Age of Heroes
This section includes the different races in the setting that will be used throughout the campaign. Many of them are based on what region of Greece the player hails from, as each City State is radically different from each other. For this reason, many racial identities are tied directly to the nature of their home city. If you know what city you want to be from, pick that first and the city page will tell you what race you will be.
The people of Greece are the most diverse peoples in the Ancient World, a source of great strength as well as constant conflict.
- Stats: +1 Wisdom, +1 Constitution, -1 Charisma
- Cities: Argos, Mycenae, Hermione, Troizen
- Dialect: Doric
- Stats: +1 Intelligence, +1 Wisdom, -1 Strength
- Cities: Athens, Skyros, Lemnos, Imbros, Samothrace
- Dialect: Attic
- Special: Characters from Athens with anything other than a slave background receive a +2 background bonus to all Rhetoric, Debate and Knowledge checks.
- Culture: Citizens of the city-state of Athens, the holy city of the Goddess Athene, are trained to follow the culture of the mind. In keeping with the nature of the city’s patron Goddess, wisdom is prized. Every action has to be prefaced with a proper degree of thought. Athens was a great center of philosophy in the ancient world.
- Stats: +1 Strength, +1 Wisdom, -1 Intelligence
- Cities: Thebes, Plataea, Thespiae
- Dialect: Boetian
- Stats: +1 Intelligence, +1 Charisma, -1 Wisdom
- Cities: Corinth, Megara, Sikyon
- Dialect: Doric
- Special: +1 bonus on all Presence, Bluff, and Debate checks. Double starting wealth for any character other than those with a slave background.
- Culture: The city of Corinth is one of the richest cities in the Ancient World. Settled squarely on the Isthmus of Corinth, the city is a key strategical location that separates the Peloponnese from Northern Greece. But this trade and travel by land was not enough for the Corinthians, and so they constructed a great ‘ship road’ across the bridge of land that the city straddles; for a heavy toll, ships are carried across the isthmus on great wooden sledges following a stone track, pulled by hundreds of groaning slaves. The city is a center for trade and craftsmanship, and Corinth is renowned as the finest makers of armor. The famed Corinthian helm is the model used for all of Greece. Corinthians also invented the Trireme, the most advanced warship of the time period.
- Stats: +1 Dexterity, +1 Intelligence, -1 Constitution
- Cities: Knossos
- Dialect: Doric
- Special: +2 bonus to Bluff and Sense Motive against anyone not from Crete. +2 bonus to all Solve Conundrum checks, but a -2 penalty to any Charisma based skill check to influence another’s attitude.
- Culture: The folk of Crete are said to be cunning and wily. Like the famous labyrinth that is rumored to lie beneath the palace of old Minos, one-time ruler of the island, their minds are full of twists and turns. It is said that one should never trust a promise made by a Cretan unless it is recorded in writing and that even then, one should bring one’s own scribe.
- Stats: +1 Intelligence, +1 Charisma, -1 Constitution
- Cities: Aegean Islands, Sardis, Chalcis, Eretria
- Dialect: Ionic
- Stats: +1 Strength, +1 Constitution, -1 Charisma
- Cities: Sparta, Gytheion
- Dialect: Doric
- Classes: Spartiate
- Special: 40 ft base land speed.
- Culture: Hard, Disciplined, Valorous. They are known for characteristically blunt Laconian speech. Spartans were expected to be men of few words, to hold rhetoric in disdain, and to stick to the point. Loquacity was seen as a sign of frivolity, and unbecoming of sensible, down-to-earth Spartan peers. See Laconic Wit.
- Stats: +1 Strength, +1 Constitution, -1 Intelligence
- Cities: Messene, Pylos
- Dialect: Doric
- Special: Any Helot who draws too much attention to themselves through acts of strength or valor must either join the Spartan citizenry, or risk being eliminated by the Spartans.
- Culture: The Helots were a subjugated population group that formed the main population of Laconia and Messenia (areas ruled by Sparta). According to Pollux, they occupied a status “between free men and slaves”. They could have their own home and family, but where subservient to their Spartan overlords and had to produce a large share of their crop for the state, as well as squire for the Spartans in battle where they could advance into citizenship through acts of valor.
- Stats: +1 Constitution, +1 Charisma, -1 Dexterity
- Cities: Rhodes (Lindos, Ialyssos and Kamiros)
- Dialect: Doric
- Special: + 2 bonus on all Debate, Presence and Swim skill checks and receive Profession (sailor) as a class skill, irrespective of their character class.
- Culture: Rhodes is one of the largest centers of trade and culture in the Aegean. Inhabitants of the three cities on the island of Rhodes are considered to be excellent sailors, merchants, and negotiators. They are however considered prideful and arrogant. Wine grown on Rhodes is sold far and wide throughout the Ancient World. The navy of Rhodes plays an important role in policing piracy in the Aegean. The island was said to be born of the union of Helios, the Titan of the sun, and the nymph Rhode, and the cities were named for their three sons. The three cities of Rhodes are part of one united political force, and the word Rhodes is used to refer to them collectively. They would eventually build the actual city of Rhodes itself around 408 B.C.
- Stats: +1 Dexterity, +1 Charisma, -1 Intelligence
- Cities: Larissa, Pherae
- Dialect: Aeolic
- Special: +2 background bonus to all Ride, and Survival checks, but a -2 penalty to all Knowledge checks.
- Culture: There a very few cities in Thessaly, and most of the region is composed of small villages and farmlands. The people of Thessaly live mostly in small communities and family groups. They are excellent survivalists and are renowned throughout Greece for their fast horses and skills as riders. Thessaly is a region well known for its witches. The cult of Hecate thrives in Thessaly, images of the triple-faced Goddess stand at every crossroads and it is said that one woman in every ten is secretly a witch. Whether this legend is true or not, the women of Thessaly are well suited to the paths of the witch or the more persuasive aristocrat.
- Stats: +1 Constitution, +1 Dexterity, -1 Intelligence
- Cities: Ellis, Olympia, Delphi, Patraea, Ithaca
- Dialect: Northwestern Doric
Largely dominated by the Persian Empire, there is great diversity in the nations of the East.
- Stats: +1 Dexterity, +1 Constitution, -1 Strength
- Special: +1 skill point per level
- Culture: Egypt is one of the oldest and most sophisticated civilizations in the Ancient World, but are currently under the dominion of Persia. Those raised there are exposed to all manner of political discussions, theological debates and demonstrations of Pharaonic power. Nobles of Egypt are well educated, but are spared any manual work or fighting, as a result of which they are less physically developed than they otherwise could be. A character of noble origin who comes from Egypt receives a +2 background bonus to all Presence and Hekau checks, but a -1 penalty to Fortitude and Reflex saving throws.
- Special: +1 background bonus to Will saving throws. They are, however, limited in their choice of equipment. Any body armor (but not shields) worn by a Nubian has its armor check penalty increased by +1.
- Culture: The Nubians, a people from the region of Africa south of Egypt, are admired among the Egyptian soldiery for their courage and strength. The elite core of many a Pharaoh’s troops was a force of Nubian mercenaries, who could be relied upon to terrify the enemy with their vicious, relentless fighting.
- Special: Presence is always a class skill for a Persian character, even if it is not among the listed class skills and they receive a +2 bonus to it.
- Culture: Originally vassals of the Assyrians, the Persians expanded their empire to become one of the most splendid and mighty civilizations in world history. The Persian character is noble, magnanimous, strict and absolutely convinced of its own superiority.
- Special: +2 background bonus to all Appraise, Bluff and Swim skill checks and receive Profession (sailor) as a class skill, irrespective of their character class.
- Culture: The Phoenicians were the founders and
occupants of Carthage and are a constant presence for almost two millennia in the ancient world. As so many of their cities are coastal, they were one of the first civilizations to develop an extensive naval force. Rather than becoming military aggressors, they became sailors and traders.
- Special: +2 background bonus to Ride skill checks and have the Mounted Archery feat for free.
- Culture: Hailing from the regions of northern Iran, the Scythians were a frequent thorn in the side of the Medes. They perfected the recurved composite bow and became adept at using it from horseback, becoming one of the only early civilizations to use mounted archer units. The Scythians have a reputation for being savage, aggressive and implacable, dominating others ruthlessly and celebrating their victories with drinking binges that last many days.
- Stats: +1 Dexterity, +1 Wisdom, -1 Strength, -1 Constitution
- Races: Chinese, Indian
North-Western European Races
These races are collectively known to the Greeks as the “Barbarians”. They all receive +1 Strength, +1 Constitution, -1 Intelligence, and -1 Charisma. Barbarians treat all Knowledge skills as cross-class skills, except for Knowledge (nature) and Knowledge (local). They receive a +2 background bonus to all Survival skill checks, as they are half-wild and accustomed to living in the natural world. Barbarian warriors are proficient with all axes and spears. Their languages are not known to the civilized nations and sound like nothing more than “bar bar bar” to the ears of Greeks.