Wednesday, December 30, 2020


 One-eyed giants, cyclopes are often associated with Poseidon and his island domains, though a sizeable number follow Hephaestus as smiths in his volcanic forges. A few still serve Zeus directly, thanks to the events of Titanomachy. Others hail from other lands, such as one-eyed fomorians in the service of Balor, or even the monoculur behemoths of Nergal. Whatever the case, they come in a number of varieties, ranging from quite civilized to very savage.

Associated Divinity/Cult (d12)
Poseidon (somewhat savage: +1 when rolling for cyclops' disposition)
8-9. Hephaestus
(quite civilized: -2 when rolling for cyclops' appearance and disposition)
10. Zeus (somewhat civilized: -1 when rolling for cyclops's appearance)
11. Balor (very savage: +2 when rolling for cyclops' appearance and disposition
(somewhat savage: +1 when rolling for cyclops' appearance)

Cyclops' Appearance
1 or less. One-eyed, fairly good-looking giant (50% chance of having a beard & a nymph mate)
2-3. One-eyed, unkempt-looking giant (75% chance of having a beard & a nymph mate)
4. One-eyed, bald giant (50% chance of being ugly; 50% chance of having leathery skin)
5. One-eyed, bald and ugly giant with leathery skin and a horn
6-7. One-eyed, bald and ugly giant with leathery skin, a horn, and cloven feet
8 or more. One-eyed, bald and ugly giant with a centauroid body (25% chance of also having a horn)

Nymph mate: if a male of CHA 14+1d4 or more comes in the area, cyclops will attempt to kill him out of jealousy
Leathery skin: +2 AC bonus, but -3 Intelligence penalty
A horn: can be used to gore as part of a charge for 1d6 + HD damage, -2 Intelligence penalty
Cloven feet: +5' speed
Centauroid body: +15' speed, -2 AC penalty, & +2 HD

Cyclops' Disposition
1 or less. Forging: wishes to make some item magica (see Volume II)
2. Contemplative: relatively calm and likely peaceful because it is enamored with a nearby nymph (a base75% chance)
3. Guardian: will chase off interlopers, attacking if they don't flee
4. Territorial: will attack interlopers, chasing them if they flee
5. Cruel Host: will invite interlopers in as guests, but then trap and try to eat them
6 or more. Rampage: attacks and attempts to terrify and eat anyone it finds, whether in its territory or not

Special Qualities
(roll for each to see what a particular cyclops has)
- Better Weapon (25% chance: has more than just a club; does 2d6 + HD damage instead)
- Boulder Throwing (75% chance: hits from boulders cause 4d10 damage)
- Grab & Hurl (25% chance: if it grabs a foe who is 10' or more shorter, the foe must save vs. paralysis or be tossed 2d6 x 10' for at least 6d6 damage; cyclopes with this ability may hurl such foes up to once every 1d6 rounds)
- Fear of Dragons (50% chance, due to memories of the cyclopes being trapped in Tartarus by Campe: -3 to all rolls made against dragons and similar creatures)
- Larger or Smaller Sized (20% chance, then equal chance of either: +/- 1d10 HD; +/- 1' size difference (adult cyclopes are usually 8 + 1d4' tall) and to damage rolls for every HD increase or decrease)
- Poor Depth Perception (33% chance: -4 to ranged attack rolls, but will attempt them anyway)
- See Invisible (50% chance: just what do you think their single eye is for?)
- Shepherd (75% chance: will have 1d20 sheep around)
- Tusks (15% chance): can be used as part of a bite attack for 1d4 +1/2 HD damage, -1 Intelligence penalty
By Divinity/Cult
- Resistant to Fire (50% chance if associated with Hephaestus or Nergal: +5 to all saves or reducing damage from fire)
- Resistant to Lightning (50% chance if associated with Zeus: +5 to all saves or reducing damage from lightning)
- Wearing Armor (10% chance; 50% chance if associated with Hephaestus: +3 AC bonus, -5' speed)

Summoning Cyclopes
Clerics (and other spellcasters) of divinities and cults listed above can add the spell Summon Cyclops to their spell list. Treat it as Summon Monster, except that only 1 cyclops may be summoned per day, its HD (usually 10) determining the appropriate Summon Monster spell's level (Elaboration may be needed to boost the spell's power- see Volume I). It takes 2d6 rounds to arrive and then the spell's duration begins- when the cleric can actually give the monster commands to follow. Once the duration ends, the cyclops will act according to its disposition (if it still lives, either remaining or leaving the area) unless the cleric successfully casts another Summon Cyclops spell to control it once more. 
In any case, providing the cyclops with an offering (or sacrifice) that fits its disposition can increase the spell's duration by 50 to 100% (per Referee), as a promised reward given after the commanded deed is done. So offering a forging cyclops some raw materials can entice it to stay longer to obey the cleric's will, just as leaving a terrified captive can tempt a rampaging one.
Next week: Amazons!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Hoplites, Part II


Use with the divinity and cult associations from Part I, or alone to generate a plethora of hoplite varieties.

Hoplites always have at least a hoplon shield, otherwise they wouldn't be a hoplite. Their other protection can vary though.
Select or roll d6.

1. Heavy Hoplite Armor: Helmet, breastplate or linothorax, and greaves (+6 to +8 AC bonus; +4 to +6 vs. rear attacks)
2. Medium Hoplite Armor A:
Helmet and breastplate or linothorax (+5 to +7 AC bonus; +3 to +5 vs. rear attacks)
Medium Hoplite Armor B: Breastplate or linothorax and greaves (+5 to +6 AC bonus; +3 to +4 vs. rear attacks)
4. Medium Hoplite Armor C: Helmet and greaves (+4 to +5 AC bonus; +2 to +3 vs. rear attacks)
5. Light Hoplite Armor A
: Helmet or breastplate/linothorax or greaves (+3 to +5 AC bonus; +1 to +3 vs. rear attacks)
6. Light Hoplite Armor B: None, hoplon shield only (+2 AC bonus; +0 vs. rear attacks)

Armor Color d12: roll once for primary color, twice for highlights
1-5. Bronze
6-7. Silver
8. Golden
9. White (note: linothorax often remains white, even if other parts of armor aren't- a base 75% chance)
10. Black
11. Other, per Referee
12. Combo (two primary colors, one highlight)

Tunic Color
d12 (base 50% chance of also having a cape)
1-2. None/ nude
3-7. Red
8. White
9. Black
10. Blue
11. Purple

Per Referee

+2 AC bonus vs. attacks from the front, +4 when hoplite allies are also defending on either side (as part of a phalanx)

1. None
2. Bird
3. Bull
4. Gorgon
5. Horse or
6. Legs
(3 as a Triskelon)
7. Letter/ Per City-State
8. Other Beast
9. Other Mythical Creature
10. Per Divinity or Cult
(see Part I)
11. Spiral
12. Other, Per Referee

Corinthian: (full helm) +2.5 AC bonus, -2 to sight and hearing checks (a Corinthian helm plus linothorax grants a +5 total AC bonus, a Corinthian helm only grants +2 AC in other cases)
Chaldician: (partial face and side-covering helm) +2 AC bonus, -1 to sight and hearing checks
Illyrian: (open-faced helm) +2 AC bonus, -2 to hearing checks
Boetian or Pilos: (simple helm) +1 AC bonus, no penalties unless one wants to really show off their hair

Plume/Crest d12 (base 75% chance)
1. Red
2. Red & Black
Red & White
4. Black
5. Black & White
6. Blue or Green
7. Uncolored or Color Per Referee
8. Metal (plume is part of helm)
9. Raised/ J-Hooked (reroll 1d8 for color)
10. Transverse (reroll 1d8 for color)
11. Includes Feathers (reroll 1d8 for color, then roll again for plume itself)
12. Per Referee

: +3 AC bonus, -3 to DEX checks if bell shaped, -2 to DEX checks if muscled
Linothorax: +2.5 AC bonus, -1 to DEX
checks (a Corinthian helm plus linothorax grants a +5 total AC bonus, a linothorax only grants +2 AC in other cases)


+1 AC bonus/ +2 vs. smaller foes or those on lower ground, -1 to DEX checks

Added with the various combinations of hoplite armor, the total maximum AC bonus can be just +10 vs. front attacks, since heavier armor would preclude much dodging. Remember that hoplites can also improve their AC by 1 per odd level each round though if they choose to focus more on defense, allowing them gain more than the +10 bonus. And of course, magic armor can grant even greater protection (per Referee)!


Hoplites naturally bear a hoplon shield and dory spear, with either a xiphos or kopis sword as a backup weapon.

Hoplon: included with the +1 per odd level bonus choices, so hoplites can use their shield to add damage rather than improving AC. Otherwise, it can be part of two-weapon fighting if the Referee so wishes.

: good for keeping foes at bay, the hoplite's spear does double damage on a hit vs. a charge, and also allows its wielder to attack before the one charging does.

: a straight short sword, it can grant a +1 bonus to AC via parrying or even a +1 to hit those in heavy armor thanks to its piercing quality.

Kopis: a curved short sword, it can grant a +1 to damage those who unarmored or even those who are on lower ground.

Next week: Cyclopes!