gods love may prosper, even going so far as to have the use of the Gods’ own weapons and equipment, for use in their own divine cause. If you have ever wished to sail with Jason on the Argo, to dare the labyrinth in the footsteps of Theseus or to twist men’s bodies into the shapes of swine like Circe; if you would besiege the white walls of Troy or fly amid the clouds on winged sandals. If you would walk in columned halls and practice the magic that ibis-headed Thoth teaches, or learn the secrets buried in the hearts of the pyramids; if you would leave your body and, in spirit form, meet with the witches on lonely mountains. If you long to spread your wings with the artificer Dedalus and hunt with silver Artemis, listen to the Orphic melodies and aspire to the feast that awaits a true hero in Olympus… then read on!
Characters in the ancient world
Players in Age of Heroes take the role of heroes, characters who stand a head and shoulders above ordinary men and women. Each player’s character, even at the lowest level of experience, is an exemplar in his field, capable of performing tasks far out of reach of ordinary folk. They are the warriors, sages and artificers whose deeds will eventually enter the realm of legend or be commemorated in epic poems. There are two styles of play available in Age of Heroes. If you wish to recreate the atmosphere of heroic legends in which the Gods walked the earth and terrible monsters lurked in forsaken places, then you can play in the Mythic Age. This kind of game is essentially a fantasy world built on a Greco-Egyptian theme. The Gods are real, there is such a thing as witchcraft and magic and the powers of heroes and their ilk are supernatural. When the strength of Heracles is spoken of, people mean that he genuinely can tear a tree up by the roots or hurl a boulder for a mile. Monsters such as the Gorgons or the Minotaur are very real. This is the recommended option for players who want magic, adventure and the broadest range of powers. Films such as ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ or ‘Clash of the Titans’ typify this style of play. Alternatively, you may play in the Classical Age. This is a recreation of ancient Greece and Egypt as they were, incorporating a measure of poetic license to allow for easy game play. In this version of the game, miracles do not occur and the myths are only stories. Those creatures that the legends record as ‘monsters’ are exaggerations of the truth; the Cyclops was only a brutish human with one eye and the Minotaur was the deformed son of King Minos, hidden away in a labyrinth. You may prefer to play in the Classical Age if you like a more realistic campaign or if you want to tie events in world history into the adventures.
Characters and Dice
When an Egyptian archer draws back his bowstring and looses a shot at a charging barbarian, he may hit or he may miss. In a movie, his success or failure would be part of the script. In a role-playing game, this is determined by random chance based on the skill of the archer in question. Since there is a variable involved, dice become a necessary part of the role-playing medium. This is part of the excitement of role-playing; you can never be certain that what you have in mind will come to pass, and you are always taking a chance whenever you do anything dramatic. The story of your character is not written in advance and even the Games Master respects the results of the die rolls. Strange though it may sound, dice make a game more realistic and enrich the challenge of the game. Just as in the real world, you never know quite what is around the corner. When a person fires arrows at a straw target, the variance of their shots is mostly based on their skill but can also be influenced by luck, timing and a thousand other factors. These are summed up by rolling a d20 (that is a 20 sided die) with a high number representing more of these factors aligning in a favorable way and a low number representing the opposite. Dice are used to determine success when using your character’s skills, when deciding how enduring or intelligent they might be and when determining whether the swing of a sword has severed the hissing head of the Gorgon – or not.
Dice in role-playing games go by a series of shorthand codes that are very easily to learn but look confusing at first glance. A four-sided die (the singular form of dice) is also called a d4. In this book, dice will be referred to by this code preceded by the number of them needed for any given roll required by the rules. For example, if the ghastly Chimera were to open one of its three mouths and breathe a cone of flame at a band of unfortunate heroes who had woken it from its sleep, they would need to roll Reflex saving throws on 1d20. (Do not despair; terminology like ‘Reflex saving throws’ will be explained soon.) Note that the 1 is simply assumed if no other number is listed or needed, so ‘rolling d20’ is the same as rolling 1d20. If this d20 check is successful, the heroes would only suffer half the amount of damage. The flaming breath of the Chimera inflicts 4d8 damage to any victims within the area of effect. 4d8 means the Games Master would roll one eight sided die, note the number, then roll it again three more times and add the results to the first roll. Alternatively, if he happened to own four eight-sided dice, he could roll them all at once for a quicker calculation. Out of 4d8, a player can get a range of numbers from 4 (all dice roll a 1) to 32 (every die rolls an 8). When multiple dice are indicated by this shorthand code, the values of the rolls are always added together. One last dice note concerns the idea of a d100, also called a d%. This is also called a percentile roll in role-playing parlance. To do this, roll a d10 twice. The first roll is for the tens; the second roll is for the digits. If you were to roll a 4 and then a 2, that generates the number 42. When rolling a percentile, two 0s count as the number 100. Some dice sets have a special d10 with a two-digit number (10,20,30 and so on) stamped on each of its faces to make this easier, but such dice are certainly not essential.
Certain modifications to dice rolls exist within the rules; these, instead of adding a set number or an additional die or dice to a roll, multiply the result. These are listed as ‘x2’ or some other multiplication value. Multipliers apply to every numeric modifier and the basic dice involved in the roll but not to additional dice added as a modifier to the roll. For example, if the hero Theocles (being especially favored of Apollo, God of the Sun) has been provided with a searing arrow which inflicts 2d6 additional fire damage and he inflicts a critical hit when he smites a foe with it, the attack would deal the arrow’s normal 1d8 damage rolled twice (for the critical hit) plus the 2d6 fire damage rolled once, for a grand total of 2d8 piercing damage plus 2d6 fire damage. Note that multipliers mean you roll a die or dice multiple times, not that you roll a result and then multiply that. A multiplier of x2 applied to a d6 roll does not mean that you would roll, say, a 5, then double that to 10. Instead, you would roll 2d6 and total the results. Multipliers can stack but regardless of their values, they stack in a specific way. When a check or value has two or more multipliers, the highest value multiplier is kept and every additional multiplier increases the first one’s value by 1. For example, if Ankh-af-na Menthu successfully scored a critical hit with a spear (for x3 damage) against a Serpent of Set that was trapped in a Temple to Osiris and suffering x2 damage from all attacks, the attack would inflict 4 (x3 modified to x4 by the additional x2 modifier) times the normal damage, not 5 times.
Once you have a character worked out and some dice, you have all the tools you need to begin playing Age of Heroes. Most play usually consists of the Games Master, the person guiding the story and the action of a game, describing scenes and filling in details, then asking the players what they are doing next or listening to any spontaneous declaration from a player that he wishes to do something. Everything a character wishes to do, from waking up and putting on his socks to filling a band of street thieves full of arrows, is an action. Actions come in different types and have different rules associated with them. Simple actions are things that do not require rolls except in the most adverse of conditions. Under normal circumstances, a character is allowed to sit down at a table, eat a loaf of bread and hold a rational conversation without needing to make a die roll for success. If that same character were to swim across the Nile, with scorpion venom in his veins, a bleeding wound in his thigh and have had no sleep in three days, it might be a different story.
Whenever a character needs to make a simple action, something they can normally do every day with no special skill or talent required, the Games Master will generally simply declare success or, like in the example just given, require a roll (also called a ‘check’) or simply declare failure. Players have a realistic idea of what their characters can do, so most of the time there will be no absurd statements or challenges to the consensual reality of the game. Contested actions make up the largest part of the rule mechanics for combat and skills. Everything that a character does that might have a chance of failing because of someone else’s actions, skills or abilities, is called a contested roll. Shooting an arrow at a thief is an example of a contested action; your attack roll is contested by the thief’s Active Defense, representative of his ability to avoid being hit.
Contested checks are never guaranteed and even the most masterful of archers can miss his mark once in a while. Saving throws, which are a special type of check made to see if a character can escape the effects of an adverse condition, are another kind of contested roll. A term used during contested rolls is DC, short for Difficulty Class. The DC of a contested check is the minimum number a d20 check, plus or minus modifiers, must roll to succeed. A roll that is lower than the given DC for an action fails. The d20 is the most common type of die rolled during an average gaming session, making it crucial to the system and the single most important die for any player to own.
Astute players may have realized at this point that if contested checks have to beat a listed DC and they are all made using a single d20, then actions with a DC of 21 are considered impossible. On the surface, this is correct, that is where characters come in. Characters and the skills and abilities they possess come with modifiers that are added to or subtracted from certain kinds of checks. These modifiers can theoretically make any check possible, no matter how high the DC might be. Though it is often a convention with games using the d20 rules to allow all rolls of 20 on a d20 to be an automatic success, this is not always the case. By the same token, a roll of 1 (called a ‘natural’ 1 because it is the actual result on the die roll, just as with a ‘natural’ 20) is not an automatic failure. Instances in the rules where a natural 1 or 20 indicate automatic success or failure will be clearly marked in the text of the rules themselves.
Every character in Age of Heroes has six basic abilities. Each one represents different aspects of that character’s mental or physical prowess. Some types of creature may possess a non-ability, such as undead monsters which do not truly possess a Constitution score, this being the ability governing health. In most cases, a character will have a positive value of some kind in each of the six scores, indicating some development – or lack thereof – in that area.
Each ability, after changes brought about by age or other campaign factors, generally has a modifier ranging from –5 to +5. The Ability Modifiers Table shows the modifier for each score. Ability score modifiers can range higher than +5, but they cannot go lower than -5 because the status of a creature or object changes when its ability scores drop to 0. See below for further details. The modifier is the number you apply to the die roll when your character tries to do something related to that ability. You also use the modifier with some numbers that are not die rolls. A positive modifier is called a bonus and a negative modifier is called a penalty.
Each ability partially describes your character and affects some of their actions. Abilities are not the sum total of a character’s personality or capabilities; these are up to the player to determine. They do, however, provide the framework around which skills and checks are typically made, making them a very important part of the character’s description.
Strength encompasses your character’s muscle or body development and physical power. Strength also measures the amount of equipment your character can carry. Characters with high Strength are often laborers or warriors, as they have built up their bodies over years of hard work.
You apply your character’s Strength modifier to:
- Melee attack rolls.
- Damage rolls when using a melee weapon or a thrown weapon, including a sling. (Exceptions: Off-hand attacks receive only one-half the character’s Strength bonus, while two-handed attacks receive one and a half times the Strength bonus. A Strength penalty applies to attacks made with a bow that is not a composite bow.)
- Climb, Jump and Swim checks. These are the skills that have Strength as their key ability.
- Strength checks (for breaking down doors and the like).
Dexterity measures hand-eye co-ordination, agility, reflexes and balance. This ability is the most important for characters who typically wear lighter armor or none at all and for anyone who wants to be a skilled shot.
You apply your character’s Dexterity modifier to:
- Ranged attack rolls, including those for attacks made with bows, thrown knives, hurled spears and other ranged weapons.
- Active Defense, provided that the character can react to the attack.
- Reflex saving throws, for avoiding explosions and other attacks that you can escape by moving quickly.
- Balance, Escape Artist, Hide, Move Silently, Ride, Sleight of Hand, Tumble and Use Rope checks. These are the skills that have Dexterity as their key ability.
Constitution represents your character’s health and stamina. A Constitution bonus increases a character’s hit points, so the ability is important for all classes. Combat-oriented characters need hit points to survive wounds, while spellcasting characters use up hit points to fuel their spells. A high Constitution also lessens your chance of suffering a grievous wound.
You apply your character’s Constitution modifier to:
- Each roll of a Hit Die (though a penalty can never drop a result below 1 – that is, a character always gains at least 1 hit point each time he or she advances in level).
- Fortitude saving throws, for resisting poison and similar degenerative threats.
- Concentration checks. Concentration is a skill, highly important for spellcasters, which has Constitution as its key ability. If a character’s Constitution score changes enough to alter their Constitution modifier, the character’s hit points also increase or decrease accordingly.
Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons. It is important for any character who wants to have a wide assortment of skills.
You apply your character’s Intelligence modifier to:
- The number of languages your character knows at the start of the game.
- The number of skill points gained with each level. Note that your character always gains at least 1 skill point per level.
- Appraise, Craft, Decipher Script, Debate, Forgery, Hekau, Knowledge, Medicine, Search and Solve Conundrum checks. These are the skills that have Intelligence as their key ability.
Wisdom describes a character’s willpower, common sense, perception and intuition. While Intelligence represents one’s ability to analyze information, Wisdom represents being in tune with and aware of one’s surroundings. If you want your character to have acute senses, put a high score in Wisdom. Every creature has a Wisdom score.
You apply your character’s Wisdom modifier to:
- Will saving throws, for negating the effect of mind-altering phenomena or spells.
- Heal, Listen, Prayer, Profession, Sense Motive, Spot and Survival checks. These are the skills that have Wisdom as their key ability.
Charisma measures a character’s force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, ability to lead and comeliness. This ability represents actual strength of personality, not merely how one is perceived by others in a social setting. Every creature has a Charisma score.
You apply your character’s Charisma modifier to:
- Bluff, Disguise, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Presence, Perform, Rhetoric and Witchcraft checks. These are the skills that have Charisma as their key ability.
- Checks that represent attempts to influence others. When an ability score changes, all attributes associated with that score change accordingly. Most of these changes are also retroactive; a character receives or loses additional hit points for previous levels if an increase or decrease in Constitution occurs. One important exception to this retroactive rule regards Intelligence. A character does not retroactively get additional skill points for previous levels if she increases her intelligence, nor are skill points lost if Intelligence is lowered for any reason.
Grievous Wound Threshold
Your Grievous Wound Threshold is the average of your Strength and Constitution ability scores, rounded down. It determines how serious a given wound is for you. If an attack deals damage in one blow that is less than your Grievous Wound Threshold, then it is recorded as a normal wound. If the damage scores equal to or higher than your Grievous Wound Threshold, then it is recorded as a grievous wound. Grievous wounds are more disabling than ordinary wounds and will not heal without medical attention.
Ability Score Loss
Various attacks can cause ability score loss, in the form of either ability damage or ability drain. Points lost to ability damage return at the rate of one point per day, or double that if the character is able to take complete bed rest to each damaged ability. Certain chemical or mechanical effects can also offset ability damage. Ability drain, however, is permanent, though some effects can restore even those lost ability score points. While any loss is debilitating, losing all points in an ability score can be devastating.
- Strength 0 means that the character cannot move at all. He lies helpless on the ground.
- Dexterity 0 means that the character cannot move at all. He stands motionless, rigid and helpless.
- Constitution 0 means that the character is dead.
- Intelligence 0 means that the character cannot think, is unconscious in a coma-like stupor and is helpless.
- Wisdom 0 means that the character has withdrawn into a deep sleep filled with nightmares and is helpless.
- Charisma 0 means that the character has withdrawn into a catatonic, coma-like stupor and is helpless. Keeping track of negative ability score points is never necessary. A character’s ability score cannot drop below 0. Having a score of 0 in an ability is different from having no ability score whatsoever. Some effects and abilities impose an effective ability score reduction, which is different from ability score loss. Any such reduction disappears at the end of the effect or ability’s duration and the ability score immediately returns to its former value.
Your character is your alter ego in a game of Age of Heroes defined by his ability scores, background, class features and other variables. To generate a set of ability scores for a character, roll 4d6 and discard the die with the lowest face value. This will create a score between 3 (all four dice rolling 1’s) and 18 (three of the four dice coming up as 6’s). Being able to remove the lowest number inclines the average value of each score and tends to create characters with higher than average abilities. Repeat this procedure five times. Once you have generated six values in this way, either assign them in the order rolled or place them in any order desired into the six corresponding ability scores. backgrounds
All characters must select a background, showing where they came from geographically and socially. Your background limits your choice of character class and modifies your ability scores. It may also apply background modifiers to certain skill checks that can affect a character’s chances of success. For example, all slaves are deemed to be uneducated, so although they are physically robust, they have little in the way of intellectual knowledge. The first thing to decide is where your character comes from. Age of Heroes is focused on the Greek and Egyptian cultures, so the options available for characters from those cultures are significantly greater than others. You may be Greek, Egyptian or a foreigner, such as an Assyrian. Having done that, you must select one background for your character. If you are playing in a mythic campaign, then you may choose to select a mythic background. If you are Greek or Egyptian, you may then further customize your character by specifying your city of origin. Age of Heroes is oriented around the Greek and Egyptian cultures and, as a result, these civilizations have more options available, though players need not play characters from these civilizations. If you are not Greek or Egyptian, then your background is simply your region of origin as a ‘foreigner’, such as Nubian or Assyrian. Foreigners may not take the Greek Priest, Egyptian Priest, or Hoplite character classes, as these are specific to the Greek and Egyptian cultures.
You must decide whether your character is male or female. This is not a trivial issue. The ancient world is run along very clear lines of gender division. Women, for example, are not allowed to become warriors, much less noble warriors, though they may serve as priestesses. Men are not allowed to enter the secret cult of the witches, nor may they become hetaerae. Your gender does not affect your ability scores at all, though it does restrict the character class you may take. At the Games Master’s discretion, a female character from a civilization other than Greece or Egypt could be allowed to become a warrior or noble warrior. There were indeed some examples of warrior queens in ancient times. However, such examples were far from being the rule. The prohibition here is not intended to restrict anyone’s enjoyment of the game, but simply to keep to historically sound conventions. A mythic campaign can always look to the Amazons to balance things out, while a historical campaign can draw inspiration from the likes of Queen Artemisia of Halicarnassus or Queen Samsi the Midianite. There may have been more female warriors than records indicate; men, after all, wrote the records. Ultimately, it is your game and you can decide which restrictions to apply.
If you have a Greek or Egyptian nationality, then your next background choice is your social class within that society. Your social class determines how others react to you and how much regard they have for you. In the ancient world, there is no political correctness and there are no equal opportunities. The aristocracy are in control. They look down on the merchants, who in turn look down on the workers and slaves. In Age of Heroes, all social classes have their advantages and disadvantages but those who are born to the nobility are always entitled to respect and deference from those of a lower social class. If you are a foreigner, then how others regard you depends entirely on the standing your country has at the time. Nobody cares what your social rank was back in your own land. If your country is well regarded, then you will be treated well; if you are an enemy, then you can expect to be treated as such. For example, the Spartans in Greece were either the enemy or the ally of the Persian Empire, depending on what Persia was doing at the time and how it influenced Sparta’s main rival, Athens.
Greek And Egyptian Social Classes
These backgrounds apply to any character who was raised in the Greek or Egyptian culture or who has rank in that culture, such as by marrying into it. They do not have anything to do with your race.
Starting Wealth Per Social Class:
- Slave: None. +1 Con and -1 Int
- Lower/Worker Class: 1d4x5 Silver Drachmas. +2 bonus to one Craft skill.
- Middle Class: 5d4x10 Silver Drachmas. +1 Bonus Feat at first level.
- Upper/Noble Class: 5d4x20 Silver Drachmas. 1d3 unskilled slaves.
Race, City, and Regional Backgrounds
Characters of the ancient world often have loyalty to their city or region and identify themselves by referring to it, such as by calling themselves ‘Timmaeus of Athens’ or ‘Ankh-fn- khonsu the Theban’. This is especially important for Greek characters, as ancient Greece was not a unified country but a land in which numerous city-states fought for space and resources. See the Ancient World chapter for more details on how ancient Greece functioned. Your city gives you certain advantages and disadvantages. Athenians, for example, are trained in philosophy and the arts, giving them bonuses to Rhetoric and Debate skill checks, while Spartans are taught to discipline their bodies and become more resistant to pain, giving them an increased Constitution. See the Races page to choose your background.
This section allows players to create heroic characters along the lines of the ancient myths. Mythic characters are those whose powers must either be explained away as the exaggerations of myth or who genuinely do have superhuman ability, depending on the kind of campaign being run. Many mythic characters’ fates are directly bound to the Gods. They are either agents of the Gods or are related to them in some way. Mythic character backgrounds may only be used with the agreement of the Games Master. There are three ways to create a mythic character. They may have divine blood, divine patronage or a divine boon.
Like the Pharaohs of Egypt or the demigod heroes of ancient Greece, the character is directly descended from a deity. The character may, for example, be the son of Zeus like Heracles. Such a character has one divine parent and one mortal parent, they are never the child of two Gods. Having divine blood guarantees the character considerable advantages. You gain an inherent bonus to at least one of your ability scores, as you take after your divine parent, you are beloved by them automatically (see Religions and Philosophies) and you also gain a +2 background bonus to any Prayer skill check that involves your parent. There are, however, disadvantages to being the progeny of a deity; these come in the shape of other deities. As the son or daughter of one deity, you automatically gain the hatred of another deity, who then despises you. This may never be removed with atonement, as the deity hates you for who you are rather than what you have done. A good example of this kind of character is Heracles, who was hated by the Goddess Hera for having been fathered by her adulterous husband Zeus. There are some Gods and Goddesses who you may not choose as parents, simply because they did not interbreed with mortals, or in some cases with anyone. Athene and Artemis are virgin Goddesses, who have no children by any male, divine or mortal. Hephaestus and Asclepius are also not known to have sired any children. Having a divine parent is, traditionally, an attribute of Greek heroes rather than Egyptian ones. The only notable Egyptian who is said to be of divine parentage is Pharaoh, who is the son of Ra. If the Games Master wishes to allow players to be the children of other Egyptian gods, then suitable benefits can be derived by using the table below as a guideline.
The Divine Parentage table shows the benefits and disadvantages of having a divine parent.
The character has the ongoing support of a deity. These favored individuals receive the ongoing help and advice of a deity, while they in turn benefit from having an agent on the world of mortals. The most readily recognizable character of this kind is Jason, who received the advice and aid of Hera throughout his Quest for the Golden Fleece. Divine Patronage gives the player the favor of the deity at the start of the game, see the Religions and Philosophies chapter for more details. This deity need not be the same as the one who the player personally follows. The character may communicate with the deity once per level for a period of one minute. The deity reserves the right to give the character instructions, such as ‘travel to this land and slay this monster’. A character with divine patronage is a pawn in the chess games of the Gods, often sent on quests or set tasks as the patron deity requires. If the character has not lived up to the deity’s expectations or has angered the deity in any way, assistance may be refused and the disfavor of the deity may be earned.
The character received a single boon from the Gods in the early years of his life, with a concomitant vulnerability. The example here is Achilles, who was almost invulnerable with a single fatal flaw, namely that a blow dealt to the one vulnerable part of his body would kill him. Similar boons are available to players, granting an across-the-board, supernaturally heroic benefit with an accompanying flaw. The Games Master has the final say on which divine boons a player may have, as they represent a level of power that only the key figures of the legends ever had, second only to the Gods themselves. A player may choose from the following four divine boons:
The character is possessed of the kind of beauty that launches ships in their thousands. They have a Charisma score of 25.
The character practically never misses a target. They receive a +10 divine bonus to all melee or ranged attack rolls. You must choose at character generation whether the character will excel at melee attacks or ranged attacks.
The character is practically immune to damage from weapons and other physical sources. Magical sources of damage such as drain life still affect him normally, as does drowning. They are treated as having natural armor that ignores 30 points of damage of any kind and successfully wards off a blow with any Coverage check result other than a 1. The character may of course wear ordinary armor in addition to this.
The character is blessed with supernatural power to avoid misfortune. He benefits from a +5 divine bonus to all saving throws.
Along with a divine boon, the character must choose a tragic flaw from the following list:
The character suffers triple damage from any attack that penetrates armor and causes a wound.
Whenever the character rolls a 1 on an attack roll, irrespective of whether it is a ranged or melee attack, they have struck a friend. This can only happen if there is an ally within range. If there are no allies, then they strike an innocent bystander with the attack. If there are no innocent bystanders, they strike and wound themselves.
Loathed From On High:
The character is the subject of the hatred of more than one of the Gods. The Games Master
chooses three deities, all of whom despise the character (see Religions and Philosophies). He may do nothing to atone for this, ever and the condition is irreversible.
The character brings bad luck and misery to those around him. Any allies within 30 feet of the character suffer a –3 penalty to all saving throws and skill checks. This flaw has no effect on the character themselves.
character classes Players may select character classes from those listed here. Every class uses certain similar terminology, when reading about the capabilities of each class, keep the following terms in mind.
The die type used by characters of the class to determine the number of hit points gained per level. A player rolls one die of the given type each time their character gains a new level. The character’s Constitution modifier is applied to the roll. Add the result to the character’s hit point total. Even if the result is 0 or lower, the character always gains at least one hit point. A 1st level character gets the maximum hit points rather than rolling and their Constitution modifier is still applied.
This section of a class description provides a list of class skills, the number of skill points the character starts with at 1st level and those gained each level thereafter. A character’s Intelligence modifier is applied to determine the total number of skill points gained each level. Characters always gain at least one point per level, even for a character with a negative Intelligence modifier. A 1st level character starts with four times the number of skill points they receive upon attaining each level thereafter. The maximum ranks a character can have in a class skill is the character’s level +3. A character can also buy skills from the skill lists of other classes, unless that skill is exclusive to that class, a Greek priest cannot buy skill ranks in Hekau, for example. Each skill point buys a half rank in these cross-class skills and a character can only buy up to half the maximum ranks of a class skill.
Certain skills are exclusive to one class. These are as follows:
- Hekau is exclusive to Egyptian priests.
- Witchcraft is exclusive to witches.
Nobody but the designated class may ever gain ranks in these skills, with one exception. A sage can purchase ranks in exclusive skills as cross class skills as they are broadly educated and have travelled extensively. As a result they may have picked up knowledge that others have never had a chance to acquire.
This table details how a character improves as they attain higher levels in the class. It includes the following information.
- Level: The character’s level in the class.
- Base Attack Bonus: The character’s base attack modifier and number of attacks.
- Shield Defense Bonus: The character’s base shield defense modifier and number of uses per round, if applicable.
- Fort Save: The base save modifier for Fortitude saving throws. The character’s Constitution modifier also applies.
- Ref Save: The base save modifier for Reflex saving throws. The character’s Dexterity modifier also applies.
- Will Save: The base save modifier for Will saving throws. The character’s Wisdom modifier also applies.
- Class Features: Level-dependent class features or abilities, each explained in the section that follows.
Class Level Bonuses
An attack roll or a saving throw is a combination of three numbers, each representing a different factor: a random element (the number you roll on the d20), a number representing the character’s innate abilities (the ability modifier) and a bonus representing the character’s experience and training. This third factor depends on the character’s class and level. Each class table summarizes the figures for this third factor.
Base Attack Bonus
Check the table for your character’s class. When making an attack, apply the number from the Base Attack Bonus column to the roll. Use the bonus that corresponds to the Character’s level. Numbers after a slash indicate additional attacks at reduced bonuses: ‘+12/2’ means that a character of this level makes three attacks per round, with a base attack bonus of +12 for the first attack, +7 for the second and +2 for the third. Ability modifiers apply to all these attacks.
When a character’s base attack bonus reaches +6, they are entitled to make an extra attack at a +1 base attack bonus. However, if the character’s attack bonus reaches +6 or higher as a result of applying modifiers, no extra attacks are gained. For example, a 6th level thief has a base attack bonus of +4. When using a sling or other ranged weapon, she adds her Dexterity modifier. Even if this increases her attack bonus to +6 or higher, she does not gain an additional attack.
Shield Defense Bonus
Warriors receive an increasing bonus to their Shield Defense checks. When making a Shield Defense check, roll 1d20 adding any positive Wisdom modifier as well as the shield’s coverage bonus plus the Shield Defense bonus. If your shield defense bonus contains two figures, such as 1, then you may make two Shield Defense checks per round, the first at the higher bonus and the second at the lower in a similar way to making additional attacks as detailed above.
Base Save Bonuses
Check the table for your character’s class. It lists the base saving throw bonuses for the three types of saves: Fortitude, Reflex and Will. Use the bonuses that correspond to the character’s level to modify these rolls.
In addition to attack bonuses and saving throw bonuses, all characters gain other benefits from advancing in level. The following summarizes these additional benefits.
This entry details special characteristics of the class, including bonus feats and unique talents that are gained as a character attains higher levels in the class.
This column shows the experience point total needed to achieve a given character level. As a character accumulates experience points through game play or by Games Master allowance, their level increases to match the one given on this chart. Unless specific campaign rules dictate otherwise, a new level is gained as soon as a character’s experience point total equals or exceeds that level’s threshold.
Class Skill Max Ranks:
The maximum number of ranks a character can have in a class skill is equal to his character level +3. A class skill is a skill associated with a particular class. Class skills are listed in each class description in this chapter.
Cross-Class Skill Max Ranks:
For cross-class skills – those skills not associated with a character’s class – the maximum number of ranks is one-half the maximum for a class skill. Maxing out a cross-class skill costs the same amount of points as buying the maximum rank in a class skill. (For example, at 1st level, a character can pay four points for 4 ranks in a class skill or spend the same four points for 2 ranks in a cross-class skill.) The half ranks (.5) indicated on the table don’t improve skill checks; they simply represent partial purchase of the next skill rank and indicate that the character is training to improve that skill.
This column indicates the levels at which a character gains feats (two at 1st level, one more at 3rd level and one more at every three levels thereafter). See the Feats Chapter for feat descriptions.
This column indicates the levels at which a character gains ability score increases. Upon attaining 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th level, a character increases one of their ability scores by one point. The player chooses which ability score to improve. The ability improvement is permanent.
Example: Illa, a witch with a starting Charisma of 16, intends to move up the ecclesiastical ladder might wish to improve her Charisma to 17 at 4th level. At 8th level, Illa might improve her Charisma again, from 17 to 18, as this would increase her ability modifier for Charisma to +4.