The Evil DM

The Evil DM
The Evil DM

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Peloponnesian War as a Pattern

Peloponnesian War as a Pattern

I patterned the war between Marazzer and Greth on the Peloponnesian War. At the very start of the campaign all the young men and women in Greth answered the call to duty to fight the invading forces of Marazzer. This is similar to the massive expeditionary force Athens sent to attack Syracuse in 415 BC with similar results. The Spartan army completely destroyed the Athenian force in 413 BC. In the World of Tiglath, I sped up the process by having the Marazzer use blitzkrieg tactics by employing their Tronlth.

The campaign emphasizes the social impacts on the world. One of my courses in collage studied the play Lysistrata (in the original Greek) by Aristophanes. The backdrop of the play is most of the young men in Athens died in the disastrous Sicilian Expedition. According to Wikipedia, approximately 14% of the population of the Soviet Union died in World War II. The defeat of Athens in the Sicilian Expedition disaster was smaller in number but much larger in percentage. In the World of Tiglath, there are few survivors from the forces of Greth. The forces of Marazzer took very few prisoners. I patterned Marazzer after the ancient Assyrians who flayed their captives and nailed their skins to the wall of the city. Marazzer flayed the few soldiers of Greth that surrendered.

What does this all mean for the players in the campaign?

All the characters are young. The only non-player characters the same age are from Marazzer or deserters. The party cannot blend in. They stand out because of their age. A common question from non-player characters is, “Were you at the battle on the Plains of Lethe?” The Plains of Lethe is the site of a major battle on the Peninsula of Pinge. The plains of Lethe are about one hundred miles North-East of Hosiger. The follow up question is always, “Did you know my son (or daughter)? Is he (she) still alive?”

This means all the non-player characters have built in prejudice about the players. Initially they want to know if the player characters have any news about members of their family. Then they wonder how are the player characters alive and their loved-ones dead or missing. The only other people the same age as the player characters are the soldiers of Marazzer. The average merchant is going to be wary because he thinks the characters are either deserters or informants from Marazzer or something worse.