Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Quick Note - Six Things to Remember About Adventuring in Fantasy Egypt

Between watching "Prince of Egypt", "Joseph the King of Dreams" and a bunch of low grade mummy movies this weekend I have decided to go ahead and give a quick listing of things one should remember about adventuring in Egypt or its fantasy equivalent.

1. Its Hot - Egyptians were not known for their body armor. Despite what films have shown us the majority of Egyptian soldiers were no body into battle. The exception to this was the Pharaoh who were leather banded torso harness. The same thing goes for helmets, the typical Egyptian soldier where no head protection that was armored. Again the exception to this was the Pharaoh.  In a fantasy game the players should be limited to leather armor, however, again the armor was banded leather strips, not the hardened leather that is typical to most fantasy settings. The Banded Leather armor should be decreased in its protection by 1.

2. Wizard, Priest ... Whats the difference - Egyptian priests were not only the religious leaders of the culture but also the culture's main source of mysticism. In reality these mystics employed a mixture of stage magic and alchemy to achieve their success, the mystics and priests of Egypt were observational scientists to the highest order and good readers of people. In a fantasy setting combine the Magic User and Cleric classes, combining the spell lists but not the amount of spells per day. If your edition or system has differing levels or amounts per day the DM/GM/Referee should pick which class is the "Tracking Class".

3. Weapons - Sickle Swords, Long Bows and Spears are the weapons of the day. The majority of these weapons are stone/wood and more rarely bronze/wood. While it is true that maces and axes were used they were not as common to the soldier class as the Sickle Swords, Long Bows and Spears. From a roleplaying perspective the move from the mace and axe can be seen as a move through the rank.

4. Everything is Massive - Look at the reality of the ancient structures of Egypt. These people worked on a scale that is nearly mythic.from statues to the pillars of buildings, everything is huge and that scale can lend a somewhat otherworldly quality to the temples, palaces and dungeons.

5. It is Old -  huge statues of heads sitting in the drifting sands or half buried by the river's cool waters may actually be giant full scale statues of some long dead god or Pharaoh. The sands and waters and even buildings hide things from generations past. The land has many things to find and discover.

6. Monsters are Real - While not actually "real" the monsters and creatures of ancient Egypt were active in the lives of the people. Also remember just because something is listed as  a "God" does not mean it was a divine being, just otherworldly.

I hope this helps or inspires!

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