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Author Topic: [Mazes & Minotaurs] Non-Greek Heroes  (Read 2804 times)

Ian Absentia

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[Mazes & Minotaurs] Non-Greek Heroes
« on: February 15, 2010, 04:51:26 PM »
I'm currently toying with the notion of starting a Mazes & Minotaurs campaign, set in the pseudo-Ancient-Mediterranean world of Mythika.  I know that some of my potential players will eschew the Greek heroes in favor of the barbaroi, or Barbarians.  In the game world, Barbarians are assumed to come from Hyperborea, but it occurs to me that there are plenty of other options on the other side of the Middle Sea.  Unfortunately, since the ancient Greeks were so close-minded about recognising the achievements of anyone who wasn't Greek or Trojan, or at least Scythian, I'm at a loss to find good examples of heroes from these other regions.  I'm hoping that some of you might be able to help me with some ideas.

Here are the regions:

The Land of the Sun - A parallel to the Middle East; the Phoenicians.  Here, at least, I can think of the biblical hero Samson, who corresponds roughly to the right time period.  There's Gilgamesh and Enkidu, too, though they're much more "ancient" than I'm looking for.

Midia - North Africa, Carthage.

The Desert Kingdom - Egypt.

Charybdia - West Africa; hot, savage jungles.

I'm not looking for hard, fast, historical figures, but regional inspiration for "re-skinned" heroes of the ancient Mediterranean.

!i!

David R

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[Mazes & Minotaurs] Non-Greek Heroes
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2010, 06:21:09 PM »
I have no idea about the timeline but how about something like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundiata_Keita

Regards,
David R

Ian Absentia

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[Mazes & Minotaurs] Non-Greek Heroes
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2010, 07:06:39 PM »
Say, that is boss.  Consider Sundiata a hero of Charybdia.  Thank you.

!i!

Ian Absentia

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[Mazes & Minotaurs] Non-Greek Heroes
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2010, 07:08:09 PM »
Say, that is boss.  About a millennium-and-a-half too late, but consider Sundiata a hero of Charybdia.  Thank you.

!i!

Drohem

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[Mazes & Minotaurs] Non-Greek Heroes
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 01:15:33 PM »
Ian, you might want to check out Man, Myth, & Magic if you can find a cheap copy.  It wasn't a successful game, but it was a cool little game for the time period.  It does what you are describing somewhat and might be a good reference tool, or idea springboard.

BillDowns

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[Mazes & Minotaurs] Non-Greek Heroes
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 02:06:09 PM »
Quote from: Ian Absentia;360714
Say, that is boss. About a millennium-and-a-half too late, but consider Sundiata a hero of Charybdia. Thank you.
 
!i!
So you are aiming at around 300 BC, give or take a century?  
 
You can include Hittites, Assyrians, Parthians, Persians, Jews, even Indians - a whole slew of peoples there.  
 
Westward could be the Romans - heavily involved in the Punic Wars, Etruscans, Cis-apline gauls, trans-apline gauls. Loads of barbarians there, too.
 
You could import some east Africans as well. There was activity down along that coast with Axum, Nubia, Punt.
 

Ian Absentia

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[Mazes & Minotaurs] Non-Greek Heroes
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 02:12:57 PM »
Quote from: BillDowns;360861
So you are aiming at around 300 BC, give or take a century?  
 
You can include Hittites, Assyrians, Parthians, Persians, Jews, even Indians - a whole slew of peoples there.
This is more or less right on, yes.  In the fictional world of "Mythika", the Romans translate as the "Umbrians".

You know, the old Hercules and Xena TV shows, as goofy as they were, drew very conveniently on the post-Alexandrian Greece being a sort of crossroads of the era.

!i!

BillDowns

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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 02:16:51 PM »
Well, for a western barbarian, I would propose Asterix
 
LOL
 

olivier legrand

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[Mazes & Minotaurs] Non-Greek Heroes
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2010, 10:28:24 AM »
Hi !  

Since M&M is, first and foremost, a fantasy game, sword & sorcery fiction is actually as "reliable" fo rinspiration as historical (or mythological) sources, especially since M&M Barbarians have more to do with the pop culture stereotype than with the "real" barbaroï.

Of course, Howard's Conan is the first one who comes to mind; "Cimmerians" are mentioned by some ancient Greek historians and, perhaps more significantly, Howard's Hyborian Age was also one of the inspirations for the vision of Mythika. King Kull of Valusia, from an even older era, could also be a good model for a M&M barbarian hero. And then of course we have one of Howard's most intense characters, the Pictish King Bran Mak Morn - of course, since his adventures occur in post-AD Roman-occupied Britain, you'd have to shift things a bit - but Bran's tragic status as the last king of a dying, slowly degenerating, once proud-and-mighty folk could make an interesting basis for a great barbarian hero (espcially since Mythika's Hyperborea now has its own quasi-Picts, a.k.a Blue Men, as detailed in issue 6 of the Minotaur webzine).

Thinly-disguised sub-Conan avatars, like Gardner Fox's Kothar, Lin Carter's Thongor or John Jakes' may also serve as possible inspiration for such characters - sure, these stories are nothing like Howard's barbarian fiction in terms of quality, intensity and style but this has little to do with their usefulness as inspiration-fodder. :)
 

winkingbishop

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[Mazes & Minotaurs] Non-Greek Heroes
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2010, 10:58:45 AM »
How about a bit of this:

"I presume, my boy, you are the keeper of this oracular pig." -The Horned King

Friar Othos - [Ptolus/AD&D pbp]

winkingbishop

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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2010, 02:05:27 PM »
Have you considered Jesus for your campaign? :)
"I presume, my boy, you are the keeper of this oracular pig." -The Horned King

Friar Othos - [Ptolus/AD&D pbp]

Ian Absentia

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[Mazes & Minotaurs] Non-Greek Heroes
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2010, 02:18:48 PM »
Hey, Olivier! (Psst! Guys, this is the fellow who wrote the game!)  You're right, of course -- I should look beyond Greek legend, and into sources like Kull and Pellucidar for inspiration.  I was just hoping, though, that if I dug deep enough, I'd find some reference to a Greek hero hailing from Africa (Egypt, North Africa, or otherwise).  But it seems that the African coast was essentially just populated with monsters, not people.

As for a guest appearance by Jesus, I might consider Apollonius of Tyana. :)

!i!

Aos

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[Mazes & Minotaurs] Non-Greek Heroes
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2010, 06:29:34 PM »
You should also include Sinbad, as played by John Phillip Law, accompanied by Carole Monroe's freshly spritzed cleavage.
You are posting in a troll thread.

Metal Earth

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Age of Fable

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[Mazes & Minotaurs] Non-Greek Heroes
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2010, 02:46:05 AM »
An Atlantean refugee could be a John-Carter like "civilised man in a savage world."

PS I did that pic :D
free resources:
Teleleli The people, places, gods and monsters of the great city of Teleleli and the islands around.
Age of Fable 'Online gamebook', in the style of Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf and Fabled Lands.
Tables for Fables Random charts for any fantasy RPG rules.
Fantasy Adventure Ideas Generator
Cyberpunk/fantasy/pulp/space opera/superhero/western Plot Generator.
Cute Board Heroes Paper 'miniatures'.
Map Generator
Dungeon generator for Basic D&D or Tunnels & Trolls.

olivier legrand

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[Mazes & Minotaurs] Non-Greek Heroes
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2010, 04:52:56 AM »
Quote from: Ian Absentia;361622
But it seems that the African coast was essentially just populated with monsters, not people.


A typical case of ancient world ethnocentrism... just like the "barbaroi" concept.

Speaking of Africa and sword & sorcery, Don't forget Charles R. Saunders' Imaro cycle !

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imaro_%28novel%29

Back to M&M, you might perhaps be interested to learn that the ninth issue of the Minotaur webzine (not the next one, but the one after that) will focus on Charybdia, Mythika's fantasy equivalent of Africa. It will include all the familiar genre tropes of pulp adventure stories - you know, deep jungles, lost cities, savage tribes, the Dark Continent and all that... but in a typical M&M way, we'll also try to go beyond such clich├ęs and offer a "view from within" of Charybdia - just like we did for Midia (Mythika's pseudo-Phoenicia) in the last issue (which has just been released BTW !).

And it would be great if this Charybdian dossier did include some info about Charybdia's greatest heroes... So if you're interested in contributing to this issue (which should be released this Summer, probably in July or August), contact me by e-mail (my address can be found on the M&M website).