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 Post subject: Minimalist Greek Heroes
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:37 am 
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Posts: 4428
So I was thinking of a project where instead of the high level heroes we typically stat them as, we take a look at the DnD version of the monsters/people these guys took down, and put them in a similar league.

For instance, we don't assume the Minotaur that Theseus took down was Asterion, nascent demon lord servitor of Baphomet and foe of Shamash and Thorgrim. Instead, he beat a minotaur. Hercules didn't beat some 50HD hydra, he beat a hydra.

For Greek heroes, we've got the following.

Achilles
Odysseus
Hercules
Cadmus
Perseus
Bellerophon
Jason
Theseus

Now, Hercules gets the advantage, because he killed all sorts of monsters. Just his labors, for instance, have him killing or capturing a

dire lion (CR 2, using sabertooth as reference)
hydra (CR 8)
giant elk (CR 2)
giant boar (CR 2)
flock of Styphalian birds (CR 8 in Pathfinder, around chimera which is CR 6 in 5e)
massive bull (Giant goat, CR 1/2)
Diomedes (son of Ares, maybe a giant, CR? I'm inclined to use hill giant stats)
4 flesh eating warhorses (CR 1/2)
Orthus (CR 1 death dog)
Geryon (CR 5 modified ettin)
Cerberus (CR 3+ hell hound)

So all that, I'd peg Minimalist Hercules at CR 10.


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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Greek Heroes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:30 am 
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Posts: 1179
Even minimalist, I'd use advanced for a number of these, especially the ones that are animals but particularly mighty.

I also suggest aurochs insead of goat, for the bull. Advanced aurochs is CR 3, so doesn't affect your conclusion any, but definitely more appropriate stats.

I generally like the approach. To recall some stats from long ago, when I did Beowulf I wrote him to be matched against an almost bog-standard crag linnorm.

I will say that I think a fairly large challenge to lower levels would come from the war stories and heroes cutting their way through swathes of nameless opponents. Choking rivers with so many dead that they no longer reach the sea, and all. Admittedly though Scamander is not the most enormous of rivers.

Secondary, feats of strength are not strictly level-based, but do suggest very high ability scores. Stuff like:

Quote:
But Turnus shakes his head: "Your burning words,
ferocious Trojan, do not frighten me;
it is the gods alone who terrify me,
and Jupiter, my enemy." He says
no more, but as he looks about he sees
a giant stone, an ancient giant stone
that lay at hand, by chance, upon the plain,
set there as boundary mark between the fields
to keep the farmers free from border quarrels.
And twice-six chosen men with bodies such
as earth produces now could scarcely lift
that stone upon their shoulders. But the hero,
anxious and running headlong, snatched the boulder;
reaching full height, he hurled it at the Trojan.
But Turnus does not know if it is he
himself who runs or goes or lifts or throws
that massive rock; his knees are weak; his blood
congeals with cold. The stone itself whirls through
the empty void but does not cross all of
the space between; it does not strike a blow.
Just as in dreams of night, when languid rest
has closed our eyes, we seem in vain to wish
to press on down a path, but as we strain,
we falter, weak; our tongues can say nothing
the body loses its familiar force,
no voice, no word, can follow: so whatever
courage he calls upon to find a way,
the cursed goddess keeps success from Turnus.


If we assume chosen men = Str 13 and 5e rules, we've got Turnus lifting a boulder weighing in the neighborhood of 2300 lbs. And not just lifting it, but tossing it around. And managing this (though not fully) while being level/str drained by a hostile demon.


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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Greek Heroes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:28 pm 
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I'm inclined to agree with most of what you've said. In minimalist Greek DnD, nameless soldier would probably be guards. Sword, shield, chain shirt or leather armor, for an AC of 13-16 or so. If they're conscripts, maybe even just commoner stats. The only 'advanced' nature I'd add to the monsters is to provide them with max hp. Other than that, the idea is to see how they stack up if reduced simply to a level DnD requires for them to accomplish their well known tasks.


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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Greek Heroes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:29 pm 
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Minimalist Heracles
Medium humanoid, chaotic good
________________________________________________________________________________
Armor Class 15 (hide armor)
Hit Points 195 (15d8 + 75)
Speed 50 ft.
________________________________________________________________________________
STR 30 (+10) DEX 16 (+3) CON 20 (+5) INT 14 (+2) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 18 (+4)
________________________________________________________________________________
Saves Str +14, Dex +7, Con +9
Skills Athletics +18, Insight +6, Intimidation +8, Persuasion +8, Survival +6
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages Common
Treasure Nemean cloak, hydra bow, greatclub, sword
Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)
________________________________________________________________________________

Bravery. Heracles has advantage on saving throws against the frightened condition.

Brute. A melee weapon deals one extra die of its damage when Hercules hits with it (included in the attack).

ACTIONS
________________________________________________________________________________

Multiattack Hercules makes three attacks.

Greatclub Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d8 + 10) bludgeoning damage.

Longsword Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d8 + 10) slashing damage.

Unarmed Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d4 + 10) bludgeoning damage. The target is grappled (escape DC 22). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, Heracles can automatically hit the target with his unarmed attacks, and Hercules can't make attacks against other targets.

Hydra Bow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, range 90/360 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) piercing damage, the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

MAGIC ITEMS
________________________________________________________________________________

Hydra Bow This +1 longbow deals additional poison damage.

Nemean Cloak The Nemean cloak is +1 hide armor.


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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Greek Heroes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:20 pm 
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Posts: 1362
I am intrigued by these ideas and wish to see more. Any thoughts of doing PF versions of them as well? :)


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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Greek Heroes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:17 am 
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Posts: 130
I love this so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Greek Heroes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:25 pm 
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WarDragon wrote:
I am intrigued by these ideas and wish to see more. Any thoughts of doing PF versions of them as well? :)



At the moment, my designs are swinging 5e, but unlike 4e, 5e can translate almost directly into 3e. For instance, if you took a 15HD fighter or barbarian in +1 hide armor with those ability scores, you could probably do minimalist Hercules fairly close to what I ended up with. You'd have to pack on the feats, and figure out skill ranks, and if you didn't do it AW style, you'd have to select archetypes and add in the fiddly abilities, but ultimately, you'd probably still have something that ends up CR-wise on par with the minimalist version of the monsters defeated by Herc.


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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Greek Heroes
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:06 am 
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Minimalist Achilles
Medium humanoid (human), chaotic neutral
________________________________________________________________________________
Armor Class 19 (breastplate, shield)
Hit Points 182 (13d8 + 78)
Speed 40 ft.
________________________________________________________________________________
STR 20 (+5) DEX 20 (+5) CON 22 (+6) INT 13 (+1) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 18 (+4)
________________________________________________________________________________
Saving Throws Str +9, Dex +9, Con +10
Skills Athletics +13, Intimidate +12
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from non-magical weapons
Senses passive Perception 11
Languages Common
Treasure Shield of Achilles, Hephaestian Armor, Pelion Spear, longsword
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)
________________________________________________________________________________

Bravery. Achilles has advantage on saving throws against the frightened condition.

Brute. A melee weapon deals one extra die of its damage when Achilles hits with it (included in the attack).

Phalanx. If fighting adjacent to another creature with this ability, attacks against Achilles suffer disadvantage.

ACTIONS
________________________________________________________________________________

Multiattack Achilles makes two melee attacks.

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., two targets. Hit: 15 (2d8 + 6) slashing damage.

Spear. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 15 ft. or ranged 200/600 ft., two targets. Hit: 19 (2d12 + 6) piercing damage

REACTIONS
________________________________________________________________________________

Chargebreaker. Achilles makes an opportunity attack against any foe that enters his reach when armed with a melee weapon. Achilles does not gain this attack if the foe is using the disengage action.

MAGIC ITEMS
________________________________________________________________________________

Hephaestian Armor This breastplate negates critical hits against Achilles.
Pelion Spear This spear is a greatspear with 15 ft. reach.
Shield of Achilles This shield provides disadvantage to ranged attacks made against Achilles.


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