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The New Argonauts

Adventure in Mythic Greece
by Sean K Reynolds

Requires use of the Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition Core Books, published by
Wizards of the Coast, Inc. This book utilizes updated material from the v. 3.5 revision.

Additional Credits

Editing: Brian Corto

Playtesters: Abdul Arcturus Brown, Carlos Thyrsos
Cover Illustration: Gerald Lee
Cheek, Prince Psi Elcock, James Xanthos
Interior Illustrations: Greek painters whose names are
Hawkins, Brian Zale Thromes Hendley, Chris
lost to time
Anaxis Marleau, Terry Numa Spier
Greek Art Photos: Aaron Atsma, <>
Special Thanks: Willow for her love and kindness, my
(Copyright 2004 Aaron Atsma)
sister Keri for lending me her textbook on the classical
Other Interior Illustrations: Purchased from
age, Monte and Sue Cook for all of their support, the
<>, such images are Copyright
folks at <> for making
2004 Sean K Reynolds Games and its licensors
excellent Greek minis, Brian for his advice, Marc for his
(Hemera). All rights reserved.
typeseing skills, the original Argonauts playtesters
for the fun gaming, and the Hollywood folks who
Proofreading: Jon Norbert Hartmann, Keri Reynolds
Cover and Interior Page Design: Marc Schmalz,
greenlighted the movie Troy which inspired me to run a
Greek campaign in the rst place.
Typeseing: Marc Schmalz
For additional material, go to the Sean K Reynolds Games website, <>.

Table of Contents

Introduction by the Author ................................................. 2

Chapter 1: Characters ........................................................... 3
Races ................................................................................... 3
Classes ................................................................................ 3
Skills ................................................................................... 4
Feat Changes ..................................................................... 6
New Feats .......................................................................... 7
New Classes .................................................................... 10
Bloodlines ........................................................................ 13
Equipment ....................................................................... 16
Chapter 2: Variant Rules .................................................... 17
Continuing Poison Damage .......................................... 17
Donations and Intervention .......................................... 17
Slower Dying .................................................................. 19
Chapter 3: Magic ................................................................. 20
New and Modied Spells.............................................. 20

New Magic Items ........................................................... 22

Chapter 4: Culture............................................................... 24
Chapter 5: Deities ................................................................ 31
Greek Prehistory............................................................. 31
Olympian Gods and Titans ........................................... 32
Olympian Genealogy .................................................... 33
Olympian Symbology .................................................... 35
Chapter 6: History ............................................................... 36
Chapter 7: Running the Campaign ................................... 39
Mythic Elements ............................................................. 39
Wealth, Rewards, & Starting Level .............................. 41
Sample Argonauts Campaign ...................................... 41
Chapter 8: Monsters ............................................................ 44
Appendix: Sources and Suggested Reading ................... 63
OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a .............................. 64

d20 System and the d20 System logo are

Trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast and
are used according to the terms of the d20 System
License version 6.0. A copy of this License can
be found at <>. Dungeons
& Dragons and Wizards of the Coast are
Registered Trademarks of Wizards of the Coast,
and are used with Permission. All rights reserved.
The mention of or reference to any company or
product in these pages is not a challenge to the
trademark or copyright concerned. All other
content is 2004 Sean K Reynolds. This edition
of New Argonauts is produced under version
1.0a, 4.0, and/or draft versions of the Open Game License, the
d20 System Trademark Logo Guide, and the System Reference
Document by permission of Wizards of the Coast. Subsequent

versions of this product will incorporate nal versions

of the license, guide, and document.
This material is protected under the copyright laws
of the United States of America. Any reproduction,
retransmission, or unauthorized use of the artwork
or non-Open Game Content herein is prohibited
without express written permission from Monte
Cook or Sean K Reynolds, except for purposes of
review or use of Open Game Content consistent
with the Open Game License. In other words, I
pay my rent from money made from this book,
please dont leshare it. The original purchaser
may print or photocopy copies for his or her own
personal use only (including for use in their gaming group).
This document is a work of ction. Any similarity to actual
people, organizations, places, or events is purely coincidental.

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Introduction by the Author

Welcome to The New Argonauts, a book for running
campaigns in mythic Greece. Before geing into
what this book is, let me cover what this book is not.
Its not a full history of Greece in the classic
era. Its not a comprehensive survey of culture
and geography in the Hellenic world. Its not
an accurate representation of religion in ancient
Greece. Its not a suitable source for a term paper
on Greek myths. Its not here to educate, illuminate,
or proselytize. Its not an aempt to cram dwarves,
elves, paladins, wizards, otyughs, and the
tarrasque into mythic Greece.

This book is intended to be enough information

to let you run a short campaign (8-12 sessions
or even longer) set in mythic Greece. If you like
Troy, Clash of the Titans, Jason and the Argonauts,
or similar movies, this book is the key to heroic
adventure. Heroes are masters of the sword
and spear, magic is in the hands of the gods or
of mysterious sorcerer-women, and the worlds
monsters are unique creatures born of the gods
or special circumstances rather than members of
a race of similar-shaped things. This is what I call
an Argonauts campaign.
I like experimenting with
variant campaign ideas,
particularly short-term ones.
Super heroes doomed to die,
Greek heroes, musketeers,
angel PCs, demon PCs, and
so on. I ran an Argonauts
campaign in the spring of 2004
for some of my friends from
work. We really got into the
spirit of the game and had a
great time. I hope that you
enjoy this book and have a fun
time using it.
Throughout this book, a
dagger symbol () refers to a
new feat, spell, item, or class
found in this book. All other
references to game material are
from the Core Rulebooks. Any
reference to Hellenes means
Greeks, Hellenic means
having to do with Greece
(the ancient Greeks aer the
time of Homer called their
land Hellas and themselves
One last note about the
game content in this book: Its
designed for an Argonauts
campaign, but most of it can
be used as-is for a standard
campaign. Some of it requires
some adjustment for a
standard campaign; these
changes are noted with the
rules in question. Anything
without such a note is A-OK
for use in a standard fantasy
campaign. Im tempted to
swear by the Styx that it is so....

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Chapter 1: Characters
The heroes of mythic Greece were all skilled in
bale, skilled in cra or trade, backed by the gods,
and almost always male. This chapter details the
creation process for characters made specically for
this campaign, as well as special rules regarding
classes, skills, and feats in the campaign.

wishing to take the route of a healer or priest should

look to the Hellenic Priest and Field Surgeon feats.
Druid: As cleric.
Fighter: This is the staple class of the mythic
Greek hero. Because heavy armor and tower
shields arent available in this campaign, ghters
are not procient in either of those equipment
categories. To compensate for this loss of a class
ability, all ghter characters gain Combat Expertise
as a bonus feat (even if they dont meet the
prerequisites for the feat) to reect their greater
awareness of defensive combat maneuvers (see also
notes on this feat in the feats section below). Heal is
a class skill for ghters in this campaign.
Monk: While the Greeks prized wrestling as
a measure of strength and skill, the concept of a
martial artist in this style is contrary to the theme
of the campaign, and this class is not available.
Those wishing to play Greek wrestler characters
should take levels in ghter and use ghter bonus
feats to select appropriate combat feats such as
Improved Grapple.
Paladin: The spellcasting and overt magical
abilities of this class make it unsuitable for an
Argonauts campaign. Players wanting a holy
warrior character should take ghter levels and the
Hellenic Priest feat.
Ranger: While the Greeks admired hunters, the
spellcasting abilities of this class make it unsuitable
for an Argonauts campaign. Players wanting a
skilled hunter or tracker character should take levels
in ghter and rogue, and select the Track feat.
Rogue: Many heroes in the myths had to sneak
past monsters or escape from enemy dungeons,
and as such it is the second-most common class for


In a standard Argonauts campaign, humans are the

only available race; in mythic Greece there were no
dwarves, elves, or other humanoid races that are the
staple of fantasy games. Creatures such as centaurs
and satyrs exist, but they tend to be wild creatures
and are generally unaccepted in human society, so
such creatures are not allowed as PC races.
However, in the myths most heroes were
descended from the gods. Heracles and Perseus
were sons of Zeus, as was Cadmus. Asclepius
(founder of medicine) was the son of Apollo, and
Orion and Theseus (slayer of the minotaur) were
sons of Poseidon. Many of these god-fathered
(and sometimes god-mothered) mortals went on
to become great kings, and their children oen
became great heroes as well. In the stories these
godly bloodlines usually just meant extraordinary
luck or perhaps enhanced physical prowess (such as
Heracles incredible strength). In a fantasy campaign
we can do something a lile more exciting; the
typical PC in an Argonauts campaign is descended
from a god or goddess (two or more generations
previous) and has a bloodline (see below).


The Greek heroes were masters of bale or

extremely clever, not meddlers in magic. This
aects class selection in an Argonauts campaign.
The short form is that only the barbarian, ghter,
and rogue classes are available in an Argonauts
campaign; see below for further explanation.
Barbarian: Barbarian is an available class, but
its rage ability reminds many people of the crazed
babble of uncivilized foreigners or the madness
of a cursed hero, so this class isnt popular among
even the martial-minded people of mythic Greece.
Only the followers of Ares, god of bale-lust, are
comfortable around barbarians.
Bard: While the Greeks loved music, song, and
poetry, bardic spellcasting is not possible in mythic
Greece and this class is not available. Those wishing
to play a master musician like Orpheus, capable of
swaying the heart of Hades himself and causing
rocks to shed tears of sorrow, should consider the
Orphean Music feat listed later in this chapter.
Cleric: As there are no spellcasters of this type
in mythic Greece, this class is unavailable. Those

Asclepius, the First Doctor

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Chapter One: Characters

characters in an Argonauts campaign. Heal and
Survival are class skills for rogues in this campaign.
Sorcerer: The spellcasting of this class is
unsuitable for the style of magic in this campaign.
Players wanting a magical character should
consider the Hellenic sorceress class (see below).
Wizard: As sorcerer.

may take levels in the warrior class, though it is

slightly weaker than a PC class. Like ghters,
warriors gain Combat Expertise as a bonus feat
(whether or not they meet the prerequisites) and
Heal is a class skill for them.

Prestige Classes

Most prestige classes in the core books are

unsuitable for an Argonauts campaign, relying
on spellcasting classes (arcane archer, arcane
trickster, archmage, dragon disciple, eldritch
knight, hierophant, loremaster, mystic theurge,
thaumaturgist) or nonhuman races (arcane
archer, dwarven defender), or supernatural
elements not present in the campaign
(blackguard, shadowdancer). The prestige classes
not disqualied for those reasons are listed below.
Assassin: Though considered cowardly
compared to face-to-face combatants, assassins
have played a role in the Greek myths, and from
time to time even some of the greatest heroes have
opted to kill their enemies with stealth and trickery.
Assassins in an Argonauts campaign do not learn
or cast spells.
Duelist: Duelists in an Argonauts campaign
tend to use short swords or daggers (since rapiers
are not available in the campaign). Given the
acceptance of nudity in Greece, many duelists
choose to ght completely naked.
Horizon Walker: Contained within the loose
borders of the Greek civilization are dozens of
mysterious islands, remote mountain peaks, and
dangerous caves leading to monstrous lairs and
even the underworld. Horizon walkers are heroes
comfortable or at least familiar with these locales
(one could argue that Odysseus was a horizon
walker). In an Argonauts campaign, the later levels
of the class grant only terrain mastery (not planar
terrain mastery).
Scorpion Scion: This class is available at, and is useable as-is in an
Argonauts campaign.
Serpent Archer: This class is available at In an Argonauts campaign,
the class does not grant the Cra Snake Salve
and Cra Greater Snake Salve abilities. Instead,
at 3rd level the poison DC for the archers snakes
increases by +1, and at 7th level it increases by
another +1.

NPC Classes

Some of the NPC classes are unsuitable for an

Argonauts campaign, while a couple of them may
be appropriate for PCs with unusual backgrounds.
Adept: As cleric.
Aristocrat: Most nobles in mythic Greece are
from military families and most of them take levels
in the ghter or warrior class, but those who are
good with words as well as weapons sometimes
begin as aristocrats. Like ghters, aristocrats gain
Combat Expertise as a bonus feat (even if they
dont meet the prerequisites). Unlike ghters, Heal
is not a class skill for aristocrats.
Commoner: The bulk of the regular people in the
world of the Greeks are commoners. In most cases,
Greek heroes should not have commoner levels; by
denition they are greater than your typical person.
The class is unchanged from the core rules.
Expert: Some Greek myths (namely those
involving Asclepius and Daedalus) are about
especially clever folk rather than great warriors,
and clearly in game terms they possessed levels
in the expert class. PCs in an Argonauts campaign
may take levels in the expert class, though it is
slightly weaker than a PC class. It is unchanged
from the core rules.
Warrior: Warriors are the rank-and-le soldiers
of the Greek world. PCs in an Argonauts campaign
Behind The Curtain: Compensating For Weaker Armor

One of the balancing acts in the game is between the AC of player

characters and the attack ability of monsters; both scale up as characters
grow more powerful, though AC tends to scale more slowly. In an Argonauts
campaign, most characters are ghters and the main way they improve
their AC is through better mundane armor. With no heavy armor in the
campaign, player character AC is signicantly lower than the typical game
setup, and characters are going to get hit more often and therefore take
damage more often. When coupled with the scarcity of quick healing in the
game (as there are no true spellcasters), it means a greater chance of PC
death, especially in facing monsters that can deal signicant amounts of
damage but dont have great attack values. Rather than trying to adjust the
CRs of every monster the PCs might encounter, its a simple matter to give
ghters the Combat Expertise feat as a bonus feat, even if they dont meet
the prerequisites. Not only does this compensate for the ghter losing heavy
armor prociency, it suits the feel of the campaign (agile lightly-armored
men running around in a warm climate). As the cleric and paladin are the
only other classes that get heavy armor prociency, and neither of those
classes is available in an Argonauts campaign, the bonus feat also makes
sure the ghter is at an advantage compared to a rogue or other character
who normally wears lighter armor.


This section explains any changes to skills in the

game. If a skill isnt listed, it operates according
to the standard rules. Note that several comments
below suggest the DM discourage players from

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Chapter One: Characters

taking ranks in certain skills; this is not an aempt
to trick or cheat the players, but rather to prevent
them from wasting skill points on skills that
will rarely or never be used in the course of the
campaign (just as a campaign on a desert world is
unlikely to ever call for using the Swim skill).
Concentration: As this skill relates mostly to
spellcasting, it has almost no use in an Argonauts
campaign, and you should discourage players
from selecting this skill. The Hellenic sorceress
class, however, casts spells, and some of the godly
bloodlines (see the Bloodlines section, below) grant
spell-like abilities, so characters of these types may
need some ranks in this skill.
Cra: Characters cannot use this skill to create
items that surpass the technological level of
the campaign (for example, heavy armor; see
Equipment, below). Cra (alchemy) is only a class
skill for the Hellenic sorceress class or characters
with the Hellenic Alchemy feat.
Decipher Script: One of the benets of the
height of classical Greek civilization is that the
entire campaign area is familiar with the Greek
language and almost always uses Greek for
writings. As such, Decipher Script has lile use,
and unless you plan to incorporate other languages
into the campaign, you should discourage
characters from selecting this skill.
Disable Device: The use of traps in this
campaign is limited, and unless you plan to
increase the use of traps in a campaign, you should
discourage players from selecting this skill.
Heal: Because magical healing is rare in an
Argonauts campaign, the use of Heal to stabilize
characters and accelerate healing from rest is vital.
Because of this need (and the relatively strong
awareness of general hygiene and medicine in this
era), Heal is a class skill for ghters and rogues,
and the Asclepian Doctor and Field Surgeon feats
expand the utility of this skill.
Knowledge (arcana): Given the limited presence
of magic in the campaign, this skill is of limited
use, and you should discourage your players from
choosing it.
Knowledge (dungeoneering): The Argonauts
campaign has few elements of underground
exploration, and you should discourage your
players from selecting this skill.
Knowledge (geography): This skill is useful for
knowing details about foreign lands, particularly
when the Greek civilization spread far and touched
(and mixed with) elements of foreign cultures.
Knowledge (history): This skill lets you recall
information about the various monsters of the Greek
world and their strange abilities (DCs for such

things are included in the monsters description),

as well as the tales of the accomplishments of great
heroes. In an Argonauts campaign there is no bard
class, so having 5 ranks in this skill does not provide
a synergy bonus to bardic knowledge checks.
Knowledge (nature): This skill is helpful for
knowing about natural creatures of the world, but
not monstrous ones. For example, if confronted
with a Calydonian boar (see the Monsters chapter),
you would be able to make certain assumptions
about its behavior because it is a giant boar, but
you wouldnt know about any of its magical
or otherwise non-boarlike qualities (such as its
carnivorous diet, ability to heal quickly, and so on).
Knowledge (nobility and royalty): This skill
helps when trying to determine a kings lineage,
such as whether or not he has a great hero or god
in his ancestry.
Knowledge (religion): Similar to Knowledge
(history), this skill is useful in remembering tales
of the exploits of the gods on Earth and their
interactions with each other. In an Argonauts
campaign there are no clerics or paladins, so 5
ranks in this skill does not provide a synergy bonus
to turn undead checks.
Knowledge (the planes): Viewing the planes
as distinct dimensions is a foreign concept to
the Greeks; the gods lived at the top of Mount
Behind the Curtain: Spellcasters Need Not Apply

Probably the biggest difference between an Argonauts campaign and a

standard campaign is that the Argonauts game assumes that everyone is
going to be some sort of ghter and that spellcasters are very, very rare. In a
set of game rules where two of the four iconic classes are spellcasters, not
having spellcasters in the party makes a huge difference in how the game
plays. Creatures with DR/magic are suddenly much more powerful because
magic weapons are much less common (and theres nobody around to
cast magic weapon). Creatures with spell resistance are weaker than they
appear because they were designed to be challenging to a party that includes
spellcasters. Player characters have access to very few area-attack effects.
The role of the Will save (and to a lesser extent the Reex save) diminishes.
Monsters that deal a lot of damage are far more deadly because theres no
cleric on hand to heal a PC during combat. PCs have a harder time dealing
with the expected four encounters per adventuring day because they cant
heal up in between encounters.
Material in this book is designed to take these changes into account. PCs
have an easier time making magic items out of strange monster parts, despite
not having spellcaster levels needed for the various item creation feats. Feats
like Toughness give a little more than they do in a standard campaign. New
feats like Armor Defense Mastery and Counter Combat Style improve a PCs
chances of avoiding extra damage or being hit at all, and feats like Hellenic
Priest and Field Surgeon give PCs access to needed healing. Standard
monsters from the MM have been retooled so they deal less damage per
round. Many of the monsters have poison attacks, against which the goodFort-save ghter characters are strong. These options were created with an
Argonauts campaign in mind, but theyre equally applicable to any campaign
where spellcasters are rare or nonexistent. As a general rule in game design,
if you make a signicant change to some aspect of the game, its a good idea
to think about how that change affects other parts of the game, and plan ways
to compensate for it.

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Olympus and the realm of the dead is a place you
can reach through the proper caves. Information
about Olympus and the underworld is handled
by Knowledge (religion). You should discourage
players from taking this skill.
Open Lock: Locks are fairly simple in this
time period and it is extremely rare to nd a
lock of good quality (DC 30) or higher, so unless
you plan on using more dicult locks, most
characters dont need more than 10 ranks in this
skill unless they want to routinely open locks
without taking 20.
Perform: Keyboard instruments are unavailable
in this time period. The most common instruments
are the lyre, drum, pan pipes, and ute.
Profession: Professions that require higher
technology (such as siege engineer) are unavailable
in this campaign.
Ride: Most heroes in Greek myth did not ride
horses, but there is no reason why they couldnt.
However, war-trained mounts are unusual and
normally harnessed to chariots rather than ridden
Speak Language: As with Decipher Script, the
Argonauts campaign assumes that almost everyone
the heroes encounter speaks some Greek; even
the intelligent monsters speak Greek rather than a
racial language. If you increase the prevalence of
other languages, this skill may be useful, but for
most campaigns you should discourage players
from selecting this skill. Characters with bonus
languages from a high Intelligence score can
also use these bonus languages to learn dierent
dialects of Greek (Athenian, Spartan, Theban,
and so on), allowing them to speak without a
recognizable accent, and ranks in this skill may be
used for that purpose as well.

Spellcra: Given the limited presence of magic

in the campaign, this skill is of limited use, and you
should discourage your players from choosing it.
Survival: Because this campaign has no ranger
class, rogues have Survival as a class skill.
Use Magic Device: Given the limited presence
of magic in the campaign, this skill is of limited
use, and you should discourage your players from
choosing it.

Feat Changes

This section explains any changes to feats in the

game. If a feat isnt listed, it operates according
to the standard rules. Note that Skill Focus and
some of the +2/+2 feats described in the Players
Handbook refer to limited-use skills as described in
the section above; those feats are not called out here.
Armor Prociency (heavy): This feat is not
Brew Potion: This feat is not available. A
character who wants to cra magic items should
choose the Hellenic Alchemy feat (see New
Feats, below).
Combat Expertise: All ghters gain this feat as
a bonus feat. A character with a base aack bonus
of +6 or higher can use that value as the limit for
this feat rather than the default +5/-5 value (for
example, a character with a +10 BAB could take
up to a -10 penalty to aack in exchange for up to
a +10 bonus to AC). This helps compensate for the
lack of heavy armor in the campaign (and thus a
reduced ability to achieve the high armor classes
available in a standard campaign).
Cra Magic Arms and Armor: See Brew Potion.
Cra Rod: See Brew Potion.
Cra Sta: See Brew Potion.
Cra Wand: See Brew Potion.
Cra Wondrous Item: See Brew Potion.
Dodge: Rather than using this feat, try the
Defensive Stance feat presented in the New Feats
Exotic Weapon Prociency: Because there
are no exotic weapons generally available in the
campaign, this feat is of limited use unless you
decide to introduce such weapons.
Extra Turning: As there are no classes in the
Argonauts campaign that can turn undead, and
because of the almost-complete absence of undead
in the campaign, this feat is not available.
Forge Ring: See Brew Potion.
Improved Critical: This feat stacks with the keen
weapon property.
Improved Turning: See Extra Turning.
Iron Will: In the Argonauts campaign there are
few creatures that have Will-save eects (sirens

Greek Names

There are hundreds of common Greek names. The names on the short
lists presented here were chosen because they sound Greek and periodappropriate. Note that in Greek, a word is pronounced the same whether it
ends in a or e and can be spelled either way. For example, Athena and
Athene are the same name and are pronounced the same way (ah-THEENah). However, you should feel free to pronounce them any way you think
sounds best.
Male Names: Adras, Aeneas, Baltsaros, Baruch, Cadmus, Chrysostom,
Demetrius, Doran, Etor, Eusebius, Feodor, Feodras, Gelasius, Gregor,
Hesperos, Hippolytusr, Isidore, Istvan, Jeno, Jerome, Kratos, Kyros,
Leander, Lysander, Maur, Meletios, Nestor, Nicolaus, Ophelos, Owen,
Phineas, Porrio, Rasmus, Rodas, Sebastian, Stefano, Theodosios, Theron,
Ulysses, Urian, Vanko, Vasilis, Xenophon, Xenos, Zale, Zoltan.
Female Names: Alyssa, Ambrosine, Basilia, Berenice, Calantha,
Corinna, Daphne, Dorcas, Erianthe, Euphemia, Fern, Filomena, Gelasia,
Giancinta, Hermandine, Hyacinthe, Iolanthe, Isaura, Jacinta, Jarina, Kalliope,
Kolete, Larissa, Lycoris, Marmara, Melita, Neoma, Niobe, Odessa, Ophelia,
Parthenia, Pyrena, Resi, Rhodanthe, Sandra, Sophia, Theophania, Thera,
Urania, Venessa, Veronica, Xanthia, Xenia, Yalena, Yolanda, Zenobia, Zoe.

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being one of them), so this feat is much
less useful than in a standard campaign.
If you know for sure you arent going
to use such creatures in your campaign,
do not let players select this feat, as theyll
never make Will saving throws and are
wasting a feat if they take this.
Lightning Reexes: Similar to Iron
Will, there are few creatures in the
campaign that have area-eect aacks
(dragons and the chimera are two that do).
Manyshot: This feat is not available
(the author has run the numbers on it
and determined that its too good as
Martial Weapon Prociency:
This can only be used to gain
prociency in weapons available in
the campaign; taking Martial Weapon
Prociency (composite longbow)
doesnt suddenly make composite
longbows available in stores.
Rapid Shot: This feat has a -3
penalty rather than -2.
Scribe Scroll: See Brew Potion.
Simple Weapon Prociency: As
Martial Weapon Prociency.
Toughness: This feat gives +5 hit points
rather that +3.
Tower Shield Prociency: This
feat is not available.

You know exactly where the strongest parts

of your armor (or shield) are, enabling you to
twist your body to place those parts between
your vital organs and an incoming aack,
thus reducing the chance of a successful sneak
aack or critical hit. Once per round, when
hit by such an aack, you have a 25% chance
to turn that sneak aack or critical hit into a
normal hit (similar to the fortication magic
armor property). You must be wearing armor
or a shield to use this ability and you must be
procient in that armor or shield.
You cannot use this ability if you are denied
your Dexterity bonus to AC, cannot see the
source of an aack, or cannot otherwise react
to aacks. If you are wearing fortication
armor or have a similar eect, use the
greater value (do not make a d% roll for
this ability and for the fortication ability).
Example: Thyrsos is wearing
breastplate armor and baling a
Thracian rogue and a priest scion of
Hermes (currently invisible using his
scion ability). The rogue and priest are
anking Thyrsos, so the rogues aack
is a sneak aack. The rogue aacks
Thyrsos and hits. Carlos rolls d% and
gets a 21, which is less than 25%, so the
rogues aack is just a normal hit, not
a sneak aack. The priest on his turn
rolls a critical hit with his spear
against Thyrsos. Thyrsos cannot
use this feat to negate the priests
critical hit because he has already
used it this round to negate the rogues sneak
aack and also because the priest was invisible
when he struck the critical hit (so Thyrsos could
not see where the priests spear was coming from).

New Feats

This section describes the new feats

available in an Argonauts campaign. Some of the
feats are balanced for the special circumstances of
this campaign and are not appropriate as wrien
for general campaign use; these feats contain notes
at the end explaining what changes to make for
these feats to be balanced according to a standard
campaign. Some feats are marked with the [Fighter]
descriptor; ghters can use their bonus feats to select
these feats.

Asclepian Doctor [General]

Your knowledge of medicine lets you perform

miracles of healing.
Prerequisites: Field Surgeon, Heal 10 ranks.
Benet: You can use the Heal skill to perform
complex surgery and use advanced treatment
methods to cure mortal wounds and terminal
aictions. The required treatment determines the
DC of the Heal check.
Neutralize poison 15 + poison DC
Remove disease
15 + poison DC
Cure hit points
Repair injury
Raise the dead
30 + number of
days dead

Armor Defense Mastery [Fighter, General]

Your specialized awareness of the strengths and

weaknesses of your armor allows you to beer
utilize it in combat to protect yourself.
Prerequisites: Armor Prociency (any), Dex 13,
Tumble 1 rank or Lightning Reexes.
Benet: When wearing armor in which you
are procient, the maximum Dexterity bonus for
that armor is treated as 1 greater than normal (for
example, a breastplate would have a maximum
Dexterity bonus of +4).

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Neutralize Poison: You detoxify one poison from
a creature or object, similar to using the spell of the
same name.
Remove Disease: You cure one disease present in
the target creature, similar to using the spell of the
same name.
Cure Hit Points: You cure 1d10 hit points as if
using a cure spell. This is immediate curing rather
than the delayed eect of eld surgery.
Repair Injury: You can repair permanent injuries
or debilitations such as a crippled leg or blindness.
The patient cant regrow missing tissue, so
recovering lost limbs or repairing blindness from
having ones eyes torn out cannot be accomplished.
Raise the Dead: You can restore life to a person
killed by poison, disease, or injury, subject to the
limitations of the raise dead spell. The gods do not
appreciate mortals raising the dead, however,
and Zeus hurled a thunderbolt at the last mortal
to do so....
Treating a patient normally takes 1 hour. You
may take 20 on this check. Reducing the time to 10
minutes, 5 minutes, or 1 minute respectively adds
+5, +10, or +15 to the DC.
Try Again: Yes.

A creature using more than one aack type in

a round (such as a four-armed creature using two
manufactured weapons and two claw aacks) can
be considered having dierent sets of aacks, and
each set counts as the appropriate aack types.
Example: A xill normally uses two short swords
and two claws, and its aacks can be classied
as two sets: one using two-weapon ghting
style, one using natural aack style. A character
with either Counter Combat Style (two-weapon
ghting) or Counter Combat Style (natural weapon
ghting) gets the shield bonus from this feat when
ghting the xill.
You can never gain more than a +2 shield bonus
from this feat against any particular creature (so
a character with both feats mentioned in the xill
example would still only have a +2 shield bonus
to AC).
You cannot gain the benet of this feat when
you are unable to identify the combat style of your
aacker (your aacker is invisible, you are blinded,
etc.), nor when you are incapable of defending
yourself (if you are helpless, denied your Dexterity
bonus to AC, or at-footed).
Note: A two-handed creature using a natural
weapon in one hand and a manufactured weapon
in the other counts as the two-weapon ghting
style and the natural weapon style (either Counter
Combat Style feat applies); it does not count as the
one-handed weapon style (as that style requires the
other hand to not be holding a weapon). A creature
holding a weapon in one hand but not using it that
round counts as not having a weapon in that hand
until its next turn (therefore a character holding a
sword and dagger who only aacks with the sword
counts as using the one-handed ghting style until
its next turn, when it has the option of using the
dagger as part of its aack routine).
Unarmed strikes count as natural weapons for
the purpose of this feat. A character making o-hand
unarmed strikes or monk urries also counts as using
the two-weapon ghting style, as does a character
aacking with a spiked shield in its o hand.
Special: You may gain this feat up to four times.
Its eects do not stack. Each time you take the feat,
it applies to a new aack style.

Counter Combat Style [Fighter, General]

Choose a particular style of aack, such as twoweapon ghting or two-handed weapon

ghting. You can beer defend yourself against
enemies using this style against you. Possible aack
styles for this feat are natural weapons, two-weapon
ghting (two weapons, each in opposite hands),
one-handed weapon ghting (using a weapon onehanded, with the other hand carrying a shield or
otherwise not wielding a weapon), and two-handed
weapon ghting (using a weapon two-handed,
whether or not it is required for the weapon).
Prerequisites: BAB +4.
Benet: You gain a +2 shield bonus to Armor
Class against aacks from creatures using the
selected aack style. This shield bonus stacks with
the bonus from an actual shield or other sources,
but not with itself.
You gain the benets of this feat against all
appropriate opponents and can use dierent
defenses against simultaneous aackers with
dierent styles. For example, if you have all four
versions of this feat and you are aacked by four
creatures, each using a dierent aack style, you
gain the shield bonus against all four of them.
Creatures using multiweapon ghting count as
using a two-weapon ghting aack, as multiweapon
ghting is the two-weapon ghting style for
creatures with more than two weapon-using limbs.

Defensive Stance [Fighter, General]

(Used with permission from Monte Cook.)

You are trained at avoiding and blocking blows.
Prerequisites: Dexterity 13.
Benet: You gain a +1 dodge bonus to Armor
Class against all melee aacks.
Special: A condition that makes you lose your
Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) also makes

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you lose Dodge bonuses. You must be aware of
the aack to gain this bonus. As always, dodge
bonuses stack with each other, unlike most other
types of bonuses.

Benet: You may create various magic items

described in Chapter 3: Magic as long as you meet
the prerequisites. Craing items with this feat uses
the normal rules for craing magic items.
Cra (alchemy) is always a class skill for you.
Note: This is a universal item creation feat
for an Argonauts campaign, allowing a heroic
character to cra magic items suitable for the
campaign without having to take multiple feats
or introducing inappropriate items such as scrolls
and wands. It has limited use outside of an
Argonauts campaign unless the DM determines
equivalent prerequisites for other magic items.

Extra Greater Bloodline Use [General]

You can use your greater bloodline ability (see

Bloodlines, below) more oen than normal.
Prerequisites: Greater bloodline with a uses/day
Benet: You can use your greater bloodline
ability one additional time per day.

Field Surgeon [Fighter, General]

Hellenic Priest [General]

Your awareness of human anatomy allows you to

perform simple surgery to treat wounds.
Prerequisites: Heal 5 ranks.
Benet: You can perform simple eld surgery,
allowing creatures to recover more quickly from
their wounds. Field surgery expends one use
from a healers kit. To perform eld surgery, you
must make a Heal check and spend time treating
an injured creature; success means that on the
creatures next rest period it heals 1d4 points of
damage (this is in addition to the normal amount
healed from resting and with being under longterm care from a person with the Heal skill).
The amount of time you take treating the injury
determines the DC of the check according to the
following table.
Treatment Time
1 minute
5 minutes
10 minutes
You decide how long you will perform the
surgery before making the check. You cannot take
20 on this check. If you fail the check by 4 or less,
nothing happens. If you fail this check by 5 or
more, the patient loses 1 hit point. If this puts the
patient below 0 hit points, he starts dying.
You can use eld surgery on a creature multiple
times, but the additional healing from eld
surgery in one day cannot exceed the patients
Constitution score (additional surgeries have no
Example: A patient with Constitution 10 cannot
recover more than 10 additional hit points from
eld surgery per day.
Try Again: You may try again as long as the
patient is alive.

The gods have given you the power to heal with a

Prerequisites: Heal 2 ranks, Knowledge
(religion) 1 rank, worshiper of an Olympian god.
Benet: Three times per day, you may call upon
the power of the gods to heal a creature 1d4 points
of damage. This is a supernatural ability, and only
works on yourself or other worshippers of the
Olympian gods.
Heal is always a class skill for you.
This feat requires you to pay proper homage
to the Olympian gods and respect their edicts.
Failure to do so strips you of the ability to use this
feat until you have atoned for your transgressions,
similar to a cleric becoming an ex-cleric.
Special: You may take this feat multiple times.
Each time you take it gives you three additional
uses of this ability per day.
Note: In a standard campaign, this feat can be
used for other (non-Greek) pantheons. It is a spelllike ability (equivalent level 0) and only heals 1-2
points of damage per use.

Leaping Strike [Fighter, General]

You can leap to aack enemies from unexpected

Prerequisites: Medium size, Jump 8 ranks, BAB
Benet: As part of a charge aack, make a Jump
check (DC 16 if your target is Medium, 24 if Large,
32 if Huge). If you succeed, you may make an aack
as normal, except if the aack hits, it automatically
threatens a critical hit. If you drop the target with
the aack, you can continue moving in a straight
line to the extent of your remaining movement

Hellenic Alchemy [Item Creation]

Luck of the Gods [General]

Your skill with natural materials lets you create

fantastic items.
Prerequisites: Cra (alchemy) 1 rank.

The gods look favorably on your activities and

subtly aid you when you are in trouble.

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Prerequisites: Scion of an Olympian god.
Benet: You get a +1 luck bonus to all three
saving throw categories.

with the Hellenic sorceress class, uniquely suited

for the limited magic of the Argonauts campaign.

Monster Hunter [Fighter, General]

In the Greek myths, the only beings who practice

magic are the gods and a few mortal women who
devote themselves to the darker aspects of Hecate,
the goddess of magic. Feared for their power by
other mortals, they are tainted in some slight way,
either by a lack of morals or a touch of madness.
Still, the Hellenic sorceress is a woman with many
skills valuable to a traveling hero, and more than
once she has been the only reason the heroes
succeeded, or survived at all. Circe and Medea are
examples of the Hellenic sorceress class.
Adventurers: Most Hellenic sorceresses prefer
to work alone in secluded places, pursuing their
magic to the exclusion of all else, but from time to
time they encounter someone worth their aention,
and once convinced that their involvement would
benet them they have been known to travel with
adventuring heroes on their adventures. Their
experiences researching the depths of the mind and
the underworld inure them to the commonplace
horrors of the mortal world, and oen the sorceress
nds herself bolstering the courage of her heroic
allies frozen at the sight of some horric monster
created at the birth of the world.
Characteristics: Hellenic sorceresses cast arcane
spells, many of which draw upon the sorceress
knowledge of strange drugs and magical herbs.
Their spells are oriented toward aecting creatures
minds, creating illusions, certain aspects of
necromancy, and transforming men into beasts.
They have lile interest in weapons, preferring to
thwart enemies with spells and protect themselves
with special magic and intervention by allies or
charmed slaves.
Alignment: Because they study things mortals
were not meant to know and sometimes aunt the
laws of mortals and gods, few Hellenic sorceresses
are good or lawful. Because some of their spells
draw on evil forces, even the rare good sorceresses
usually become neutral or evil aer a while.
Religion: All Hellenic sorceresses worship the
Greek gods, for they understand that all power,
magical or otherwise, comes from the gods or their
titan forbears. In fact, many Hellenic sorceresses
are directly descended from the gods (Circe was a
daughter of Helios, god of the sun, and some say
that Medea was Circes niece). They specically
revere Hecate as their patron goddess. Sorceresses
are still mortals and have been known to defy
godly lawsMedea murdered her own brother,
one of the most terrible sins in Greek culturebut

You studied the legends of the strange monsters

of the Greek world and learned the best ways to
ght them.
Benet: You gain a +1 bonus to Blu, Listen,
Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks against
the monsters of Greek myth (listed in Chapter 9:
Monsters), as well as a +1 to weapon damage rolls
against these creatures.

Nature Spirit Lore [General]

You are familiar with dryads, river nymphs, and

other embodiments of the natural world.
Benet: You gain a +4 bonus to Blu,
Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks for dealing
with dryads, wood nymphs, river gods, and other
nature-guardian entities of mythic Greece.

Orphean Music [General]

You know how to use music to inspire courage and

counter hostile musical eects.
Prerequisites: Charisma 13, Perform 3 ranks.
Benet: Once per day per character level,
you can use the power of music to either inspire
courage or countersong, just as if you were a bard.

Scholar [General]

You have studied with the learned men of Greece

and have taken these studies to heart.
Prerequisites: Intelligence 11.
Benet: All Knowledge skills are class skills
for you. Choose two skills (Blu, Diplomacy,
Intimidate, or a Knowledge skill); you get a +1
bonus to checks for those two skills.
Special: You can only take this feat as a 1st-level
character, and only if you are not a barbarian.

Touch of Immortality [General]

The blood of an immortal runs strongly in your

Prerequisites: Scion of an Olympian god.
Benet: You gain a +1 bonus to Fortitude saves
and +2 hit points. When at 0 or fewer hit points,
you have a 25% chance to stabilize per round.
Normal: Without this feat you have only a 10%
chance to stabilize per round.

New Classes

Spellcasters in the Hellenic world were usually

mysterious women, sometimes of ambiguous
ethics and character. These characters can be built

Hellenic Sorceress

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if they do so they still keep their magical powers,
though they may be punished by the gods for their
Background: Sorceresses are born with the
talent for their magic, but most never realize it
because they are never initiated into the study of
magic. The lucky few are found by an established
sorceress, trained in the basics of magic, and then
leave to study on their own. This means that every
sorceress knows at least one other of her kind,
though they may not be friendly toward each other.
Most established sorceresses usually have one or
more apprentices on hand to work as servants
while they learn magic.
Other Classes: Sorceresses see the world
divided into three parts: the gods, sorceresses, and
everyone else. Many treat common people and
even heroes with uer contempt, regardless of
their profession, valuing them only for the minimal
services they can perform.
Role: The sorceress is the source of magic
and knowledge in the party. Of all the classes in
the Argonauts campaign, only the sorceress has
any sort of spellcasting and access to multiple
Knowledge class skills. While she has few direct-

damage aacks, her magic is useful for bolstering

her allies or befuddling strong enemies.
Game Rule Information
Hellenic sorceresses have the following game
Abilities: Like a regular sorcerer, a Hellenic
sorceress most important ability score is Charisma,
which determines the most powerful spells she can
cast, whether or not she gets any bonus spells per
pay, and the DC of her spells.
Because she normally doesnt wear armor, a high
Dexterity score greatly improves her defensive
Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d6.
Class Skills
The Hellenic sorceress class skills are
Appraise, Blu, Concentration, Cra (including
poisonmaking), Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal,
Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge
(geography), Knowledge (history), Knowledge
(local), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (nobility
and royalty), Knowledge (religion), Perform (sing),
Ride, and Sense Motive.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int
Class Features
All of the following are class features for the
Hellenic sorceress.
Weapon and Armor Prociency: A Hellenic
sorceress is procient in all simple weapons but not
with any armor or with shields.
Sorcerer Spellcasting: A Hellenic sorceress casts
like a standard sorcerer (arcane spells, Charismabased casting, spells known and spells per day
limitation, losing old spells, no preparation), except
as follows.
Custom Spell List: A sorceress spells are drawn
from a custom spell list (see below) rather than the
default sorcerer spell list.
No High-Level Spells: Because the level of magic
in the Greek myths (and thus an Argonauts
campaign) is weaker than your standard fantasy
campaign, the Hellenic sorceress spell list has no
spells above 5th-level. To oset this, the sorceress
has other special abilities that augment her
spellcasting (see below).
Versatile Slots: When a sorceress would
normally gain a new spell known of level 6, 7, 8,
or 9, she may instead use it for one of two things.
First, she may use it to learn a lower-level spell

Hecate, Goddess of Magic

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Table 2-1: The Hellenic Sorceress

Attack Fort Ref Will
Bonus Save Save Save Special
+2 New moon casting
+4 Power focus
+10/+5 +6

Table 2-2: Hellenic Sorceress Spells Known


0 1st 2nd
4 2
5 2
5 3
6 3
6 4
7 4
7 5
8 5
8 5
9 5
9 5
9 5
9 5
9 5
9 5
9 5
9 5
9 5
9 5
9 5

Spells Known
3rd 4th 5th 6th

2 1*
3 2*
3 2*
4 3*
4 3*
4 3*
4 3*
4 3*
4 3*







* A Hellenic sorceress doesnt gain spells known for

these spell levels but can use them for lower-level
spells or to increase the DC of one of her existing spells
known (see the Versatile Slots ability).


Spells per Day

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th


















on the Hellenic sorceress spell list. Second, she

may apply a +1 modier to the DC of one of her
existing spells known.
Evil Spells: A good sorceress cannot cast spells
with the Evil descriptor.
New Moon Casting: Starting at 1st level,
under a new moon, or aboveground when the sky
conditions obscure the light of the moon (such as
heavy clouds), a Hellenic sorceress gets a +1 bonus
to her Hellenic sorceress caster level.
Power Focus: At 4th level, the sorceress can
cra a handheld power focus item such as a ring,
scepter, graven stone, or wand (a short magical
stick of wood, bone, or metal, not a spell trigger
item in the traditional game sense). She chooses
one spell she knows, and increases the DC of
that spell by +2 when using the item as a focus
component. At 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level she
chooses one other spell known to be augmented
this way using the same power focus. Craing the
focus requires no gp, XP, or time, as it is assumed
she has been perfecting this item in her spare time.
However, if the focus is ever lost, broken, or stolen
she must spend 500 gp, 40 XP, and one days work
to replace it.
Example: Circe is a 4th-level Hellenic sorceress
with 18 Charisma. She craed an ivory wand to be
her power focus, choosing daze monster as the spell
to augment with the focus, increasing its DC from
16 to 18 (10 + 2 spell level + 4 Charisma modier + 2

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power focus) when she uses the wand as a focus for
that spell. At 8th-level she chooses baleful polymorph
as a spell known and as her new spell to augment
with her power focus, increasing its DC from 18 to
20 when she uses the wand as a focus for that spell.
Hellenic Sorceress Spell List:
0daze, detect magic, detect poison, ghost sound,
know direction, light, open/close, purify food and drink,
1calm animals, cause fear, charm animal, disguise
self*, disrupt undead, endure elements*, obscuring mist,
silent image.
2darkness, daze monster, false life*, fog cloud, gust
of wind, lesser earthquake, minor image, resist energy*,
scare, whispering wind.
3deep slumber*, erase memories, heroism, major
image, deathcloak.
4baleful polymorph*, bestow curse, control
weather*, crushing despair, dragon chariot, fear, locate
creature, phantasmal killer, remove curse*, stoneskin*.
5atonement, break enchantment, commune*, nger
of death*, hold monster, vitality of youth.
new spell (see the Magic chapter)
* spell is changed from its normal version (see
the Magic chapter)


Most of the heroes of the Greek myths were

mortals descended from the gods. Some had
exceptional gis because of this divine ancestry
(such as Heracles incredible strength), others had
a talent for a particular thing (such as Asclepius
skill with medicine), others were just lucky. In
an Argonauts campaign, these gis are called

Behind the Curtain: The Hellenic Sorceress

After spending so much space explaining the lack of spellcasters in the

campaign, it may make you wonder why this class is even in the book. The
simple answer is that even though the Greek myths describe the exploits
of great warrior-heroes and explorers, sorceresses play a key role in two
of the best-known Greek tales: the Odyssey, with Circe as the witch who
transforms Odysseus crew, and the tale of the Argonauts, with Medea as the
witch whose magic drugs and herbs are the key to Jason winning the Golden
Fleece (and later the key to his ruin). Clearly the Greeks recognized the role
of magic in their myths and legends, but their bias toward males and warcraft
relegated magics role (outside of godly intervention) to that of a foil for the
heroes or someone to turn to only when all other things failed. The Hellenic
sorceress ts this role in an Argonauts campaign. It is quite possible to run
an entire Argonauts campaign without a spellcaster, but some campaigns
may require the services of one and in those cases the extreme power of a
cleric, druid, sorcerer, or wizard in a low-magic can throw the system out of
whack; the Hellenic sorceress limits the power and abilities of the spellcasting
class to something appropriate for a low-magic Argonauts campaign so the
DM doesnt have to worry about a cone of cold wiping out all of the PCs and
breaking the feel of the campaign.

bloodlines, and those people with bloodlines are

called scions (these are game terms rather than
words the people in the campaign use to describe
these kinds of heroes).
Bloodlines come in three dierent power levels:
minor, lesser, and greater (scions with these
bloodlines are minor, lesser, and greater scions,
respectively). A typical Argonauts campaign
normally has lesser scion PCs, but a DM wanting
to bend the campaigns low-magic framework
can use greater scions, while one wanting more
realistic campaign can opt to use minor scions (or
no scions at all).
Bloodlines derive from godly or titanic power,
and a scions choice of bloodline abilities depends
on which god or titan he is descended from. A

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character can only have one bloodline, regardless
of how many gods are in his ancestry; a descendant
of Zeuss mortal son and Apollos mortal daughter
must choose which bloodline is stronger and pick
his bloodline abilities based on that choice (he can
still claim the other ancestor, but it has no eect on
his bloodline abilities). Scions are not just limited to
humans; a minotaur might be a scion of Poseidon,
and an exceptional horse might be a scion of one of
the Anemoi (wind gods).
Bloodlines abilities that refer to spells are spelllike abilities unless otherwise stated. The caster
level of a bloodline is equal to the character level of
the scion.

Dionysus: Gather Information, Perform (acting),

Sense Motive
Eos: Knowledge (nature), Spot, Survival
Eris: Blu, Disguise, Intimidate
Eros: Diplomacy, Gather Information, Sense
Hades: Intimidate, Knowledge (religion), Sense
Hecate: Concentration, Intimidate, Knowledge
(history), Sense Motive
Helios: Handle Animal, Spot, Survival
Hephaestus: Appraise, Cra (any one),
Knowledge (history)
Hera: Diplomacy, Gather Information, Intimidate,
Hermes: Diplomacy, Knowledge (geography),
Move Silently, Perform (lyre)
Hestia: Diplomacy, Knowledge (religion), Sense
Iris: Diplomacy, Knowledge (geography), Sense
Muses: Blu, Knowledge (history or local),
Perform (any one)
Nike: Jump, Knowledge (any one), Spot
Pan: Jump, Knowledge (nature), Perform (dance
or wind instruments), Survival
Poseidon: Knowledge (geography or nature),
Ride, Swim
Selene: Knowledge (history), Spot, Survival
Titan (any): Climb, Intimidate, Jump,
Knowledge (any one)
Zeus: Diplomacy, Knowledge (nature), Spot,

Minor Bloodlines

Minor bloodlines are the weakest kind available

in an Argonauts campaign, enough to help
distinguish the PCs from the common folk but
nothing ashy. All minor bloodlines are presented
as a list of skills; a minor scion picks two skills
from his ancestors list and gets a +3 bonus to
both of those skills. The scion cannot choose
the same skill twice except in the case of skills
with subskills (such as Cra, Knowledge, and
Perform), in which case the character can select
two dierent subskills (such as Knowledge
(nature) and Knowledge (religion)).
Anemoi (the Winds): Climb, Jump, Tumble
Aphrodite: Blu, Diplomacy, Gather Information
Apollo: Heal, Perform (lyre), Spot
Ares: Climb, Intimidate, Jump
Artemis: Climb, Jump, Survival
Athena: Diplomacy, Knowledge (any one), Spot
Demeter: Handle Animal, Knowledge (nature),

Lesser Bloodlines

Lesser bloodlines let PCs build characters with

physical or mental abilities beyond that of common
people without going outside the bounds of the lowmagic constraints of the seing. All lesser bloodlines
are presented as a list of ability scores; a lesser scion
picks one ability from his ancestors list and gains a
+2 bonus to that ability score. Note that many gods
have Constitution or Charisma as an option; this is
because the gods are immortal and may pass on a
limited form of that immortality to their ospring,
and most of the gods are quite beautiful, vain, and
condent, all traits which a scion might inherit.
Anemoi (the Winds): Dexterity, Constitution
Aphrodite: Constitution, Charisma
Apollo: Dexterity, Wisdom, Charisma
Ares: Strength, Constitution
Artemis: Dexterity, Constitution
Athena: Constitution, Wisdom, Charisma
Demeter: Constitution, Wisdom
Dionysus: Constitution, Charisma
Eos: Constitution, Charisma

Bloodlines and Effective Character Level

An Argonauts campaign is a low-magic campaign, at least in terms of what

magic the PCs have at their disposal. Unlike a regular campaign, the heroes
dont travel with aming swords and re-reecting armor, though they still
may face creatures resistant to normal weapons or using ery attacks.
Bloodlines help players compensate for the lack of magic in the hands of the
PCs. Because of this intentional compensation, a group of scions should all
begin play with the same level of bloodline (none, minor, lesser, or greater) so
parity between the PCs is maintained. In these circumstances, do not adjust
character ECL to compensate for the increase in power from a bloodline.
If for any reason some PCs are weaker scions than others, the characters
with a higher-level bloodline should get a +1 level adjustment to reect
their greater power compared to the other characters. This modier applies
whether the difference is between a lesser and greater scion or between a
minor and lesser scion. It is generally not a good idea to mix lesser or greater
scions with non-scion characters, or minor scions with greater scions, as the
difference in character power can seem unfair; if such a mix is necessary,
consider a way to compensate the weaker characters, such as giving them
a bonus feat or a +3 bonus to a skill of the players choice. Likewise, if using
bloodlines in a non-Argonauts campaign, be sure to adjust character ECL to
account for the increase in power from a bloodline.

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Chapter One: Characters

Eris: Dexterity, Constitution
Eros: Dexterity, Charisma
Hades: Constitution, Intelligence
Hecate: Intelligence, Charisma
Helios: Constitution, Charisma
Hephaestus: Constitution, Intelligence
Hera: Wisdom, Charisma
Hermes: Dexterity, Intelligence
Hestia: Constitution, Wisdom
Iris: Intelligence, Wisdom
Muses: Intelligence, Charisma
Nike: Strength, Constitution, Wisdom
Pan: Dexterity, Constitution
Poseidon: Strength, Constitution
Selene: Wisdom, Charisma
Titan (any): Strength, Constitution, Intelligence
Zeus: Strength, Constitution, Charisma

Greater Bloodlines

Greater bloodlines are the most powerful type

available in an Argonauts campaign, representing
actual magical manifestations of godly power.
As such, they slightly bend the rules of the lowmagic nature of the campaignand dont have
any precedent in the mythsbut make the player
characters truly amazing in the sight of normal
All greater bloodlines are presented as a choice
between a pair of options; the player chooses one
option at character creation and cannot change it
thereaer. Most are equivalent to a 2nd-level spell
eect, and those not actually derived from spells
are treated as 2nd-level spells for determinations
requiring an eective spell level. Saving throws
against bloodline eects are Charisma-based.
Caster level (if appropriate) for a greater bloodline
is equal to the scions character level.
In addition to this choice of a greater bloodline
ability, the character gains the eect of a lesser
bloodline of their ancestral deity (+2 bonus to one
ability score, selected from the list of appropriate
ability scores in the lesser bloodlines section).
Example: Carlos character Thyrsos is a scion
of Aphrodite. Wanting to play a character with
supernatural inuence over other people, Carlos
chooses the charm person power instead of the
heroism ability, and can also choose a +2 bonus to
Constitution or Charisma as determined by the
lesser bloodline of Aphrodite.
Anemoi (the Winds): Gust of wind once per day
or extended expeditious retreat once per day.
Aphrodite: Extended charm person once per day
or heroism once per day.
Apollo: True strike (as a move equivalent action)
once per day or cure moderate wounds once per day.

Ares: Ares rage once per day or bale aura once

per day. Ares Rage (Ex): You enter a rage similar
to barbarian rage, gaining a +2 morale bonus to
Strength and Constitution, a +1 morale bonus to
Will saves, and a -2 to penalty to AC. Activating
this ability is a free action and it lasts 1 round per
character level. Unlike barbarian rage, you are
not fatigued when you end your rage. Bale Aura
(Su): Once per day when in combat, your awesome
presence frightens enemies as if you were using a
cause fear spell. This can be activated as a free action
and aects 1 creature per character level.
Artemis: True strike (as a move equivalent action)
once per day or Artemis arrow once per day. Artemis
Arrow (Su): Aer hiing a creature with a weapon,
you can choose to target it with a daze monster eect.
If you trigger this ability in conjunction with a bow
aack, the DC increases by +1.
Athena: Heroism once per day or a +1 dodge
bonus to armor class.
Demeter: Extended goodberry once per day or
barkskin (self only) once per day.
Dionysus: Daze monster once per day or Tas
hideous laughter once per day.
Eos: Light at will or eagles splendor (self only)
once per day.
Eris: Betrayal once per day or Eris fury once per
day. Betrayal (Su): This heightened (to 2nd level)
and specialized form of lesser confusion causes the
target to aack an ally for 1 round. Eris Fury (Ex):
You or another willing creature enter a rage similar
to barbarian rage, gaining a +2 morale bonus to
Strength and Constitution, a +1 morale bonus to
Will saves, and a -2 to penalty to AC. Activating
this ability is a free action, requires a melee touch
aack if used on another creature, and it lasts 1
round per character level. Like barbarian rage, the
target is fatigued when the rage ends.
Eros: Extended charm person once per day or
touch of idiocy once per day.
Hades: Death knell once per day (can be activated
as a free action aer you drop a creature) or bale
aura once per day. Bale Aura (Su): Once per day
when in combat, your awesome presence frightens
enemies as if you were using a cause fear spell.
This can be activated as a free action and aects 1
creature per character level.
Hecate: Fog cloud once per day or darkvision (self
only) once per day.
Helios: Daylight once per day or extended
expeditious retreat (self only) once per day.
Hephaestus: Extended magic weapon once per
day or heat metal once per day.
Hera: Detect thoughts once per day or sound burst
once per day.

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Chapter One: Characters

Hermes: Extended expeditious retreat (self only)
once per day or invisibility (self only) once per day.
Hestia: Aid once per day or sanctuary once per
Iris: Blindness once per day or
whispering wind once per day.
Muses: Heroism once per day or
sound burst once per day.
Nike: Extended jump (self only)
once per day or Nikes blessing (self
only) once per day. Nikes Blessing
(Su): You gain a +1 insight bonus
to saves, aack rolls, ability checks,
and weapon damage rolls for 1
Pan: Extended charm person once
per day or extended expeditious
retreat (self only) once per day.
Poseidon: Lesser earthquake
once per day or blur (self only)
once per day (though rather than
being blurred, the character is surrounded by a
concealing mist of watery droplets with the same
eect as the spell).
Selene: Light at will or heightened (to 2nd level)
sleep once per day
Titan (any): Bears endurance (self only) once per
day or bulls strength (self only) once per day.
Zeus: Heroism once per day or thundering smite
once per day. Thundering Smite (Su): Aer hiing a
creature (either before or aer you roll damage), you
can choose to invoke the power of Zeus thunderbolt
upon your enemy. A blast of electricity and thunder
is channeled through your weapon to your enemy,
dealing +2d6 points of damage, half of which is
electricity and half sonic. Every third level (at levels
3, 6, 9, and so on) this damage increases by +1d6.


An Argonauts campaign is much more primitive

technologically than a typical fantasy campaign,
and much of the equipment listed in the Players
Handbook is not available. In some cases this
limitation is because of technology (the Greeks
didnt have crossbows). In others, it is because
the equipment is impractical in the Greek climate
(heavy armor is too cumbersome in hot weather,
for example), or simply doesnt suit the tone of
the campaign (scythes and spiked chains dont
really t the feel of the Greek myths), whether for
technological or thematic reasons. For simplicitys
sake, use the Players Handbook rules and prices for
items, even though Greece used its own coins and
in dierent values than the standard 1 gp = 10 sp =
100 gp ratio.

The following equipment is available for

purchase available in an Argonauts campaign
(though some of it may not be useful in its
original context, such as a winter
Weapons: Cestus (armored
gauntlet, with or without spikes)
club, dagger, dart, greatclub,
javelin, longsword, quartersta,
short bow (normal or composite,
with arrows), short sword, spear
(all standard varieties), sling,
trident. Masterwork weapons of
any of these types are available.
Armor: Leather, studded leather,
hide armor, scale mail, breastplate
(which is an armored chest plate,
armored metal skirt, and metal
greaves), buckler, light metal shield,
heavy metal shield. Masterwork
armor and shield of any of these
types are available.
Adventuring Equipment: Backpack, bedroll,
blanket, candle, crowbar, ask, int and steel,
hammer, ink, jug, ladder, lamp, lock, manacles, map
or scroll case, mirror, oil, parchment, piton, pole,
pouch, portable ram, rations, rope (hemp or silk),
sack, signet ring, sledge, tent, torch, vial, waterskin.
Special Substances and Items: Acid, alchemists
re, antitoxin, tanglefoot bag. (Though in reality
many of these items would be unavailable in historic
Greece, their presence here reects the advanced
learning of the Greeks augmented by supernatural
alchemy and the inuence of the gods on invention.)
Tool and Skill Kits: Alchemists lab, artisans
tools (common or masterwork), disguise kit
(common or masterwork), healers kit (common
or masterwork), holy symbol, musical instrument
(common or masterwork), thieves tools (common
or masterwork).
Clothing: Courtiers outt, entertainers
outt, nobles outt, peasants outt, royal outt,
travelers outt. (All of these are the ancient
Greek version of these types of clothing instead
of the medieval versions described in the Players
Handbook, of course.)
Food, Drink, and Lodging: All.
Mounts and Related Gear: Bit and bridle,
donkey or mule, feed, guard dog, horse (any kind,
including all kinds of ponies), saddle (pack only),
Transport: Cart, rowboat, oar, sled, wagon.
Spellcasting and Services: Hireling (trained
or untrained), messenger, road or gate toll, ships

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Chapter 2: Variant Rules

This chapter explains some variant rules which are
appropriate for an Argonauts campaign.

of the poison suers 1 point each of Con and Str

damage for each hourly saving throw failed until
the poison has run its course.
Poisons that cause unconsciousness as their
secondary damage can force a poisoned character
to remain unconscious through later saving
throws against continuing damage. This does
not cause automatic failures or give any sort
of penalty, though obviously it prevents the
character from taking action to help resist the
poison (such as the use of antitoxin or magic).
Delay poison suspends all of this continuing
damage for the duration of the spell, just as it
suspends initial and secondary damage.
Neutralize poison ends the cycle of continuing
damage (the character does not need to make any
more saving throws against the poison).
A character with the Heal skill can use it to
aid his own or anothers saving throws against
continuing poison damage just as it can help with
initial and secondary damage saves.

Continuing Poison Damage

In the real world, when people are poisoned,

the eects of the poison continue for hours, and
some people linger for days before dying or
recovering. The game doesnt reect this, mainly
because its more convenient for DMs to get the
poison damage over and done with and not deal
with long-term bookkeeping. In a campaign
where magical healing is scarce, the modeling the
continuing eects of poison with game rules make
poison a more serious and long-term threat with a
small amount of extra work.

Variant Rule: Continuing Poison Damage

If a character fails a saving throw against a

poisons initial or secondary damage, the poison
continues to deal damage over an extended
period of time. The poisons eects continue for
a number of hours equal to the poison DC; if the
initial and secondary saving throws are failed, the
eects continue for twice this duration.
Every hour of the continuing eect, the
character must aempt another saving throw
against the poisons DC. Failure
means the character suers the
poisons secondary eects again,
but the damage is the minimum
possible for the poison. If the
poison has no secondary damage
(such as dragon bile), the poison
cannot deal continuing damage.
Example: Small centipede poison
is DC 11 and deals 1d2 Dex damage
for both its primary and secondary
eect. A character that fails either the
primary or secondary save against this
poison makes saving throws every hour for
11 hours and takes 1 point of Dex damage (the
minimum value for 1d2) each time one of these
saves is failed. A character that fails the primary
and secondary saves makes these saves every
hour for 22 hours (DC 11 x2).
The continuing poison eect is always of the
same type as the secondary damage, even if the
character saved against the secondary damage. If
the poisons secondary eect deals multiple kinds
of ability damage (such as dark reaver powder),
the character takes the minimum damage for each
damage type dealt.
Example: Dark reaver powders secondary
damage deals 1d6 Con + 1d6 Str. A character that
fails to save against the initial or secondary eect

Donations and Intervention

In the heroic Greek myths, heroes and kings oen

made sacrices to the gods to gain good favor on
voyages, or were punished for
not making sacrices at the
appropriate times. This idea
was common among the Greek
people at the time, and sacrices
to the gods were a common
occurrence, whether as a part of a
feast, holy day, or celebration such
as a birth or a wedding. To reect
this, the following system gives rules
for how to reward characters who make
sacrices to the gods. It is designed so that
the sacrices are inexpensive enough that
a typical peasant can be rewarded for a
minor sacrice (even pouring out a cup of wine
to the gods may be enough), and the rewards are
minor but signicant enough that its appealing to
heroes and commoners alike without ridiculous
eects (no unexpected heal spells out of the blue).
The costs are also balanced against the cost of
simply buying the eect in a standard campaign
(why spend 100 gold in sacrices to gain a
cure light wounds when you can just purchase a

Variant Rule: Donations and Intervention

Many deities are casually worshipped by the

people of the world just by making donations to
a temple or shrine of that deity. If the character
has recently (within the past week) donated to the

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Chapter Two: Variant Rules

church of a deity, and he is in a situation relevant
to the portfolio of that deity, the deity may
intervene in some small way to aid that character.
When the circumstances are appropriate, the
player should point out the situation to the DM,
and if the DM agrees, an intervention roll is made.
The chance of a minor intervention is equal to
1% x the number of silver pieces donated by the
character to that faith in the past week. If the roll
is a success, the character immediately benets
from a guidance, resistance, or virtue orison (which
may reverse a just-failed check or saving throw if
the player remembers to suggest the intervention
aer the roll is made). If the intervention d%
roll fails, the character receives no intervention
and receives no other chances for intervention
from that deity until another donation is made.
Sacrices in excess of 100 sp have no eect
(donations only count toward the next possible
intervention, and its not possible to pay ahead
for more than one intervention).
Should a number of people make a donation
as a group, any one of the group can call for an
intervention based on the total donation; failure
means that no other rolls for intervention based
on that donation can be made.
One could argue that the gods have no
interest in money. Not true. Their temples need
maintenance (and new temples need to be built),
guards need to be paid, priests need to be fed and
clothed, and so on. Gods themselves may need no
money, but to accomplish their goals in the world
it helps to have gold.
Money is not the only sort of appropriate
donation. Goods (including food for the priests or
to be given to the needy), items of signicance to
the church or temple (such as remains of a longdead hero, or a religious relic, or even churchcreated magic items), and services (from repairing
an old churchs window to digging a garden for
a monastery) are all appropriate donations, and
should have their value converted to silvers for
the purpose of guring the intervention chance
(based on a common laborers daily wage of 1
silver piece or other hireling wages). Sacrices
are also a suitable form of donation (the act of
worship in animal sacrice enhances the taste of
ambrosia and nectar, the food of the gods), with
the animals cost in silver pieces counting as a
donation to the deity. Treasure items and other
valuables (or even food in poorer areas) are also
acceptable sacrices, and are usually burned,
thrown into the sea, or some other method where
the mortal loses the item and the gods can claim
it; no priest is needed for this form of sacrice.

In Greek culture, animals of high quality are

prized as sacrices, with perfect animal specimens
(such as a snow-white calf or sheep) valued
even higher. Some deities have preferences for
certain animals (Zeus and Poseidon favor bulls,
for example); these kinds of sacrices can count
up to 150% of the animals normal cost. Human
sacrices are abhorrent to the gods and are more
likely to bring curses or permanent bad luck
rather than any favorable intervention.
Example: Xanthos steps between an angry hydra
and his unconscious ally Anaxis, making sure that
beast doesnt carry away his fallen friend for a
meal. The hydra aacks Xanthos and reduces him
to 0 hit points. Xanthos player James reminds the
DM that Xanthos sacriced a sheep (worth 2 gp,
or 20 sp) to Athena (who represents protection
and tactics in war) yesterday, and asks for an
intervention roll, as he is acting as a protector
for his fallen friend. The DM agrees that this is
an appropriate circumstance for an intervention
by Athena, rolls percentile dice, and gets a 19
... success! The goddess intervenes by targeting
Xanthos with a virtue spell, bringing him to 1 hp.
Xanthos is able to aack the hydra and cut o
its head on his turn (muering a quick prayer of
thanks to Athena for giving him the foresight to
learn Improved Sunder). Without the intervention
of the virtue spell, Xanthos would have been at 0
hit points (disabled) when he aacked the hydra
and would have dropped to -1 hit points for
performing a strenuous action while disabled,
puing himself and Anaxis at the mercy of the
hydra if he failed.
Example: Zale and the other New Argonauts
are baling thunderbolt-hurling Cyclopes. One
Cyclops strikes Zale with a thunderbolt, and he
misses his saving throw by 1 point. Zales player
Brian knows his character will die if he takes
full damage, so he reminds the DM that before
they le Aea, capitol of Colchis, Zale spent a
week guarding Zeus temple for week while its
champion was away on a quest (the DM had
earlier agreed that this counted as a donation, and
priced it based on the daily wage of a mercenary
leader, so 6 silver pieces per day times 7 days is
42 sp). Zales player feels that the god of lightning
might intervene to save him from a death by a
thunderbolt, and the DM agrees that it might
work. The DM rolls percentile, gets a 25 (success!)
and retroactively applies a +1 resistance bonus to
Zales save from a resistance orison granted by the
intervention. Zale makes his saving throw, takes
half damage, and is able to go on ghting.

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Chapter Two: Variant Rules

Slower Dying

One of the problems with the current system of

death & dying rules is that dying
characters tend to become dead
far too easily. With just a 10%
chance to stabilize each round, a
character brought to -1 hit points
has about a 60% chance to stabilize
(nine rounds at 10% chance per
round is just over 61% chance
overall). That means that 40%
of the people injured to the point
of unconsciousness die and
do so within one minute of their
injuries. From real-world experience
(even predating modern medical
technology) we know that isnt the
case. The variant rule below allows
characters a beer chance to survive
injuries, which is particularly important
in an Argonauts campaign where
healing magic is much rarer than a
standard game.

Variant Rule: Slower Dying

When a characters hit points fall to -1

or below, he is dying. He immediately
falls unconscious and can take no
On the characters next turn, roll d% to see
whether he becomes stable. He has a 10% chance
to become stable. If he doesnt, he loses 1 hit point.

If the characters negative hit points ever drop

to his Constitution score or lower, he no longer has
a chance to stabilize each round and
automatically loses 1 hit point per
round. For example, a character
with a 10 Constitution brought to
-10 hit points can no longer try to
stabilize and automatically loses 1
hit point per round.
If the characters negative hit
points ever reach his Constitution
score plus ten (or more), hes dead.
For example, the Con 10 character
dies automatically aer reaching
20 hit points (Con 10 + 10) or
You can keep a dying character from
losing any more hit points and make
him stable with a successful Heal
check (DC 15).
If any sort of healing cures the dying
character of even 1 point of damage,
he stops losing hit points and
becomes stable.
Healing that raises the dying
characters hit points to 0 makes him
conscious and disabled. Healing
that raises his hit points to 1 or more
makes him fully functional again,
just as if hed never been reduced to 0 or less. A
spellcaster retains the spellcasting capability she
had before dropping below 0 hit points.

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Chapter 3: Magic
This chapter describes the new magic spells and
items available in an Argonauts campaign, as well
as those which are modied from the core rules for
use in this campaign.

New and Modified Spells

The following spells are new, or modied from the

Players Handbook to make them more appropriate
for the style and tone of an Argonauts campaign.

Baleful Polymorph

Level: Hellenic sorceress 4
Components: V, S, M
In an Argonauts campaign, this spell can also
transform the target into a 2 HD animal such as a
pig or goat, and the target always retains his own
A Hellenic sorceress can choose to use a special
drug in preparation for casting this spell, feeding
it to a potential target (either in his food or drink)
up to an hour before casting this spell. When used
this way, the drug gives the target a -4 penalty to
his saving throw against the spell. She can add
multiple doses to a common source of food (such
as a cooking pot) to drug multiple creatures at
once (though each target still requires a separate
casting of the spell).
Arcane Material Component: The (optional) drug
worth 50 gp.

Control Weather

Level: Hellenic sorceress 4
In an Argonauts campaign, this spell is much
weaker than the standard version; it cannot create
tornadoes, torrential rain, hailstorms, blizzards, or
hurricane-force winds. Most sorceresses use it to
gather thick clouds to hide the moon and activate
their new moon casting class ability.


Necromancy [Evil]
Level: Hellenic sorceress 5
Components: V, S, M, XP
In an Argonauts campaign, this spell works
slightly dierently than the standard version. It
can be cast within or near the underworld (such as
the caves in Colchis that lead to Hades realm). The
spell lures the ghosts of dead people to the casters
location with a libation of milk, honey, sweet wine,
water, and barley-meal, followed by a sacrice of a
caless heifer, a choice black ram, and a black ewe.
Gratied by these oerings, the spirits answer the
casters questions according to the normal version

of the spell (drawing on greater knowledge than

they knew as living individuals), then return to the
underworld. Hades dislikes the dead leaving his
realm, and this spell is a violation of the natural
order, which is why it has the evil designator.
Arcane Material Component: The additional
material components for this spell cost 17 gp, 2 sp,
and 2 cp.


Transmutation [Evil]
Level: Hellenic sorceress 3, Sor/Wiz 3
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: Touch
Target: Cloak or other piece of clothing touched
Duration: 1 hour/level or until discharged (see text)
Saving Throw: Reex half
Spell Resistance: Yes
You imbue a cloak, cape, gown, shirt, or other
piece of clothing with a magical trap so that it
bursts into ames as soon as it is put on, igniting
the target as if he were doused with alchemists
re (1d6 re damage per round), although once
the deathcloak ignites it cannot be extinguished
(without using magic) until a number of rounds
equal to your caster level has passed.
The cursed cloth sticks to the target and cannot be
removed unless he succeeds at a Strength check (DC
equal to the spells saving throw DC). Removing
the cloth means the ames can be extinguished
normally, and ends all magic in the cloak.
Any creature that tries to help extinguish the
ames on the target while the cloth is still worn is
immediately aected as if doused with alchemists
re (which can be extinguished normally).
Creatures other than the target can aempt to
remove the cloak from him, though the aempt
also ignites them as with alchemists re.
Material Components: Rare herbs and exotic
drugs worth 100 gp.

Deep Slumber

Enchantment (Compulsion) [Mind-Aecting]

Level: Hellenic sorceress 3
Components: V, S, M
In an Argonauts campaign, this spell requires
an ointment made of a rare herbal mixture, which
must be touched to the target (a touch aack).
Material Component: The ointment (worth 50 gp).

Disguise Self

Level: Hellenic sorceress 1
Components: V, S, M

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Chapter Three: Magic

Casting Time: 1 minute
Duration: 1 hour/level
This spell functions as the standard disguise self
spell, except as noted here. It is a transmutation
spell because it is an actual physical transformation
rather than an illusory one.
Material Component: An ointment applied to the
face (worth 10 gp).

and so on) but not his personal history (including

friends, family, or enemies), homeland, or goals.
Material Components: A mixture of herbs worth
10 gp, which must be fed to the target within one
hour of casting this spell.

False Life

Level: Hellenic sorceress 2
Components: V, S, M
In an Argonauts campaign, this spell requires an
ointment made of a rare herbal mixture, which you
must rub on your skin before casting the spell.
Material Component: The ointment (worth 10 gp).

Dragon Chariot

Level: Hellenic sorceress 4
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Close (25 . + 5 ./2 levels)
Eect: One dragon-drawn ying chariot
Duration: 1 hour/level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
You send out a magical call to a magical chariot
drawn by ying dragons, which arrives out of the
sky 1d4 rounds aer you cast this spell. The chariot
can only carry one Medium
creature, and only you can
ride it. The dragons can
pull the chariot as if you
were under the eects
of an overland ight
spell. The dragons have
the same statistics as
Aeetes dragon (see the
Monsters chapter) except
they can y at 60 .
(good maneuverability).
The dragons do not aack
even if they are aacked,
preferring to ee (dragging
you and the chariot with them)
if severely wounded.

Finger of Death

Necromancy [Death]
Level: Hellenic sorceress 5
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Long (400 . + 10 ./level)
Target: One living creature (see text)
This spell functions as the standard nger
of death spell, except as noted here.
Rather than a direct and
instantaneous aack, this
version of the spell guides
the spirits of death to the
target, who suers an
unfortunate accident or
injury within 1d4 rounds,
causing them to bleed
to death (losing 5 hit
points per round, which
can only be stopped with
magical healing or a DC 30
Heal check).
Because this form of the spell
causes the target to bleed to
death, it can aect nonliving
creatures that are vulnerable to
bleeding wounds, such as Talos
(see the Monsters chapter).

Erase Memories

Enchantment (Compulsion) [MindAecting]

Level: Hellenic sorceress 3
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature touched
Duration: 1 hour/level
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
You cloud the targets mind, temporarily
blocking access to most of his memories. He
remembers his name and all of his personal
abilities (skills, feats, class abilities, languages,

Lesser Earthquake

Level: Hellenic sorceress 2, Sor/Wiz 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Close (25 . + 5 ./2 levels)
Area: Cone
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None (see text)
Spell Resistance: Yes
You cause the earth within the area to shake like
an earthquake, which acts as a trip aack against

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Chapter Three: Magic

all creatures in the area. This trip-like aack is
not subject to the size limitations of a normal trip
aack. Creatures in the area make individual
opposed Strength or Dexterity checks against your
roll of 1d20+5. Those who fail are tripped and fall
prone, those who succeed are unaected. Creatures
that are not tripped cannot aempt to trip you in
return. You cannot use Improved Trip or similar
feats in conjunction with this spell. The spell only
aects creatures in contact with the aected area
(for example, a standing or climbing creature is
aected, while a ying creature is not).

Remove Curse

Level: Hellenic sorceress 4
Casting Time: 1 hour
Components: V, S, M
This spell functions as the standard remove curse
spell, except as noted here.
Material Component: Burning incense (1 gp) and a
sacrice of a pure white lamb (2 gp).

Resist Energy

Level: Hellenic sorceress 2
Casting Time: 1 minute
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1 hour/level
This spell functions as the standard resist energy
spell, except as noted here.
Material Component: An ointment of rare herbs
(worth 25 gp) which must be rubbed on the targets


Level: Hellenic sorceress 4
Casting Time: 1 minute
Duration: 1 hour/level
This spell functions as the standard stoneskin
spell, except as noted here.
Material Component: An ointment of rare potent
herbs (worth 500 gp) which must be rubbed on the
targets esh.

Vitality of Youth

Conjuration (Healing)
Level: Hellenic sorceress 5
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 8 hours
Range: Touch
Target: Cauldron touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None

Spell Resistance: No
You imbue a cauldron with the power to make
one creature young again. Once the spell is cast,
the cauldron retains its power for up to one hour.
To draw on the cauldrons power, you or another
person must cut the throat of the person to be
made young and make them drink from the
cauldron (this also heals the neck wound). The
creature is immediately restored to their physical
prime, which for humans is normally somewhere
around age 25. The creature loses all current
Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution penalties
from ageing but accrues later ageing penalties
The spell does not actually extend the creatures
lifespan. He dies according to his original
maximum age, even if he still looks young and
even if that means he dies a maer of months aer
regaining his youth with this spell.
Material Component: Exotic ingredients worth
1,000 gp.

New Magic Items

The following new magic items are available in a

New Argonauts campaign.
Some of the items below are given alternate
creation prerequisites for the low-magic seing;
these are listed in parentheses aer the standard
prerequisites. Using the low-magic prerequisites
requires the normal time and XP investment
but no gp expense unless its listed as one of the
Boars Brew: This potent ale has three doses.
A character can drink one dose for the eects
of a potion of cure light wounds (1d8+1), two for a
potion of cure moderate wounds (2d8+3), or three
for a potion of cure serious wounds (3d8+5). Any
remaining doses function normally (so aer
drinking one dose for a cure light wounds the
remaining doses can still be combined for a cure
moderate wounds or used separately as two cure
light wounds potions).
Faint conjuration; CL 5th; Brew Potion, cure
serious wounds (or Hellenic Alchemy, Calydonian
boars bones, Alchemy 5 ranks); Price 760 gp.
(Note: Using Hellenic Alchemy and one set of
Calydonian boars bones yields ve asks of boars
brew, though the creator doesnt need to create all
ve at once.)
Boar Soldier Tooth: This magical boars tooth
must be planted in the ground to activate its
power. One round aer planting a tooth, a boar
tooth soldier (see Chapter 9: Monsters) springs
up from the earth at that location. This soldier is
uerly loyal to the person who planted it, willing

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Chapter Three: Magic

even to sacrice his life for his commander. The
soldier does not aect the commanders ability to
acquire followers or cohorts. He is not a magical
creature and never reverts back to his toothy
origins, even if slain. Boar soldier teeth are usually
found in groups of four, though the craing
process only creates one at a time.
Faint transmutation; CL 15th, Cra Wondrous
Item, polymorph any object (or Hellenic Alchemy,
Calydonian or Erymanthian boar tooth); 250 gp;
Weight .
Golden Fleece: Made from the skin of a golden
ying ram sent by the gods, the Golden Fleece has
miraculous healing powers. Five times per day, as
a free action once per round, a person wearing or
touching the Golden Fleece can activate it to heal
himself 10 points of damage. It also can be used
to neutralize poison or remove disease as a standard
action, though each use of these other powers
counts towards the Golden Fleeces daily uses of
its healing power. If worn, the Golden Fleece uses
the cloak magic item space.
Moderate conjuration; CL 13th, Cra Wondrous
Item, neutralize poison, regenerate, remove disease
(or Hellenic Alchemy, one eece from a golden
ying ram skin, Cra (leatherworking) 5 ranks);
25,000 gp; Weight 5 lb.
Hydra Bloodpoison: This thick red paste looks
like congealed blood. If applied to a weapon it
is a deadly poison (2d6 initial and secondary
Constitution damage, Fortitude DC 17 negates).
Moderate necromancy; CL 13th, Cra
Wondrous Item, Empower Spell, Heighten Spell,
poison (or Hellenic Alchemy, eight ounces of
poisonous hydra blood taken from the creatures
heart); 3,000 gp; Weight .
Hydra Skin Cloak: This leather cloak is made
of gray-brown, dark brown, or tan reptilian
hide. Five times per day, as a free action once per
round, the wearer can activate the cloak to heal
himself 5 points of damage.
Moderate conjuration; CL 13th, Cra Wondrous
Item, regenerate (or Hellenic Alchemy, one hydra
skin, Cra (leatherworking) 5 ranks); 6,000 gp;
Weight 1 lb.
Hydra Heart: This date-sized piece of jerky
looks like the shrunken heart of a large animal.
A character who eats it (a full-round action that
provokes an aack of opportunity as if drinking a
potion) gains the eects of a heal spell.
Moderate conjuration; CL 11th, Cra Wondrous
Item, heal (or Hellenic Alchemy, one hydra heart,
Cra (meat jerking) 5 ranks); 6,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Medeas Impervious Ointment: This ointment is

best known from the story of the Argonauts, where
Medea gives Jason a magical ointment to make him
reproof and immune to iron so he could plough
a eld with Aeetes re-breathing bulls and sow
a crop of dragons teeth. When used, it protects a
creature from most weapons (DR 10/adamantine)
and re (re resistance 20) for seven hours.
Faint abjuration; CL 7th, Cra Wondrous Item,
resist energy, stoneskin (or Hellenic Alchemy
and the hide of a Cretan bull, Ethiopian bull,
minotaur, or a prize bull descended from the
Cretan bull); Price 2,975 gp; Cost 1,750 gp + 98 XP;
Weight . (Note: A Hellenic sorceress can use
Hellenic Alchemy, resist energy, and stoneskin to
create this item, in which case she does not need
the mythical creature component but still must
provide the expensive material components for
the spells, totaling 525 gp.)
Moly Elixir: Moly is a magical herb with
black roots and white owers, and no mortal
has the strength to pull it from the ground. But
from time to time the gods pluck moly from the
ground and give it to mortals, and it can be used
to make a potent elixir. When drank or rubbed on
a creatures skin, it provides a +8 resistance bonus
to saves against spells and spell-like abilities for
three hours. It can also be split into three doses,
each lasting an hour.
Strong abjuration; CL 18th, Cra Wondrous
Item, protection from spells (or Hellenic Alchemy,
moly herb); 2,000 gp; Weight .
Thunderbolt: This javelin-sized bolt of
electricity is solid and can be grasped and thrown
just as a normal javelin. If thrown, it automatically
hits (no aack roll is required) and deals 5d6 hit
points of electricity damage to the target (Reex
DC 14 negates). It is consumed in the aack. Any
creature other than a god, titan, or cyclops who
tries to grab a thunderbolt must make a saving
throw (Fortitude DC 15) or grab it in the wrong
place, triggering its full eects upon them (though
they still get a Reex saving throw). A scion of
Zeus gets a +5 bonus to the Fortitude save to
safely grasp a thunderbolt.
Faint evocation; CL 5th, Cra Magic Arms and
Armor, lightning bolt; 500 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Thunderbolt, Greater: This functions just like
a normal thunderbolt, except it deals 10d6 hit
points of electricity damage and the saving throw
to safely grasp one is DC 20.
Faint evocation; CL 10th, Cra Magic Arms and
Armor, lightning bolt; 1,000 gp; Weight 2 lb.

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Chapter 4: Culture
Greek culture grew out of elements of nearby
civilizations but developed its own distinct
identity. This chapter describes the role of
women, foreigners, and slaves in Greek society,
as well as their views on wealth, marriage, work,
religion, and recreation, and the surprising lack of
dierences between the various city-states.

The City-States

The ancient Greeks were never united under one

king but they shared a common language and
culture. Athenians were remarkably similar to
Thebans, Corinthians, Lapiths, Minoans, and so
on (though Spartans were dierent, see the Sparta
sidebar)at least for the purpose of this book. The
Greek myths focused on the heroes, the gods,
and the strange creatures they met along the way;
the slight cultural dierences between dierent
groups of mortals were insignicant to the story.
Everything described in this book should be
assumed to apply to all parts of Greece. If you want
a more in-depth analysis of the dierences between
the city-states there are many historical reference
books out there, but thats beyond the scope of this
campaign book, the purpose of which is to provide
a background for fantasy adventures in the style of
the Greek myths.
You can start an Argonauts campaign just
about anywhere in Greece (and given that aer
the colonization eorts of the Archaic Age there
Sparta: A Different Greek City-State

Though most Greek city-states were similar, Sparta is remarkably different

and deserves more detail to explain those differences. Unlike the other
Greek states, Sparta had a large subject population, a group legally inferior
to Greeks. Called helots, these state-owned slaves probably were the
indigenous folk of that part of Greece, conquered centuries earlier by invaders
but never actually assimilated into the population. The helots outnumbered
the Spartans, so to prevent any sort of rebellion the Spartans developed a
strong military structure for their citizens, training all of them in war on the
chance that the untrained helots might rise up. From age seven onward
children were raised by the state in military fashion. Barrack housing was
the norm for men, men and women were given roughly equal education, and
women could own property and marry who they wanted. Every adult Spartan
male was assigned a piece of property and helots to work it, freeing him
from the need to work and allowing him to focus entirely on the military life.
Money was banned, and Spartans were not allowed to participate in crafting
or business as it was feared these things would create a desire for riches,
distracting the citizen from the desired total commitment to the city-state; as
in other city-states, it was the slaves (in this case, helots) who crafted the
materials needed to function as a civilized society.
In some ways the Spartan state was the worlds rst known effort at
communism, but their arts suffered because the state felt artistic endeavors
promoted individualism, independent thought, and even criticism of the
government. Spartas strangeness made it difcult for them to have
mercantile ties with other city-states (all trade had to be through goodsbartering rather than money for goods), which also contributed to its cultural
stagnation. Nevertheless, the Spartan military structure meant they were
very good at warfare and its neighbors rightfully feared when the Spartan
army was on the move.

were over 1,500 city-states of various sizes all over

the peninsula and on the shores of the Aegean,
you can pick a spot and truly make it your own).
No maer where you start the campaign, you can
assume the following common cultural themes:
City-states have a simple democratic government
led by a member of the aristocracy (usually a king)
who is the face of the empowered citizens rather
than an autocrat with full control. They have a
strong military presence whose main purpose is
protecting the state from aack by foreigners and
rival city-states. People from other city-states are
tolerated if allies and aacked if enemies. Alliances
can change quickly and old grudges tend to linger.
Travel for citizens is open and mercenaries are not
uncommon. Each city-state tends to honor one god
above the others, but all gods are to be respected
lest they become angry. Non-Greeks are primitive
barbarians and should only be tolerated while they
remain amusing and useful.


With the advent of the polis (the precursor to the

city-state), the citizens looked at wealth with an
eye for how it could improve the community,
not just enrich an individual. Those who had
money were expected to spend it on things that
everyone could enjoy or benet from. Banquets
and liturgies were common, and also gave the
person responsible the opportunity to interact
with the other people and gain recognition
for the provided service. Others sponsored
the construction of new public buildings
(particularly gymnasiums, which promoted other
community activities) or the maintenance of city
warships. Refusal to perform such works gave
the impression that the citizen was unwilling
to pull his weight in the community, and could
eventually lead to ostracism. This is not to say
that the wealthy did not dress beer, wear jewelry,
and eat beer than those less fortunate, but those
who only did those things and didnt invest in the
community were seen as selsh and unpatriotic
(just as avoiding other duties, such as jury service
or military obligations, would bring questions
about a persons worth).
The typical Greek led a very plain life. Meals
were simple. Clothes were simple and durable,
and were passed down to the next generation
when the previous owner died. Houses were
plain and functional. This plain living made the
Greeks look forward to their leisure activities, with
athletic contests bringing a dose of excitement and
free banquets from the auent members of the
community wheing the appetite for success.

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Chapter Four: Culture


The role of women changed over the course of

the ancient Greek period. In the
time of the epics, women were
valued members of society and
considered fully capable. For
example, when Odysseus le for
Troy he was condent that his
wife Penelope would be able to
take care of things even though
he expected to be gone for some
time. The women of this period are
strong and have incredible inuence
over their homes. However, they
were still considered secondary to
men; women were married o to
make alliances with other families
and were taken home as prizes in
war. The Greeks also had a double
standard about delity; the married
warriors frequently had mistresses,
even as they baled Troy because of
the indelity of Helen, an aront to
her husband.
With the rise of the polis, the
role of Greek women decreased,
particularly that of upper-class
women. Public meetings became
a male task and a womans place
was running the home or dealing
with home-related tasks such as
going to market or certain aspects of
religious gatherings. Women became
less visible as a part of society,
though never ostracized or fully
excluded as they are in some modern
fundamentalist cultures. Even
under these circumstances, women
still retained much power in the
household; men may have made the
rules for the society, but the women
of the community made sure they were obeyed
by using their power within the home. Much of a
wifes power derived from the income generated
by her dowry; as she belonged to her husbands
household and that of her parents (and drew power
and inuence from both), if she didnt like how her
husband managed things or disagreed with his
actions she could return to her parents home and
bring her dowry with her. As the dowry was oen
crucial to the success and survival of the household,
this was a serious threat and most men knew not to
push their wives too far. Of course, a woman with
a smaller dowry had less to back up her threat and
thus had less power over her husband.

Marriage and Children

In ancient Greece, marriages were arranged. The

arrangements might take place
when one or both participants
were very young (as young as 5 in
at least one case, though the girl
in question was an orphan and
therefore a special circumstance)
even if the wedding wasnt to take
place until years later. Men usually
married around age 30, women in
their late teens. Because of these age
dierences and the separation of the
male and female public worlds, the
prospective spouses rarely had the
opportunity to interact, so modern
courtship was all but nonexistent. It
was expected that aection between
spouses would develop aer they
were married. Marriages were
therefore done out of political or
military interests rather than love,
with brides oered to men of power
to gain inuence or allies.
Not all marriages worked out.
Either couple had the right to
initiate a divorce, and the husband
was responsible for providing for
his children aerwards (the wife
normally returned to her family,
possibly in search of another
marriage). Adultery wasnt illegal,
but it was considered an aront to
the household and by extension to
the polis. Upon discovering adultery,
a husband was expected to divorce
his wife else he be suspected of
colluding in the adultery. If he caught
his wife in the act, the husband could
legally kill the other man on the spot
or drag him to a court to be tried
Amazons and Barbarians: Female PCs

While your typical mythic Greek story focused on male heroes, heroic
females were not entirely unknown. Atalanta was the fastest runner in Greece
and a great hunter as well; she helped defeat the Calydonian boar. Hippolyta,
Queen of the Amazons, was the leader of a warlike people greatly feared for
their wildness and fury. Just because classical Greek society had females in
an inferior position is no reason to exclude female PCs, though many people
will be doubtful or even resentful of a powerful female hero (for example, the
males involved in the Calydonian boar hunt complained about hunting with
a girl, though they had to accept her when the local prince insisted that
any girl who could outrun them all deserved to be there). An easy way to
justify having a female PC in a male-centric Argonauts campaign is to have
her be an Amazon, a follower of a deity such as Artemis, Athena, or Hecate,
or simply a woman from a barbarian culture whose ways are different than
those of the Greeks.

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Chapter Four: Culture

and executed by the government. An adulteress
was thereaer excluded from participating in public
religious events, which severely curtailed her ability
to socialize with her peers.
As was common for the time period, infant
mortality was high, and couples normally had to
deal with the loss of multiple infants (especially in
the vulnerable years before age 5) over the course
of a marriage. Having children was necessary in
this society, not a choice, as the income from adult
children was needed to support the parents in
their old age (and in Athens and some other cities,
parents could legally compel their children to give
such support). It was an acceptable practice to
expose unwanted infants before the family became
accustomed to them; sons might be exposed if the
family already had another son and feared spliing
the family property, daughters might be exposed
if the parents didnt want to deal with providing
another dowry. Exposure usually entailed leaving
the child outside in a clay pot, which could
also serve as its con; some people stole these
exposed infants, raised them, and sold them as
slaves. Several myths have protagonists who were
exposed as infants, though usually out of political
expediency rather than nancial interests.


With an economy partly based on trade with

foreign countries, there was an inevitable presence
of foreigners in any Greek city of signicant size.
Given the divisive nature of the Greek people,
a foreigner in this context could even mean
Greek Geography

Greece is blessed with a Mediterranean climate. Its winters are cool, if wet,
and the summers tend to be hot and dry. The climate suits the growing
of grapes and olives (so wine and olive oil play a signicant role in Greek
commerce). The warm climate meant the ancient Greeks could get by with
simple loose clothing, and menparticularly laborersoften went naked.
Though most people think of Greece as the modern peninsula, because
of Greek colonization there were Greek settlements all over the Aegean
Sea, which meant that Greece was more like a landbound country with a
large lake in its center. In fact, the omnipresent Aegean means that no part
of mainland Greece is more than 35 miles from the sea, and even those
crossing the Aegean were never out of sight of some kind of land, whether a
great mountaintop or some island peeking above the horizon. Certainly the
sea plays a signicant role in the life of the ancient Greeks, with trade from
the west and east coming by sea, shing providing food to the Greek people,
and boating being a rapid form of travel to most major cities.
Though the sea dominates much of Greeces geography, the land is
varied and divisive. Bays and gulfs separate coastal communities from
each other, and some are on islands and completely cut off from land trade.
Mountains come between the various cities, and mountain valleys keep apart
those settlements sharing a particular mountain. These geographical barriers
encouraged each community to see itself as independent rather than part
of a larger country, and contributed greatly to the evolution of Greece as a
collection of city-states rather than a unied nation like its neighbors such as
Egypt and Syria.

someone from a neighboring city-state. The

development of the polis tainted the publics view
toward foreigners; a foreigner wasnt a citizen and
didnt have a vested interest in the strength of the
community. They felt no obligation to invest their
money toward the beerment of the community as
a true citizen would. Because all citizens derived
some measure of reward from the money going
into the polis, foreigners were seen as reducing the
amount of that money that continued to circulate
within the community. Many city-states had higher
taxes for foreigners to make up for this loss, but
foreigners could eventually become citizens aer
living there long enough and by proving their
desire to contribute to the polis. Of course, people
were more than happy to receive money and goods
from visiting foreigners; overall their contribution
toward the polis was greater in the short term than
what they took from it.
It is worth pointing out that the modern words
barbarous and barbarian come from a Greek
word meaning foreigner, rude, or ignorant,
which says a lot about what the ancient Greeks felt
about non-Greeks (the Greek word actually derives
from bar bar, a derisive term the Greeks used to
imitate the muddled speech of non-Greeks).


Many Greek cities had slaves, most of them owned

by private citizens (Sparta was an exception; see
the Sparta sidebar). Most slaves were taken from
enemy cities during warfare or were sold into
slavery as children rather than taken in raids
from unsuspecting selements. Slavery in ancient
Greece wasnt like in the American South before
the Civil War; rather than large plantations with
many slaves overseen by their owner, it operated
on a smaller scale, and if a farmer owned a slave
then he and the slave worked side by side in the
eld. Excess household slaves were oen rented
out to other households as workers. Slaves were
allowed to keep a portion of their earnings and (if
lucky) could eventually save up enough to buy
their freedom. Most slaves were generalist laborers,
completing dierent tasks during the day, rather
than repeating the same simple task over and
over. Many were crasmen working on all aspects
of creating goods (poery, shoes, furniture, cart
wheels, and so on), and (as most slaves were taken
as trained adults during war) their goods were no
dierent than those created by a free person.


Ninety percent of the Greek peasantry performed

agricultural work, tending small farms their

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Chapter Four: Culture

families had owned for generations. This meant
they were very busy in some seasons but had a
lot of free time in others. The luxury of free time
meant the Greeks could pursue other interests such
as politics and military interests.
Most free Greeks didnt work for someone else
and didnt want to. If you were a waged employee,
you worked when your employer told you to, did
what they told you to, and could be red at any
time. It was preferable to own a tiny farm or even
produce simple cra items, even if that meant you
had a lower standard of living than you would
with steady employment.


Rather than a mystical and esoteric system of

belief, Greek religion was practical. Mortals made
sacrices to the gods in order to guarantee their
good will, which meant the city-state would
survive. In addition to the large-scale rituals to
benet the community, there were also smaller
rituals to help through personal and family events
like birth, adolescence, marriage, and death.
The ancient Greek religion had no formal
system of morality. Priests and priestesses were


Ancient Greece was ambivalent about male homosexuality. It was considered

shameful and slavish for a man to submit sexually to another man, and its
discovery could dishonor the man. Likewise, procuring boys was illegal and
youths were protected from such attention by their athletic coaches, musical
instructors, older male athletes, or older relatives wanting to hire them out.
On the other hand, the myths have Zeus bringing young Ganymede to Mount
Olympus because of the boys great beauty, and Apollo was as likely to chase
boys as nymphs. Plus, among the Greeks the lack of male-female courtship
opportunities meant that such inappropriate liaisons did occur, though it
placed the boy in a difcult position because it could ruin his reputation and
role as a citizen forever. A boy was considered too old for such attention when
his beard grew in.

there to direct the proper performance of religious

rituals, not to preach, give divine revelation, or
extol or exemplify the nature of a specic faith.
People used the myths to comment on and explain
history and the world. There were no sacred
texts giving a list of accepted and proscribed
behavior, though some people acted as prophets
and seers, interpreting the ights of birds or the
conguration of a sacriced animals entrails in
exchange for a small fee. Each city had its own
prophets, though there were more famous ones
outside the cities (such as the oracle at Delphi).
Those unwilling to spend coin sometimes tried
sleeping in a temple, hoping to receive a prophetic
dream from the gods.
The main purpose of a temple was to house
and protect the statue of a god, as well as to
provide a place for the sacrices to occur (thus,
almost all temples had some sort of hearth where
sacrices could be burned). The citizens provided
sculpture and art to make the temple a place of
beauty, and a well-decorated temple showed the
glory of the god and the strength and wealth of
the community. Most communities had a large
team of artists and crasmen to decorate and
maintain their temple.


Athletics was a popular pastime for the Greeks,

much as modern sports keep the masses
entertained. The athletes were usually aristocrats
or sponsored by them, as they were the only ones
who had enough free time to keep t and practice
Athletics and Art

The prevalence of athletics gave artists the opportunity to study human

bodies at rest and in motion, and eventually led to advances in depictions
of the human form in painting and sculpture that made the Parthenon so
remarkable. Because the Greeks kept their wine in large ceramic containers
called amphorae, these containers provided a ready and omnipresent
place for artists to put their art, usually depicting athletic scenes, warfare,
mythology, or erotica.

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Chapter Four: Culture

on a regular basis (usually as a preparation for
war). For the rest of the citizens it was enough to
watch and cheer their favorites.
Athletics crept into many parts of Greek
festivals; funereal games were held to honor a
great person being buried, games were added
to religious ceremonies, and so on. The greatest
ceremonies (such as the Olympiad) were held
every four years (y lunar months) and because
they occurred on dierent cycles it was possible for
athletes to compete every year to large crowds.

The Ancient Olympics

Like the modern Olympics that emulate them,

the ancient Olympics were a celebration of sport,
humanity, and peace, though they certainly
had their share of political rivalries, cheating,
and economic incentives. For the purpose of an
Argonauts campaign, aending the Olympics is
an opportunity to achieve fame, beat a rival in a
peaceful manner, and perhaps catch the eye of a
famous would-be patron.
The ancient Olympics took place every four
years (there were other major games on the

Zeus Temple at Olympia

o-years, however, so it was possible for a

professional athlete to support himself nancially
by competing every year). With the intent of
aracting as many athletes as possible from all
over the Greek lands, kings allowed athletes
traveling to and from the games to travel safely
under a special truce, despite any wars between
city-states. Athletes had to arrive at Olympia
a month early to undergo supervised training,
evaluation, and sorting into age categories. The
prelude to the Olympics did not include a relayed
lit torch. Only male Greek citizens were allowed
to compete (no foreigners or slaves), and they
competed naked; unmarried women had their
own series of footraces held in honor of Hera
which took place at the same time, and wore
special short tunics designed to allow for running.
The Olympics took place over ve days, with
events scheduled over those days and accompanied
by sacrices to the gods. Winning athletes received
prizes and money, either from their sponsors or
from the rulers of their home town or city-state
(the word athlete means person who competes
for a prize in Greek, derived from athlos meaning
contest and athlon meaning prize). In addition

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Chapter Four: Culture

to their nancial awards, they sometimes received
other benets such as free meals at the city hall
for the rest of their life (a sort of pension plan for
successful athletes) or statues made in their likeness.
Use the simple rules here to judge athletic
competitions; note that these are intended to
emulate the competition in an abstract way and
not take into account every small detail relevant
to greatness in a particular sport, yet still be fair
enough that a character with one high ability score
cant sweep the events. For example, throwing a
javelin far is more than just a maer of strength
and dexterity, its also ground speed, exibility,
and release angle, but modeling the precise
contribution of each of those factors is beyond the
scope of this book.
Over time, the events at the ancient Olympics
grew to encompass the following events. Note that
some events may have qualifying rounds to weed
out weaker athletes.
Boxing: Unarmed combat, sts only, with the
boxers wearing so leather wrappings on the
hands. Holds and blows to the genitals were not
allowed. Boxers were allowed to rest, and the
match otherwise continued until one boxer was
knocked out or conceded defeat. Both boxers could
also agree to a faster resolution of the match in
which they took turns raining blows on each other,
with the target not defending himself against the
aacks. Use normal unarmed combat rules to
resolve boxing matches.
Discus: Weighing almost 14 pounds, the discus
is not used as a weapon but could kill someone if a
throw went astray (and did so in some myths). One
hundred feet is an amazing throw; to determine
distance thrown (in feet), roll three Strength checks
and one Dexterity check and add the results.
Equestrian: This category covered riding and
chariot competitions. The rst was six laps around
the stadium (about 4 1/2 miles), and jockeys rode
without saddle or stirrup. The second category
is a race between two- or four-horse chariots (or
in some cases mules), covering 12 laps around
the stadium (about 9 miles). The jockeys and
charioteers usually were not the owners of
the chariot or horses as such things were very
expensive, and the awards for winning a race were
given to the owner rather than the athlete. In a race
where the horses have the same base speed, have
the riders or charioteers make a Ride check each
round; a success against DC 15 means he or his
team may travel an extra 5 feet that round, DC 20
means an extra 10 feet.
Herald and Trumpeter: This event takes place
on the rst day of the Olympics. The artists

compete for sustaining notes, skill, and volume.

The winners of these events have the honor of
announcing the other contests winners and
sounding the start of events. For this event,
make two Perform (wind instrument) checks
(representing two aempts) and take the beer
result. The performer with the highest Perform
check result wins that contest.
Javelin: Athletes used a thong tied to the end
of a javelin to increase the throwing distance but
otherwise much like the modern competition.
According to the Players Handbook, a javelin has
a 30 foot range increment and has a maximum
range of ve range increments (150 feet), but for
the Olympic javelin (which was lighter than a
war javelin and not ed with a metal head) an
acceptable distance was over 200 feet, with 300 feet a
good throw (then again, they werent trying to hit a
human-sized target at that distance). For a distance
throw, roll 3 Strength checks and 2 Dexterity checks,
add the totals to 80 + the characters run speed (4x
base speed without the Run feat, 5x with it); this
is the distance in feet the javelin ies. The ancient
Olympics also had a target-javelin competition on
horseback, which can be modeled by aack rolls
against an AC 13 Tiny target (base AC 10, eective
Dex 0 for a -5 penalty, +8 bonus for size), with the
highest successful aack roll winning the round.

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Chapter Four: Culture

Jumping: This competition was only part of the

pentathlon, not a separate event. Like the modern
event, it had a running start. Ancient Olympians
held weights (called halteres) in their hands while
running, swinging their arms up and forward at
the jump to provide more li, throwing the weights
backward to increase forward motion and lengthen
the jump. With the help of these weights, some
athletes were able to jump over y feet (compared
to the modern Olympic record of less than 30 feet).
For a jump using halteres, make a Dexterity check
against DC 15; success means the jumper makes
two Jump checks and adds the results together to
determine the distance jumped.
Pankration: This sport is a combination of
boxing and wrestling where the opponents are
allowed to grapple and hit each other; only biting
and eye gouging were disallowed. Two versions
of this sport exist, one where you must remain
standing (and trips or throws were usually the way
to win), one where it was permissible to kneel or
fall prone and you won if your opponent passed
out or conceded defeat.
Pentathlon: The Greeks admired the
pentathletes for their well-rounded skills, and
believed they had the most beautiful bodies

combining grace and strength. The ve events

of the pentathlon are discus, javelin, jumping,
running, and wrestling.
Running: The Greeks held footraces in several
lengths (600 feet, 1,200 feet, or a longer race
anywhere from 4,200 to 5,400 feet), and boys
had their own 600-foot race. The men could also
compete in a race wearing standardized hoplite
armor, with distance ranging from 1,200 to 2,400
feet. In a race where multiple athletes have the
same base speed (as is usually the case in this
game), have the runners make a Dexterity check
each round; a success against DC 15 means he may
travel an extra 5 feet of distance that round, DC 20
means an extra 10 feet.
Wrestling: This sport took place in a muddy
arena, and the athletes covered themselves in olive
oil and dust to make the contest more dicult.
Punches, trips, bites, and eye gouges were not
permied. Like pankration, there was a standing
form and a more open form. In the standing form,
the winner was the athlete who threw his opponent
to the ground (a pin, followed on the next aack
by a successful trip aempt) three times. In the
open form, the winner won when the other athlete
passed out or conceded defeat.

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Chapter 5: Deities
This chapter covers the gods, goddesses, and other
mythological beings of power in the Greek myths.
First is a summary of prehistoric events for those
unfamiliar with the Greek creation story and the
series of divine coups that eventually put Zeus in
charge of the pantheon, then a family tree of the
pantheon, and nally a short description for each
deity or titan.

Greek Prehistory

From out of the primordial Chaos rose Gaea the

earth and Uranos the sky. Uranos ruled the universe,
Gaea birthed many children for him, and natural
creatures arose from her fertile body to populate
the world. Her rst children were the titans, great
majestic beings taller than mountains, six of them
male and six female, and both parents were proud
of their rst ospring. Her next three children were
the one-eyed cyclopes, ugly in form but gied in
smithing. Her next three children were even more
monstrousthe hecatoncheires, y-headed and
hundred-armed. Uranos looked upon the cyclopes
and hecatoncheires with disgust and hurled them
into Tartarus, the deepest pit under the earth.
Gaea was saddened at Uranos behavior, for she
loved all of her children, and presented a sickle
made of int to the titans, asking them to make an
end to Uranos. Cronus, the youngest but strongest
titan, overcame his fear and aacked his father,
castrating him and leaving him powerless. Cronus
threw his fathers genitals into the sea and became
the new lord of the universe. He le the cyclopes
and hecatoncheires in Tartarus, and this angered
Gaea. She ploed against Cronus just as she had
against his father, knowing that one of Cronus
sons would be stronger than Cronus just as the
titan was stronger than his own father.

Cronus knew this truth, too, so every time his

wife Rhea gave birth, he swallowed the child.
Rhea mourned her lost children, and when the
sixth was born she hid the boy and instead gave
Cronus a stone swaddled in cloth, which he
swallowed. Spirited away by agents of Gaea, the
infant Zeus was raised by gentle nymphs and fed
on ambrosia and nectar, the food and drink of the
gods. When he was fully grown, he conspired with
Metis, goddess of prudence and daughter of the
titan Oceanus. Metis tricked Cronus into eating a
magical herb, which caused him to vomit up his
swallowed children, who (being immortal) had
survived and matured in their fathers stomach.
These children were Hades, Poseidon, Hestia,
Demeter, and Hera, each gods or goddesses in
their own right. Cronus couldnt stand against the
power of the six gods and was cast into Tartarus.
Zeus became the new lord of the universe.

Zeus battles Typhon

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Chapter Five: Deities

The titans revolted, refusing to bow down to
the young gods, and there was war in the heavens.
Zeus freed the cyclopes, who forged mighty
weapons for the gods, and the hecatoncheires,
who were as strong as the titans. With these allies,
the gods defeated the titans, and Zeus imprisoned
his enemies in Tartarus, with the hecatoncheires
guarding the gates. Gaea became angry that now
her beautiful children were imprisoned in Tartarus,
so she brought forth Typhon and Echidna, two
terrible monsters to defeat the gods and release
the titans. Aer a massive bale that destroyed
much of the earth, Zeus imprisoned Typhon under
a mountain and Echidna ed. Zeus allowed her
to survive and care for her hideous ospring,
knowing that they would make ne challenges for
future mortal heroes.
With these last monsters defeated, Gaea ceased
her protests, and she and the gods rebuilt the
world. The gods had children with each other and
with the children of titans, ruled over mankind
from their great palace on Mount Olympus, and
got into disagreements with each other and mortals
about various things.

Olympian Gods and Titans

The following list is intended as an overview

of the supernatural beings worshipped by the
Greeks in one form or another. In the Argonauts
seing, the gods are tangible but remote. The
focus is on the heroes, not the gods, so this
cursory information is sucient for the purpose
of this book (this should be enough information
to let a player choose a divine ancestor if playing
a character with a bloodline). In any case, there
are hundreds of books on mythology that can give
more details on the gods and the mortal religions
devoted to them; for the purpose of a Argonauts
campaign, it is a temple of Athena, goddess
of wisdom and just war, patron of Athens is
sucient for almost all purposes.
This list includes titans and other non-godly
humanoid creatures of Greek myth for the sake
of completeness of Olympian genealogy; while in
the stories few mortals were descended from these
beings, there is no reason why you couldnt allow
titanic bloodlines as well as godly ones. Note that
some of the goddesses here are listed as virgins,
but that doesnt mean they cant have mortal
bloodlines; the Olympians have many powers
and having children without sex is the least eort
should they choose to do so.
The Anemoi: The four winds, sons of Eos,
some also representing a seasonBoreas (North
Wind, winter), Notus the (South Wind, autumn),

Zephyr (West Wind), and Eurus (East Wind).

Sometimes they took the form of horses and
pulled Zeus chariot, and many of their ospring
are immortal horses.
Aphrodite: Goddess of love, marriage, sex, and
fertility. She was born of a mixture of sea-foam and
Uranos castrated genitals, arising spontaneously
and arriving on the isle of Cyprus. Zeus feared that
the gods would ght over her so he quickly gave
her as a bride to Hephaestus. Unhappy with her
ugly club-footed husband, she had many aairs
particularly with Ares (she is the mother of Ares
children Phobos and Deimos)and many children.
Of mercurial temperament, she had a habit of
cursing or destroying any mortals who compared
their beauty to her own.
Apollo: God of archery, prophecy, music, and
healing, he is an excellent bowman and the brother
of Artemis. He is sometimes worshipped as the
sun god, and his arrows are as piercing as the rays
of the sun. A lusty god, he chased nymphs, mortal
women, and even a few beautiful young men.
Ares: God of war, bale, and frenzy. Handsome
and cruel, he had an aair with Aphrodite and
married her aer Hephaestus divorced her. His sons
Phobos (god of panic) and Deimos (god of fear)
aended him in war (as did Eris) and elsewhere.
Though a war god, he had a habit of running to
Zeus for help whenever he was wounded.
Artemis: Virgin goddess of the hunt, childbirth,
and protection of children. She is the twin sister
of Apollo. Her arrows are as so as moonbeams
and bring painless death. Artemis is oen depicted
hunting deer, and is usually accompanied by a
group of nymphs. She can be vengeful when the
mood takes her, and has killed mortals for slighting
her mother Leto or for viewing her bathing.
Athena: Virgin goddess of wisdom, bale-skill,
heroism, and the defense of cities. She is patron
deity of Athens (aer winning a contest with
Poseidon). The daughter of Zeus and Metis, she
sprung forth fully grown from Zeuss head. She
wears Medusas head on her shield, the Aegis.
Atlas: The titan of daring thought, he fought
against Zeus in the titan-god war and holds the
vault of the sky on his shoulders as a punishment.
In some tales he was pardoned and now guards the
great pillars that hold up the sky.
Coeus: Titan of questioning intellect. Husband
of Phoebe, together they form the foundation of
knowledge and discovery. Father of Leto, and thus
grandfather of Apollo and Artemis.
Crios: Titan of lordship and mastery who gained
power over the air, water, earth, and underworld.
His granddaughter Hecate inherited these powers.

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Chapter Five: Deities

Olympian Genealogy

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Chapter Five: Deities

Cronus: Titan of times eect on human lives,
Cronus defeated his father Uranos and became
ruler of the universe, only to be deposed by his
own son Zeus. As well as fathering six of the great
gods, he is father of Chiron, the wise centaur who
taught Jason, Asclepius, and Achilles.
Demeter: Goddess of the harvest, agriculture,
and law. She is a sister of Zeus and mother of
Persephone (bride of Hades). Persephone must
spend six months out of the year in Hades realm,
and Demeters sorrow over her absent daughter
causes winter in the mortal world.
Dionysus: God of wine, revels, theater, and
festivals. He was a very popular god in the late
Greek classical age. Half-mortal himself, he oen
helps mortals but likewise can drive them to
drunkenness and madness if they oend him.
Eos: Goddess of the dawn, mother of the four
winds, daughter of Hyperion and Thia. Her mortal
husband Tithonus shrank into a grasshopper as
he aged because Eos only asked Zeus to grant him
eternal youth, but neglected to ask for eternal life.
Eris: Goddess of strife and hatred. She is a
sinister and mean creature who loves enticing
others into trouble. Her golden apple of discord
destroys friendships and causes wars. She is
the mother of evil minor godlings of murder,
grievances, lies, hardship, famine, and pain.
Eros: God of love, usually depicted with wings
and a bow with arrows that cause creatures to fall
in love. Son of Ares and Aphrodite, he married a
beautiful princess named Psyche (soul) despite
his mothers ire about the mortal girls beauty.
Epimetheus: Titan of aerthought and the
father of excuses, he created the beasts of the earth.
Aer Prometheus stole re from the heavens,
Zeus punished mankind by giving Pandora to
Epimetheus as a wife.
Hades: God of the underworld and wealth, he
keeps mostly to himself in his realm with his wife
Persephone. The Greeks felt that speaking his name
would draw his aention (and hasten the speakers
death), so they called him the Unseen or the
Host of Many.
Hecate: Goddess of witchcra, with magical
powers over the earth, sea, and heavens. She is
sometimes seen as a dark and mysterious aspect of
Artemis, representing mysteries of femininity and
the moon. In some tales Hecate is the mother of the
mortal sorceresses Circle and Medea.
Helios: God of the sun and sight (and to a lesser
extent the measurement of time by the sun). He
steers the sun-chariot across the sky with four ery
wild horses. He is so bright that only the gods can
look at him directly in his true glory.

Hephaestus: The forge and re god, born lame in

one foot (or crippled when thrown from Olympus
to the earth by jealous Zeus or angry Hera). A
master crasman, he and his cyclopes forged Zeus
thunderbolts and many of the metal monsters of
Greek stories. He was married to Aphrodite, but
divorced her because of her many aairs.
Hera: Goddess of marriage and women, queen
of the gods, wife of Zeus. Jealous of all of his
indelity (many myths revolve around Zeus
aempts to evade her wrath), she managed to
conceive two sons (one of them Hephaestus) by
herself. Zeus is the father of her children Ares,
Eileithyia (goddess of childbirth), and Hebe
(goddess of youth). She aided some heroes (such as
Jason, leader of the original Argonauts) and sided
with the Greeks in the Trojan War.
Hermes: God of messengers, guides, travel,
herds, and invention. He helped many Greek
heroes in their tasks. Hermes created the rst lyre,
and it is said his spirit watches over travelers from
the small cairns of stones placed at crossroads.
Hestia: Virgin goddess of the sacred hearth and
sacricial ame. A gentle goddess, she is the oldest
sister of Zeus. She gave up her seat in Olympus
for Dionysus, so she was made the goddess of the
sacricial re, and a portion of every sacrice to
the gods goes to her.
Hyperion: The titan of watching and
observation, and father to Eos, Helios, and Selene.
Iris: Goddess of the rainbow and messenger of
the gods. Dressed in a gown of iridescent drops,
she carries news to and from Olympus and the
mortal world.
Japet: The titan of spoken words and thoughts,
husband of Clymene (titan of fame and infamy,
daughter of titan Oceanus). He was Cronus
general in the god-titan war.
Leto: Titan of unnoticed and hidden things (gis
she bestowed on the living things of the earth) as
well as motherhood. She is the mother of Apollo
and Artemis, and said to be the gentlest of all the
Metis: Daughter of Oceanus, she is the titan of
good counsel and prudence. Prophecy said that
if she bore a son to Zeus, he would overthrow his
father, so Zeus tricked her into changing into a y
and swallowed her so that he might always have
her advice. Her unborn daughter Athena grew
within Zeus skull and sprung forth from his head
fully grown.
Mnemosyne: Titan of memory and inventor of
words. She was one of the rst goddesses of music
and her nine daughters the Muses (fathered by
Zeus) carry on that role.

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Chapter Five: Deities

Muses: Minor goddesses of music, arts,
literature, and performance. Their names and
domains are Calliope (eloquence and epic poetry,
she is the mother of Orpheus), Clio (historical
writing), Erato (mimicry and erotic poetry),
Euterpe (lyric poetry), Melpomene (tragic
performance), Polyhymnia (hymns), Terpsichore
(dance and choral song), Thalia (idyllic poetry and
comedic performance), and Urania (astronomical
writing). Calliope is the mother of Orpheus, the
greatest mortal musician in the world.
Nike: Goddess of victory. She has great
feathered wings. Though born of obscure titans,
she was welcomed to Olympus by Zeus and aided
Athena in her tasks. Her brothers Kratos and Zelos
represent strength and rivalry, and her sister Bia
represents force.
Oceanus: The titan personication of the great
river that surrounded the world, as well as titan of
all fresh water. He is father to the spirits of rivers,
seas, clouds, and rains of the Greek world with his
wife Tethys.
Pan: The god of ocks and shepherds. A nature
god, Pan is the son of Hermes and has goats legs,
pointed ears, and shaggy hair all over his body.
He is the protector of hunters, shepherds, and
ocks. He enjoys music and wine, and the satyrs
serve him.
Phoebe: Titan of answering intellect and the
wife of fellow titan Coeus; together they form the
core of all knowledge and discovery in the world.
She is the mother of Leto, and thus grandmother of
Apollo and Artemis. Phoebe is the original owner
of the oracle at Delphi, which she gied to her
grandson Apollo.
Poseidon: God of the sea, earthquakes, and
horses. He created horses as a gi to Demeter
aer several failed experiments such as the hippo,
camel, and girae. He is a moody and violent god,
prone to lash out with waves or earthquakes. He is
the father of many godlings and water-spirits and a
few mortal heroes as well.
Prometheus: The titan of forethought, he created
the second race of humans aer the rst race was
wiped out by the bales of the gods. Stole re
from the heavens to give to mankind, chained to
a mountain as punishment where the Kaukasian
eagle would tear out his immortal liver each day.
Eventually Heracles freed him.
Rhea: Titan of female fertility, queen of the
titans, primary wife of Cronus, and mother to the
six rst Olympian gods.

Selene: Goddess of the moon, she lights the

world at night while her brother Helios rests. Her
husband Endymion was granted eternal sleep at
her request so he may stay forever young, and
he fathered her y daughters (the Menai, who
represent the y lunar months between each
Tethys: The titan of nursing and of water owing
underground, she is the wife of Oceanus. As mother
to thousands of river-spirits and other minor
godlings of nature, she is normally accompanied by
Eileithyia, a minor goddess of childbirth.
Themis: Titan of customs and order. An oracular
goddess, she is the mother of the three goddesses
of destiny as well as the goddesses of seasons and
Thia: Titan of sight, and the one responsible
for imbuing precious metal and gems with their
sparkle and value. The Greeks believe that sight
worked by a kind of ray emied by the eyes, so it
follows that she is the mother to the sun and moon,
whose lights illuminate the world.
Zeus: Leader of the Olympians, god of thunder,
sky, kingship, and justice. He fathered many gods
and mortal heroes on many dierent women (some
immortal, some not), much to the annoyance of his
queen Hera. His weapon is the thunderbolt.

Olympian Symbology

The gods of the Greeks are oen depicted

symbolically in art, sculpture, and decorations.
Any of these symbols is appropriate as a holy
symbol, shield decoration, or (if appropriate) a
sacricial item or creature.

Eros, apple, dove
laurel wreath, bow and arrow, lyre
helmet, spear
bow and arrow, deer, hunting spear,
aegis (shield with Medusas head on
it), helmet, spear
grain, lotus sta, torch
panther, thyrsus (sta tipped with a
pine cone and twined with ivy), vines
Hephaestus donkey, hammer, tongs
crown, lotus sta, lion
caduceus, petasos (a winged widebrimmed hat), winged boots
octopus, trident
eagle, lightning bolt, lotus sta

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Chapter 6: History
This book assumes an Argonauts campaign
takes place around 700 B.C.about a hundred
years aer the end of Greeces Dark Age and
well into the era of the more powerful city-states
(particularly Athens and Sparta). This period is late
enough to see iron weapons become common and
the development of the phalanx, early enough that
selements are still ruled by kings (rather than the
more democratic classical Greek civilization) and
there is plenty of untamed wild space in between
the scaered human civilizations. This allows a
DM to make use of some of the more modern (to
the Greeks) elements in the game, but still capture
the feel of the myths. Clearly the events of the
myths took place before this time, and mythical
creatures did not roam Greek during this time
period, but this choice makes the seing familiar
enough to DMs and players without having to
restrict all but the weakest
armors and use bronze rather
than iron weapons. What
follows is a summary of Greek
history up to this point.

During this time, Greece was a borderland

region, on the northeastern edge of African/
Egyptian civilization and the western edge of Syria
and the other lands of what is now the Middle East.
Too far to be worth conquering and without obvious
caches of valuable resources, Greece was largely le
alone, and had the luxury of borrowing culture and
technology from its neighbors. Over time the Greeks
learned how to build large structures and mastered
the working of ivory, gold, silver, and gems, as well
as painting, particularly on vases.

The Minoans

The best-known Greek civilization of this time

is the Minoans, located on the isle of Crete (their
name for themselves is unknown, and they were
dubbed Minoans for the mythic King Minos of
Crete whose wife Queen Pasiphae gave birth to the
minotaur). In the earliest part
of this time period the Minoans
had built large palaces for
their chiefs, containing the
entire community (some of
them covered several thousand
The Bronze Age
acres) including homes and
Dating back as early as 1500
storage for goods. At this time,
BC, a material culture came
religion was still somewhat
to power in this part of the
tied to natural locales, with
world. Selement leaders
worship taking place on
were successful warriors who
mountaintop sanctuaries or
collected trophies as proof
in mountain caves, so as to
of their victoriesweapons,
be closer to the gods. Around
armor, gems and jewelry,
1450 B.C. the Mycenaeans
slaves and servants, and
(a Greek people from the
herds of valuable animals.
peninsula) took over Crete,
Herodotus, Greek Historian
The chiefs fame and wealth
probably through warfare,
aracted followers, and the chief rewarded his
although this changed lile in the daily life of the
favored followers with gis of these goods.
average Minoan and apparently just resulted in a
These gis built bonds with other warriors and
change in the ruling class of the island.
established ties of power, much as oaths of loyalty
tied together the European nobility hundreds of
The Mycenaeans
years later. When not ghting enemies of their
By the time the Mycenaeans arrived in Crete,
tribe or town, the chief and his closest followers
they had developed chariots and used them as
spent their time hunting, pursuing athletics, or
their primary military defense. The palaces of
feasting. Because they built their power based on
the Mycenaean age were smaller than those built
deeds and reputation, they tended to be arrogant
by the Minoans, but each had a large central hall
brawlers who liked to get in ghts with rivals; this
called a megaron which had a hearth and was used
gave the chiefs excuses to bale and prove their
as a meeting-place for the king to hold court, give
strength and opportunities to collect more loot
banquets, and deal with the public. Each hearth
from vanquished opponents. The obsession with
had an altar aached to it, and religion played an
wealth continued in death, and the great chiefs
integral part in daily life now that it was no longer
were buried under large earthen mounds, oen
necessary to walk to the nearest mountaintop to
with weapons, their favorite hunting dogs, and
make a sacrice to the gods.
even horses, chariots, or close followers dedicated
The Mycenaean kings were served by
to go with the chief into the aerlife.
many delegates who enforced his will across

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Chapter Six: History

the kingdom, extending the kings reach and
maintaining a consistency in his laws. Each town
was led by an appointed ocial (basileus), an
aristocrat landowner, or even a priest or priestess.
All citizens of adequate age and health were
required to serve in the kingdoms military, and
each citizen owned his own weapons. Many
communities had slaves who took care of most of
the industrial needs of the kingdom (tending crops,
creating simple goods, and so on).
The Mycenaean period ended under mysterious
circumstances. Many sites were destroyed and
most of the island population was wiped out. Most
scholars believe the causes is an unknown invader
from a nearby land, as similar aacks happened
in neighboring countriesfor example, Egypt
was invaded by Libya, the Hiites to the east were
overwhelmed by a foreign force, and so on.

The Dark Ages

Bards and the Dark Ages

During this time, the art of poetry and the status of bards increased greatly.
The best poets were experts in retelling the classic stories in such a way as
to enthrall the audience and make a topical point or a new interpretation of its
meaning. Homers works helped establish a tradition of competitive reciting,
where bards would speak portions of the great stories before an audience.
This sort of event became so popular that it became a permanent part of the
Panathenaea, one of Athens greatest festivals.

The Greek Dark Ages were a three-century period

starting in 1100 B.C., but unlike the European
Dark Ages aer the fall of Rome, this was a time
of increased instability, rather than regression
into near-barbarism. During the Dark Ages the
Greeks made several signicant advancements,
developing a new kind of poery, increasing the
amount of worked iron for weapons and tools,
and establishing an oral record of earlier stories
preserved by Greek bards. The culmination of these
records are the Homeric epics which were wrien
near the end of the Dark Ages, and included stories
such as the Heracles stories, the Siege of Troy, and
the Seven Against Thebes (a tale of Oedipus sons),

all of which became somewhat standardized and

were greatly elaborated (and in the centuries to
follow were turned into performance pieces by
Greek playwrights).
In terms of culture the Dark Ages were a slight
fallback to previous eras, with warrior chiefs
controlling smaller areas rather than established
kings ruling larger areas. Many of the chiefs came
from aristocrat families who retained some wealth
and status from the Mycenaean age, giving them
a slight advantage over the common rabble-rouser
with a mind for leadership. Fortunately, the
bards stories kept the memories of the previous
age alive, and when traders from nearby lands
approached the Greeks with exotic goods, the
stories of the rich feasting-halls were still present
in the minds of the leaders. The aristocrats wanted
these foreign goods, and werent content to just be
a stopping-point on the way across the Aegean.
The Greeks established a trading outpost in Syria.
Greek traders began to expand their reach. Politics
and economics stabilized in the nearby lands,
and these things together helped Greece leave
its Dark Ages and move on to the Archaic Age at
approximately 800 B.C.

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Chapter Six: History

The Archaic Age

This era is called archaic because it is the last

one before the Classical Greek era (the era of Greek
philosophers, architecture, and so on). Despite
its condescending title, it is a great period of time
for the Greek people. Three key things mark the
beginning of the Archaic Age: the inux of trade
from foreign lands (as described above), a surge
in population that led to colonization, and the
development of the hoplite style of warfare.
Ancient Greece lacked modern methods of birth
control, so population growth tended to occur
at a constant rate, usually resulting in warfare
as one city aacked another to acquire resources
to feed its bloated population. Such an increase
occurred in the early part of the Archaic Age, with
some estimating that the population of Athens
quadrupled in the rst y years of this age and
then doubled beyond that in the next y. Rather
than turn to war with their fellows, the Greeks of
this age turned to colonization. Aristocrats sought
the wealth of foreign lands and nanced colonizing
expeditions, and in many cases the city-states
government did so as well in an aempt to increase
its own trade and to relocate excess numbers of
citizens. The leaders of these expeditions were
oen aristocrats and were given the responsibility
to choose the location of the colony, divide up its
land among the colonists, and drawing up a set
of laws for the colony. These colonies remained
Greek; they built their homes in Greek style,
maintained their culture, resisted the inuence of
foreign governments and mores, and used their
knowledge and resources to suppress or drive out
the native peoples.
What helped make these colonies safe and
stable was the development of the hoplite, a Greek
warrior wearing a breastplate, helmet, and greaves,
with a round shield, sword, and a thrusting spear.
The hoplites used the phalanx formation, eight
men deep and as many men wide as the number of
troops and terrain permied, and with the phalanx
they were nearly invincible against the older
ghting styles, especially against less-organized
opponents. The hoplite was made possible by
the greater availability of iron and the increased
wealth of the average Greek, making it possible
for every soldier to own his own set of armor. The
supremacy of the hoplite is what allowed them

to maintain their hold on the fringes of enemy

lands (though those locals who adopted the
hoplite tactics, such as some of the Italian natives,
managed to hold back the Greek colonization from
their lands). It is important to note that around this
time the Greeks stopped burying weapons and
armor with the dead; it was more practical to give
the armor to another warrior so it could be used
in the defense of the people. Ironically enough, in
later centuries some Greek cities used hoplites with
less and less armor, eventually ghting naked with
only their weapons and a shield.
Government and society changed during the
Archaic Age with the development of the polis,
originally just the center of a community which
eventually evolved into the Greek-city state. Greeks
began to realize that they werent lowly subjects of
a king whose rule extended over an entire country;
they were people able to make choices about their
lives and the enrichment of their culture. From this
mentality grew the concept of Greeks as citizens
rather than subjects. This gave them a stronger
identity as Greeks, rather than people who served
the king; the king became less important than the
kingdom. With the development of the polis, the
Greeks believed that all citizens were equal under
the law, even the king and other leadersthe
king may be rst among citizens, but he was still
a citizen just like any other. The use of hoplites
also meant that the Greeks were used to working
together on a regular basis, and as the hoplites
made up a signicant portion of the population
and they were responsible for defending the polis,
the leaders couldnt dismiss their interests out of
hand. Greek society moved toward democracy.
Literacy became common. Laws were posted in
public places so the citizens could read them, when
in other lands laws were solely in the hands of the
kings and subject to change at the kings whim.
The Archaic Age lasted approximately from
800-500 B.C., leading into the Classical Age and
even more advancements in art, engineering,
literature, government, philosophy, and religion,
though this new era of reason and the group tactic
of the hoplites spelled the end of the era of mythic
god-born heroes, which were relegated to stories
from a past age. The famous men of the Classical
Age were philosophers and generals, all rmly
entrenched in the mortal world.

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Chapter 7: Running the Campaign

The Greek heroic myths were about great heroes
traveling to exotic places, obeying the will of
the gods, and ghting terrible monsters, usually
with the reward of a kingdom, a great princess
as a bride, or even being placed in the sky as an
immortal constellation. The goals, actions, and
rewards arent the same as in a standard campaign.
Greek heroes dont guard caravans. They dont
investigate dungeons. They dont break up
thieves guilds, loot ancient tombs, root out goblin
caves, defeat armies of undead, have city-based
adventures, or stop the end of the world.
This poses an interesting challenge to DMs
who want to run a mythic Greek campaign. Many
of the staple adventures of the game dont t
the theme of the campaign. How do you build a
campaign in mythic Greece when the traditional
adventures arent appropriate? The answer is to
look at the myths and emulate the stories those
myths tell.

Mythic Elements

Lets look at common elements in the Greek myths

and how they can be the source of RPG adventure.
Abandoned Royal Infants: To avoid dire
prophecies or passing inheritance on to unwanted
heirs, abandoning a royal infant to the elements (a
common practice even for normal Greeks) pops up
several times in the stories, and in every case said
infant is found by a farmer, sailor, or other person
who raises them as their own and sends them
on their way to greatness when they become an
adult, usually foiling the plans of the person who
abandoned them in the rst place. Clever DMs

might have one of the heroes unknowingly be an

abandoned prince, and at the end of a journey they
realize their ancestry.
Centaurs: These annoying brutes are the cause
of many ghts and disputes, particularly at feasts
and weddings. Like any monster, centaurs are
an easy excuse for a bale, but an evil king can
also send the heroes to invite the centaurs to an
upcoming feast in the hopes that diplomacy will
fail and the centaurs will aack the heroes.
Connectivity: The heroes of the Greek myths
werent isolated. They encountered each other as
acquaintances, allies, and in some cases foes. Dont
be afraid to insert other scion heroes as NPCs
even famous mythic gures such as Perseus,
Theseus, and Heracles, and if you run multiple
Argonauts campaigns its a perfect opportunity to
bring in characters from previous campaigns in
cameo appearances.
Contests: Whether a chariot race, discus
throw, music competition, archery challenge,
or something even stranger, the Greeks enjoyed
contests of skill, and heroic stakes riding on the
result makes it even more exciting. Making the
heroes participate in a contest or even a series
of sporting events (like the Olympics) can be a
pleasant diversion from monster-hunting and give
NPCs an opportunity to size up the heroes.
Heroic Labors: Made popular by Heracles
twelve labors, heroes were oen challenged with
tasks that are impossible to normal men. This
is so common in the stories that heroes should
accept such challenges as part of being a hero and
shouldnt demand something in return for the

Heracles wrestles the Nemean Lion

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Chapter Seven: Running the Campaign

labors; its an easy way to push the heroes in the
direction of adventure.
Hubris: As oen as not, a boastful mortal earns
the ire of the gods (whether for claims of beauty,
skill, or equality with the gods) and is punished
in some way. If the mortal is a king or queen, their
land is usually punished with a rampaging monster,
while a common mortal is oen transformed
into something unpleasant or given a series of
punishments. This is an easy way to get the heroes
involved in an adventure (hopefully through
someone elses mistake, and not that of the heroes!).
Interesting Arrivals: A ship arrives on a strange
shore with a king and rowed by y princesses, and
the locals declare it a sign from the gods and make
him their king. A golden youth with one sandal
arrives in a great city, and the king plots against him
to thwart a prophecy of the kings undoing. DMs
can arrange the circumstances of heroes arrivals to
fulll prophecies or arouse suspicions among the
local people, for a positive or negative eect.
Journeys: The Greeks were a nation of seafarers
with colonies on many distant shores, and it is
not surprising that their greatest stories involve
journeys to foreign lands, whether on foot, on a
ship full of heroes, or on a ying horse. During
these journeys they run into many strange things,
starting a precedent for adventurers having
random encounters on the way to their true goal.
Kindness: Heroes are people who do good,
even if the act is an inconvenience to them. Many
stories start with a minor good deed that grows
into something greater and becomes an unexpected
reprieve or surprising reward. Give the heroes the

opportunity to help someone when they dont need

to, especially if theyre in a hurry; make sure their
actions have consequences.
Marriage: Many stories involve the pursuit of
an advantageous marriage (particularly the hand
of a princess), eeing an unsuitable marriage, or
retrieving a stolen bride. As a campaign-ending
event, put a political or royal marriage at stage,
giving the heroes the opportunity to leave a legacy
in the campaign.
Monsters: The Greek myths are rife with
monsters, most of them descended from Typhon
and Echidna (Cerberus, Chimera, Nemean Lion,
Hydra, Sphinx, and others), all of them evil or
at least hungry for human esh. Monsters can
be a side-trek adventure (like the Argonauts
dealing with Scylla and Charybdis on the way
back to Greek carrying the Golden Fleece) or the
goal of the adventure (like Heracles labors or
Bellerophons pursuit of Pegasus and Chimera).
Prophecy: Oracles frequently give prophecies
about royal ospring, strange monsters, or the fate
of nations. Sometimes these prophecies are false,
but more oen than not they come true and usually
in an unexpected way. Use prophecies to push the
heroes toward the adventure.
Sacrices: Whether a perfect animal wanted for a
sacrice or a forgoen sacrice that makes the gods
angry, sacricial animals play a key part in many
myths. In some cases a foolish mortal tries to make
a human sacrice and that really makes the god
angry, with even worse repercussions. A sacrice
or the lack thereof is the cause of an adventure for
heroes, but rarely the adventure itself.

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Chapter Seven: Running the Campaign

Stars: The skies are populated with Greek
heroes and monsters placed there by the gods
aer death, to honor and remember their deeds
for all time. A truly heroic campaign gains special
sentimentality when a permanent reminder of the
heroes is le in the sky for future generations to
talk about.

Wealth, Rewards, & Starting Level

Characters in an Argonauts campaign use the

normal wealth-per-level rules in the DMG.
However, pursuit of gold is not why the heroes
went on quests. Greek heroes werent in it for the
money; they did it for glory, fame, land, and to
honor the gods with their deeds. Once the players
create their characters and buy their gear according
to how much wealth they should have, make sure
they have enough money to buy supplies and some
pocket money for small expenses, but beyond that
there is no need to heap piles of gold on them for
rewards. Reward them with feasts, with places
of honor at public religious ceremonies, and with
the word of helpful NPCs who can turn their slain
monster trophies into useable magic items with the
Hellenic Alchemy feat.
Most Greeks in the classic era have at least some
martial experience. To make the heroes stand out
as heroes compared to the average Greek, strongly
consider starting them at 2nd level or higher. This
makes them a cut above the average Greek (who is
usually a Com1/War1 or a War2) and gives them a
hit point buer in a low-magic campaign where the
monsters are tough and there is no ready access to
healing magic.

Sample Argonauts Campaign

The following is the general course of the

adventures in the Argonauts playtest campaign.
It is presented here as an example of a short-term
campaign with a clear beginning and ending. PCs
started at 2nd level.
Session 1, Athens: The heroes are called to the
temple of Athena in Athens and introduced to each
other. One of the senior priestesses tells them that
Athena has sent word from her brother Apollo that
his oracle at Delphi is threatened and it is Athenas
will that they investigate this threat. The heroes sail
to Delphi on a ship rechristened the New Argo for
their journey, nd strangely rude guards protecting
her cave and saying that she has given orders
not to be disturbed. The heroes push their way
through the guards (aer a short ght in which
the guards are captured and disarmed) and speak
to the cloaked oracle within the cave. The oracle
gives strange answers and eventually gives up the

charade, revealing that shes a gorgon rather than

the true oracle.
Session 2, Delphi: The false oracle, Euryale the
gorgon, aacks the heroes, and the false oracle
guards run back outside. The heroes aack the
gorgon, and her sister Sthenno creeps up from
the darkness and joins the aack. The guards,
presumed ed, return with their weapons and join
the fray against the heroes. Euryale falls, Sthenno
retreats into the darkness, and the heroes dispatch
the guards and nally Sthenno. They nd the true
oracle in a further part of the cave and she explains
that the strange women and their guards killed her
python guardian and imprisoned her, hoping to
use her prophetic powers for their own goals. She
gives them a prophecy, that a new Golden Fleece
can be found in the remote land of Colchis, and the
heroes are to claim it in the name of Athens, but to
achieve their goal they will need the teeth of the
Calydonian boar.
Session 3, Calydonia: The heroes sail to
Calydonia, where they meet with king Phemius
and nd that two monstrous boars impervious
to weapons have been terrorizing remote parts
of the kingdom. Earlier that morning the kings
son Phyrixious le in hopes of killing the boars,
and the king asks the heroes to nd the prince
and bring him back safely, as well as deal with the
boars. The heroes are given a guide to take them
to the place of the boars most recent aack, and
from that village they easily track the boars by
the large trails they leave in the grass. Along the
path the nd the maimed bodies of several men
from the princes hunting party, and eventually
reach a hilltop ruin where they nd a greatlywounded prince. At this point the boars aack,
and through hard ghting the heroes manage to
kill one, though the other one gets away aer they
le it unconscious long enough to recover from
its injuries with supernatural speed. The heroes
pursue the eeing boar despite having half their
numbers able to ght, ght the boar again, and
watch it run away yet again. They decide to return
to the king the next morning, bearing one boars
head as proof of their deeds. The king is overjoyed
at the return of his son and throws a feast for the
heroes. They return to the ruin aer a day of rest
and feasting, nd the last boar, and kill it, likewise
returning with the head. The kings alchemists use
the boars bones to cra a magical healing brew
and the heroes keep the teeth, remembering the
oracles words.
Session 4, The Swamp: Having gathered the
needed teeth, they sail to Colchis (stopping by
Athens to report their progress and request guards

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Chapter Seven: Running the Campaign

be sent to help guard the oracle) but get caught
in a storm along the way and limp ashore with a
broken mast. They enter the nearby swamp to nd
a suitable tree to fashion a new mast and encounter
a pair of ve-headed hydras. The hydras prove to
be formidable foes and several heroes fall, though
the Athenians win out eventually, taking the hydra
skins and hearts in the hopes of making special
items like the alchemists did with the boars bones.
They nd a suitable tree, cut it down, and drag it
back to the ship. The ships crew makes a new mast
and they continue sailing to Colchis. During the
journey the priest in the group succeeds at making
a pair of magical hydra-skin cloaks with healing
powers and a jerky-like dried hydra heart with
tremendous healing potency.
Session 5, Colchis: The heroes reach
Colchis, deal as best they can with the locals
condescending aitudes toward foreign
barbarians, and speak to a noble at the palace,
and use a bloodline power to quickly turn him to
their side. They meet with king Goran, who tells
them the story of the original Golden Fleece and
the circumstances of them gaining their current
one (a golden ying ram delivered a foreign
prince to Colchis, just like the rst Golden Fleece,
the king adopted the boy, sacriced the ram to
honor the gods, and hung its golden skin on a tree
guarded by a dragon who would aack anyone
but the king). Aer talking over dinner the king
agreed to give the heroes the Golden Fleece if
they completed three labors. The rst labor was to
drive o or kill a group of centaurs bothering one
of Colchis northern towns. The heroes rest that
night, and one is visited by the kings daughter
Meledria, who warns that her father is not to be
trusted and they are not the rst who have come
seeking the Golden Fleece. The heroes set out the
next morning.
Session 6, Centaurs: A week of marching
later, the heroes reach the town and nd that the

Heracles, Cerberus, and Hecate

centaurs normally raid the town for wine and

women, dragging them o into a hillside cave. The
heroes come up with a plan to get the centaurs
drunk and buy four casks of wine. Tracking the
centaurs to their lair, the heroes nd one centaur
sleeping under a tree, and plant the kegs near him
in the hopes of geing the others to join in a great
party. Luck is with them and the centaur wakes to
nd the gi from the gods and calls his brothers
to join in the drinking. They do so and dont drink
themselves into a stupor, but are intoxicated
enough to satisfy the heroes, who aack and kill
two of the four. The other two ee and the heroes
track them to their cave, where they put an end to
the monsters. They return to the palace, the king
congratulates them, and gives them their next
task. Two of the cyclopes who lived on Mount
Olympus have been struck mad and cast down into
the mortal world; now they live in the mountains
on Colchis western border and hurl thunderbolts
on passing patrols. Defeat the two cyclopes and
the heroes will have completed their second task.
Once again Meledria visits the heros bedroom and
warns him that few heroes have returned from the
rst task and none from the second.
Session 7, Cyclopes: A weeks march to the west
nds the heroes at the foothills of the mountains
marking Colchis western border. They confer with
the local soldiers and learn the general location of
the cyclopes aacks, then proceed to that location.
The heroes follow a path into the mountains,
nd the hilltop ruin where the cyclopes live, and
stealthily creep their way toward the lair. They are
noticed at the last moment and a great bale breaks
out, with the cyclopes hurling thunderbolts and the
heroes using tactics to make up for the cyclopes
greater strength. Eventually they strike down the
cyclopes, claim the remaining thunderbolts as their
prize, and return to the palace.
Goran and the people of Colchis are surprised
that the heroes have nished their second task and
admits he is impressed. However, the third task is
the most dicult: they must take a secret path in
the eastern part of the kingdom that leads to the
underworld and bring back Cerberus, guardian of
the gate to the underworld, alive to the palace. If
the heroes complete that task, Goran will give them
the Golden Fleece. The heroes make ready to leave
in the morning (procuring a strength-weakening
poison from a local apothecary to make it easier
to bring Cerberus in alive), and for the third time
princess Meledria warns her chosen hero about her
fathers possible treachery.
Session 8, Cerberus: The heroes travel to the
eastern cave, follow its winding path downward,

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Chapter Seven: Running the Campaign

feeling the chill of death as various barely-sensed

spirits pass them on the way to Hades realm. They
reach a broad cave with a cold, black river running
through it and realize it is the Styx, the water so
deadly that even the gods would die if they drank
it. They rang a small gong on the riverbank and
soon aer a cloaked gure in a small boat poled
into view. This man, Charon, ferryman of the
Styx, took them across the water one by one aer
taking their coin. The heroes nd the gates to be
great iron things, adorned with three canine skulls
each as big as a horses. Guarding the guards are
two huge dogs, their breath as cold as death itself.
Cerberus is nowhere to be found, though the three
skulls suggest his fate. They aack the cerberean
hounds, and during the bale four warrior spirits
appear at the open gatefour of the false oracle
guards killed in the bale with the gorgons! The
heroes manage to poison one hound and knock
it out, wound the other badly enough to make it
ee through the gate, and are relieved but nervous
that the spirits seem content to watch rather than
aack. Tying the fallen hound with several lengths
of chain, the heroes quickly retreat, pay to cross the
Styx again, and make their way back to the palace.
Goran is dumbfounded but manages to keep a
grim composure. The king announces the heroes
have earned the Golden Fleece and he will escort
them to the sacred garden at dawn. They feast
and retire for the night, but Meledria wakes her
champion and tells him that her father plans to
have them assassinated in the night so the Golden
Fleece stays in Colchis. The heroes gather in the
dark of night, hear Meledrias story, and ask the

princess for help. She agrees to help them in

exchange for them taking her with them when they
leave, then leads them through a secret passage to
the sacred garden where the never-sleeping dragon
encircles the Golden Fleeces tree at all times.
Session 9, Dragon: The heroes sneak into the
garden and decide to plant their boars teeth. Up
from the ground spring four Athenian warriors,
who turn to the heroes for their commands. With
a word, the heroes and the new soldiers aack the
dragon. One hero takes an opportune moment
to snatch the Golden Fleece and run to the secret
passage. The other heroes want to go with him
but fear the dragon will pursue them. The boar
tooth soldiers volunteer to keep the dragon
distracted while the heroes escape, and the heroes
thank them for their noble sacrice and run away
with the Golden Fleece, the princess, and their
lives intact. They grab some of the kings horses,
set the others loose to deter fast pursuit, and make
their way at top speed to the port town where
their ship awaits. Before they reach the ship they
run into a squadron of Spartan warriors who
had been tracking their progress, all intent on
taking the Golden Fleece back to Sparta. A great
bale ensues, six against twenty-four, and the
heroes emerged bloody but victorious. They met
their ship, sailed back to Athens, and displayed
their prize to the temple of Athena. Hailed as
heroes, the entire city celebrated and they were
given land, awards, and their choice of beautiful
nobles daughters as wives. Once again a group
of Argonauts had completed their great quest and
brought the Golden Fleece home.

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Chapter 8: Monsters
This chapter describes the monsters of the Greek
heroic myths. Creatures that cannot be killed by
mortals are not included in this book.
Note that those listed here dier from their
equivalent versions in the MM (for example,
the centaur listed below does not use the MM
centaurs composite bow and has a dierent feat
and skill selection). Anything not listed (such as
treasure, LA, and so on) is as per the standard
version of the monster.
Other monsters inspired by the Greek myths
which can be used as-is from the MM include
chimeras, dire animals, grions, minotaurs,
pegasi, satyrs, and tritons. What the MM calls
harpies are the equivalent to Greek sirens (birdwomen who summoned sailors to drown with
their music), as the mythic harpies were winged
female servants of Zeus, and while they were
sometimes depicted as bird-women, they did not
have entrancing musical powers.
Many classical Greek monsters are just metal
versions of common animals (sometimes with
special powers), such as the re-breathing
bronze bulls of Colchis. Some of these creatures
are described in this book, but its easy to create
your own using a template such as Monte Cooks
magical construct template (<www.montecook.
com/arch_stu4.html>). Other monsters of the
myths are oen common animals with two or more
heads, which you can create with the two-headed
mutant template (<
Some of these monsters are described as
immortal. In an Argonauts campaign, immortality
means that the creature does not age, is immune
to normal (nonmagical) diseases or poisons (which
cannot reduce an immortal creatures ability score
below 1 for any ability), and does not need to eat or
drink. It can still be killed by violence, though such
creatures are usually very hardy.
A monsters description may include
references to how the original creature behaved
or even how it died. Depending on your goal for
the campaign, the monster you present to the
PCs may be the original creature, either brought
back to life by the gods or never slain in the rst
place. If you choose to present a monster in this
way, ignore any references to the creatures death
or who killed it. Otherwise, assume the creature
is another specimen of the same type as the
Each creatures entry includes what
information a PC recalls about the creature
by using the appropriate Knowledge check
(usually history); higher check results yield

more information. If a creature doesnt have

a Knowledge entry, any PC who makes a DC
10 Knowledge check recalls the listed general
information about the creature.
Most creatures also have a tactics listing, giving
suggestions as to how they act in combat. If a
creature doesnt have a tactics listing then it uses
tactics appropriate to a normal creature of its kind
(for example, Alkinous hounds are simply two
metallic construct guard dogs, and they act like
normal guard dogs).

Aeetes Bulls: CR 3; Large construct; HD 5d10+15;

hp 42; Init +0; Spd 40 .; AC 13, touch 9, at-footed
13; Base Atk +3; Grp +13; Atk +8 melee (1d8+9,
gore); Full Atk +8 melee (1d8+9, gore); Space/Reach
10 ./5 .; SA breath weapon (5d6 re); SQ lowlight vision, scent, construct traits; AL N; SV Fort
+1, Ref +1, Will +1; Str 22, Dex 10, Con , Int 2, Wis
11, Cha 4.
Skills and Feats: Listen +7, Spot +5; Alertness,
Breath Weapon (Su): 10 . cone of 5d6 re, Reex
DC 12 half. Useable every 1d4 rounds. The DC is
Constitution based.
Description: This magically animated quartet
of bronze re-breathing bulls was a gi from
Hephaestus to king Aeetes of Colchis. Jason of
the Argonauts tied them to a yoke and plowed a
eld with dragons teeth to win the Golden Fleece
from Aeetes.
Knowledge (history): 10One of the gods gave
four bronze bulls to a mortal king. 15the bulls
breathe re hot enough to kill a man. 20Jason
yoked them to a plough and sewed a eld with
dragons teeth to win the Golden Fleece.
Tactics: The bulls normally charge and gore on
the rst round of combat, then breathe re, then
gore until they can breath re again.

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Chapter Eight: Monsters

Aeetes Dragon: CR 8; Large dragon; HD 9d12+45;
hp 103; Init +6; Spd 40 ., climb 20 ., y 40 .
(poor); AC 23, touch 11, at-footed 21; Base Atk +9;
Grp +21; Atk +16 melee (1d8+8 plus poison, bite), or
+16 melee (1d6+8, claw); Full Atk +16 melee (1d8+8,
bite), or +16 melee (1d6+8, 2 claws); Space/Reach
10 ./5 .; SA improved grab, swallow whole,
poison (1d2 Con/1d2 Con, DC 19); SQ darkvision,
immortality, low-light vision, scent, tremorsense 60
., untiring; AL N; SV Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +9; Str
27, Dex 15, Con 20, Int 6, Wis 13, Cha 6.
Skills and Feats: Climb +16, Hide +2, Listen +15,
Move Silently +12, Sense Motive +11, Spot +15;
Alertness, Combat Reexes, Improved Initiative,
Iron Will.
Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the dragon
must hit a creature of any size with its bite aack.
It can then aempt to start a grapple as a free
action without provoking an aack of opportunity.
If it wins the grapple check, it can swallow the
opponent in the following round.
Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 19, initial
damage 1d2 Con, secondary damage 1d2 Con. The
save DC is Constitution-based.
Swallow Whole (Ex): The dragon can try to
swallow a grabbed Medium or smaller opponent
by making a successful grapple check. A swallowed
creature takes 2d6+8 points of bludgeoning
damage and 4 points of acid damage per round
from the dragons gizzard. A swallowed creature
can cut its way out by using a light slashing or
piercing weapon to deal 25 points of damage to the
gizzard (AC 15). Once the creature exits, muscular
action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent
must cut its own way out. The dragons gizzard can
hold 1 Medium, 4 Small, 16 Tiny, or 64 Diminutive
or smaller opponents.
Untiring (Ex): The dragon never needs to sleep,
though it is still susceptible to sleep eects. It is
immune to fatigue and exhaustion.
Description: The dragon that guarded the
Golden Fleece is a dangerous creature that never
needs to sleep. Jason and Medea overcame it only
because she drugged it to sleep. In some stories
it managed to swallow Jason before Medea put
it to sleep and she had to force it to disgorge
him before they could make o with the Golden
Fleece. The stories do not mention the dragons
death, and Medea is shown on good terms with
dragons in other stories, so it is quite possible the
dragon that guards the sacred grove in Colchis is
the same one Medea and Jason met.
Knowledge (history): 10The dragon that guards
the Golden Fleece is a great beast that never sleeps.
15Its bite is poisonous and it swallows its prey

alive like a snake. 20Jason and Medea passed the

dragon by drugging it to sleep with one of Medeas
Tactics: The dragon likes to pretend it is sleeping,
using its tremorsense and scent abilities to keep
track of approaching creatures. It prefers to start
combat with a bite and try to swallow that creature,
thereaer using its claws and bite on whichever
enemy seems the most dangerous.
Alkinous Hounds: CR 2; Medium construct; HD
2d10+10; hp 21; Init +2; Spd 50 .; AC 14, touch 12,
at-footed 12; Base Atk +1; Grp +2; Atk +3 melee
(1d6+1, bite); Full Atk +3 melee (1d6+1, bite); Space/
Reach 5 ./5 .; SA trip; SQ construct traits; AL N;
SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +1; Str 13, Dex 15, Con ,
Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6.
Skills and Feats: Listen +3, Move Silently +3, Spot
+3; TrackB, Weapon Focus (bite).
Skills: *The hounds have a +4 bonus to Survival
checks when tracking by scent.
Trip (Ex): A hound that hits with a bite aack
can aempt to trip the opponent (+1 check
modier) as a free action without making a touch
aack or provoking an aack of opportunity. If
the aempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip
the hound.
Description: Hephaestus craed these two
animated hound statues (one gold, one silver)
to guard the palace of Alkinous, king of the
Phaiakians, a place Odysseus visited aer the
Trojan War.
Knowledge (history): 10Hephaestus gave two
living hound statues, one silver and one gold, to
the palace of a far-away king. 15The hounds had
no special abilities other than being made of metal.
Amphisbaena: CR 3; Large magical beast; HD
3d10+3; hp 19; Init +8; Spd 20 ., climb 20 ., swim
20 .; AC 17, touch 13, at-footed 13; Base Atk +3;
Grp +8; Atk +6 melee (1d4+1 plus poison, bite); Full
Atk +6 melee (1d4+1 plus poison, 2 bites); Space/
Reach 10 ./5 .; SA poison (1d6 Con/1d6 Con, DC
12); SQ dual mind, dual reexes, scent; AL N; SV
Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +2; Str 12, Dex 19, Con 13, Int 1,
Wis 12, Cha 2.
Skills and Feats: Balance +12, Climb +9, Hide +8,
Listen +5, Spot +7, Swim +9; Improved Initiative,
Weapon Finesse.
Dual Mind (Ex): The amphisbaena has two
brains, so for all mind-aecting aacks it counts as
two separate creatures. If a spell or eect can only
aect one of the creatures heads (such as a charm
monster spell, which aects a single target), the
unaected head takes control of the entire body. In

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these situations, the aected head becomes inert
for combat purposes (losing its extra bite aack,
if any), and the creature temporarily loses its
dual reexes ability. Even if one head is charmed
or dominated, the creature does not aack itself
or split its aacks between its normal opponents
and those chosen by its controller. In eect, mindaecting aacks must aect both heads in order to
achieve the normal result (casting two successful
charm monster spells on an amphisbaena brings it
fully under the control of the caster and allows it to
use all of its abilities).
Dual Reexes (Ex): The creature may make two
aacks of opportunity per round instead of one
(one per head).
Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 12, initial
damage 1d6 Con, secondary damage 1d6 Con. The
save DC is Constitution-based.
Description: An amphisbaena is a snake native to
North Africa with a head on each end of its body.
Knowledge (nature): 10Two-headed snakes
called amphisbaenas are native to North Africa.
They can crawl forward or backward, and both
heads are poisonous.
Antaeus: CR 4; Medium giant; HD 6d8+35; hp
62; Init +6; Spd 30 .; AC 16, touch 12, at-footed
14; Base Atk +4; Grp +15; Atk +11 melee (1d3+7,
slam); Full Atk +11 melee (1d3+7, 2 slams); Space/
Reach 5 ./5 .; SQ Gaeas strength, Gaeas vitality,
immortality; AL N; SV Fort +10, Ref +4, Will +2;
Str 24, Dex 14, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 12.
Skills and Feats: Listen +9, Spot +9; Improved

Grapple, Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed

StrikeB, Power AackB, Toughness.
Gaeas Strength (Ex): As long as Antaeus is in
contact with the earth, he gains a +4 enhancement
bonus to Strength (included in the above totals).
This ability functions if he stands on earth, stone,
sand, or mud; even a wooden or stone oor of a
building or street is sucient as long as that is in
contact with the actual ground.
Gaeas Vitality (Ex): If he is knocked unconscious
or killed while in contact with the earth, Antaeus
is immediately healed to perfect health and can
take actions on his next turn. He can only be
permanently killed if it is done while he is not in
contact with the earth.
Description: The son of Poseidon and Gaea,
Antaeus was a Libyan giant (though no bigger
than a large man) who wrestled anyone who
passed through his domain, using their skulls to
build a great temple to his father. He was slain by
Knowledge (history): 10Antaeus was a Libyan
giant, son of Gaea, undefeated in wrestling. 15He
wrestled Heracles and lost. 20Heracles won by
liing Antaeus o the ground, preventing the giant
from drawing strength from his mother the Earth.
Tactics: Antaeus doesnt like open combat,
preferring to wrestle his opponents one at a
time. He challenges heroes to wrestling matches
rather than chaotic bale, refusing to let anyone
pass him on the road unless they agree. In a ght
he grapples one opponent until his enemy is
unconscious or dead.

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Argus Panoptes: CR 3; Large giant; HD 4d8+8; hp
26; Init +2; Spd 40 .; AC 16, touch 11, at-footed
14; Base Atk +3; Grp +12; Atk +8 melee (2d6+7/x3,
masterwork longspear); Full Atk +8 melee (2d6+7/
x3, masterwork longspear); Space/Reach 5 ./10 .;
SQ immortality, untiring, hundred eyes; AL N; SV
Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +1; Str 21, Dex 14, Con 15, Int
10, Wis 10, Cha 12.
Skills and Feats: Handle Animal +5, Hide -2,
Listen +5, Search +8, Spot +13; Combat Reexes,
Power Aack.
Hundred Eyes (Ex): Argus is exceptionally alert.
His many eyes give him a +8 racial bonus on Spot
and Search checks, (included in the above totals)
and he cant be anked. Argus has low-light vision
(four times that of a normal human) and he can see
invisible creatures as if using see invisibility.
Untiring (Ex): Argus never needs to sleep,
though he is still susceptible to sleep eects. He is
immune to fatigue and exhaustion.
Description: This giant is a son of Gaea, born
with a hundred eyes placed all over his body. The
perfect watchman and guardian, only two of his
eyes ever need to sleep at the same time, so he
can remain awake and vigilant always. Hera bade
him watch over a white cow given to her by Zeus
(which she rightly suspected of being one of his
lovers transformed to hide his indelity); Hermes
charmed Argus into sleep with a magic song and
cut o Argus head. Hera placed Argus eyes onto
the feathers of her favorite bird, the peacock. When
alive, Argus was no more powerful than an ogre,
and was best at watching over something to make
sure it doesnt get away rather than guarding
something valuable which someone might aack
him for.
Knowledge (history): 10Argus was a hundredeyed giant who served the goddess Hera. He was
always on guard, as his eyes could take turns
sleeping. 15Hermes used a magical song to put
him completely to sleep, then struck o his head.
Tactics: Argus prefers to make use of his reach
and Combat Reexes feat, repeatedly forcing
enemies to move through the area he can strike
with his spear.
Bacchae (female human Com2): CR 1/2; Medium
humanoid; HD 2d4+4; hp 9; Init +0; Spd 30 .; AC
8, touch 8, at-footed 8; Base Atk +1; Grp +3; Atk
+3 melee (1d4+3, claw), or +3 melee (1d4+3/19-20,
dagger); Full Atk +3 melee (1d4+3, claw), or +3
melee (1d4+3/19-20, dagger); Space/Reach 5 ./5 .;
SA constant rage; SQ animal followers; AL N; SV
Fort +5, Ref +0, Will +2; Str 14, Dex 11, Con 14, Int
10, Wis 11, Cha 11.

Hermes and Argus

Skills and Feats: Climb +4, Handle Animal +2,

Listen +2, Spot +2, Use Rope +2; Endurance, Skill
Focus (Profession (farmer)).
Constant Rage (Ex): A bacchae is always in an
enraptured state, uerly zealous in her devotion
of Dionysus. This has the same eect as a 1st-level
barbarians rage (+4 to Strength and Constitution, +2
morale bonus to Will saves, -2 penalty to armor class,
cannot use certain skills or feats), except the rage
never ends voluntarily (these changes are included
in the above statistics). If the bacchae is forced into
a calm state (whether by knocking her unconscious
or using a spell like calm emotions), she suers the
normal eects of ending a barbarian rage.
Animal Followers (Ex): Bacchae are oen
accompanied by wild animals, which do not harm
them and join them in any aacks against other
creatures. The animals do not obey the commands
of the bacchae but do not aack them unless
magically forced to.
Description: In some tales, worship of Dionysus
(also known as Bacchus) caused women to go mad
with insight; they would roam the hills, dancing,
cavorting with animals, and indulging in excesses
of wine and sex. These mad women became known
as the Bacchae or Maenads, and were considered
very dangerous by more civilized folk. The
Bacchae would tear apart any person who opposed
them or spoke out against Dionysus (they killed
Orpheus because he wouldnt stop grieving for his
dead wife and join them in their revels). The god
sometimes cursed his detractors so they joined the
Bacchae in their madness.
Knowledge (history): 10The Bacchae or
Maenads are wild women devoted to Dionysus.
They tear apart their enemies with their bare
hands. 15Like the wild beasts that sometimes

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travel with them, sometimes they kill innocent
people that just happen to be in their way.
Tactics: Bacchae prefer swarm tactics, either
going aer their foes with nails and teeth (which
are natural aacks for bacchae rather than
unarmed aacks) or cooperative grappling to pin
down dangerous opponents so they are more
easily defeated, and either punch or grapple
melee opponents.
Boar Tooth Soldier: These loyal troops are created
by planting a boar soldier tooth (see Chapter 3:
Magic) in fertile ground. Reasonably skilled but
not too intelligent, boar tooth soldiers are ideal for
holding the line, chasing down something, or other
similar tactics. They look like soldiers dressed in
hoplite armor and colors of the nationality of the
person who planted the tooth (an Athenian makes
soldiers that look like Athenian troops, and so on).
They are uerly loyal to their creator, and would
walk o a cli if their creator told them to do so.
Their statistics are identical to a typical Greek
soldier (see below).
Knowledge (history): 10The old stories tell of
erce warriors who spring up from the ground
aer monsters teeth are planted there. 15Some
of the stories say that the soldiers may turn on the
person who planted them.
Tactics: Boar tooth soldiers use simple tactics,
eschewing anything fancy. They are smart enough
to move into anking positions without being told
to do so.

Calydonian Boar: CR 4; Large magical beast; HD

7d10+21; hp 59; Init +0; Spd 40 .; AC 15, touch
9, at-footed 15; Base Atk +7; Grp +16; Atk +11
melee (1d8+7, gore); Full Atk +11 melee (1d8+7,
gore); Space/Reach 10 ./5 .; SA ferocity; SQ fast
healing 5, low-light vision, scent; AL N; SV Fort
+8, Ref +5, Will +5; Str 20, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 2,
Wis 13, Cha 8.
Skills and Feats: Listen +8, Spot +8; Alertness,
Endurance, Iron Will.
Ferocity (Ex): A Calydonian boar is such a
tenacious combatant that it continues to ght
without penalty even while disabled or dying.
Using the Slower Dying variant rule, it continues to
ght until it reaches -17 hit points or lower.
Description: The original Calydonian boar was
sent by Athena in revenge aer the king forgot to
include her name when he made sacrices to the
gods. The boars tusks were as big as an elephants
and its bristled hide seemed invulnerable to
weapons. It is very similar in appearance to a
dire boar, though it looks like an extremely large
normal boar rather than a prehistoric or demonic
giant boar.
Knowledge (history): 10The original Calydonian
boar was sent by a goddess to punish a king for
forgeing her in a sacrice. 15More than a dozen
heroes gathered to kill the boar, and it quickly
killed seven of them. 20Only a well-placed arrow
from a female hero named Atalanta stalled it long
enough for prince Meleager, the greatest spearman
in the land, to run it through.

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Tactics: The boar is very aggressive and usually

charges into bale. If wounded below 20 hp,
it runs away until it is fully healed (though its
ferocity ability overrides this if it is brought to 0
hit points or lower).

Tactics: Centaurs shout insults at their opponents

and use their bows as much as possible. If seriously
wounded, they run away.

Centaur: CR 3; Large monstrous humanoid; HD

4d8+8; hp 26; Init +2; Spd 50 .; AC 14, touch
11, at-footed 12; Base Atk +4; Grp +12; Atk +7
melee (1d8+4/19-20, longsword), or +6 ranged
(1d6/x3, shortbow); Full Atk +7 melee (1d8+4/1920, longsword), +2 melee (1d6+2, 2 hooves), or +6
ranged (1d6/x3, shortbow); Space/Reach 10 ./5 .;
SQ darkvision; AL N; SV Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +5;
Str 18, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 11.
Skills and Feats: Listen +4, Spot +4, Survival +2;
Point Blank Shot, Weapon Focus (shortbow).
Description: Unlike the MM centaur, Greek
centaurs are boorish, rude, drunk, rapacious
brutes that eat raw meat, crash parties and
weddings, and try to run o with women. They
originated in Thessaly (home of the Lapith
people) and are the sons of Thessalys king Ixion
and a cloud (sent by Zeus to fool Ixion, who
lusted aer Hera).
Knowledge (history): 10Centaurs are brutish
monsters that are oen drunk and like to steal
mortal women to bear their young. 15They are
technically part of some royal family, though they
are an annoyance even in their homeland and are
tolerated only grudgingly. 20Their lineage goes
back to king Ixion of Thessaly, who sought Hera for
a bride and was tricked by Zeus into fathering the
centaurs with a cloud.

Cerberean Hound; CR 5; Large magical beast

(cold); HD 6d10+18; hp 51; Init +5; Spd 50 .; AC 15,
touch 10, at-footed 14; Base Atk +6; Grp +14; Atk
+9 melee (1d8+4 plus 1d6 cold, bite) or +6 ranged
touch (poison, tail spray); Full Atk +9 melee (1d8+4
plus 1d6 cold, bite), +1 ranged touch (poison, tail
spray); Space/Reach 10 ./5 .; SA trip, breath
weapon (4d6 cold); SQ darkvision, cold immunity,
low-light vision, poison, scent, re vulnerability;
AL NE; SV Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +3; Str 18, Dex 13,
Con 16, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Hide -1, Listen +6, Move Silently
+7, Spot +6; Alertness, Improved Initiative, Track.
Breath Weapon (Su): 15 . cone of 4d6 cold, Reex
DC 16 half. Useable every 1d4 rounds. The DC is
Constitution based.
Fire Vulnerability: The Cerberean hound takes
half again as much (+50%) damage as normal
from re, regardless of whether a saving throw is
allowed, or if the save is a success or failure.
Poison (Ex): Contact, Fortitude DC 16, initial
and secondary damage 1 Con. The save DC is
Scent (Ex): The Cerberean hound can detect
approaching enemies, sni out hidden foes, and
track by sense of smell (30 . range).
Trip (Ex): A Cerberean hound that hits with a
bite aack can aempt to trip the opponent (+8
check modier) as a free action without making a
touch aack or provoking an aack of opportunity.

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If the aempt fails, the opponent cannot react to
trip the hound.
Description: This monster was created for
this book; in a campaign where the old mythic
creatures are dying out, Cerberus has been slain by
some great hero of the past, and now the gates to
Hades realm are guarded by his two sons. These
large hounds breathe cold like the chill of the
grave, and though they lack their fathers poisoned
snake-tail, their tails secret poison, which they ick
at their enemies. Cerberean hounds have black fur
with gray-white ends, and their tails are green and
slick with their natural poisons.
Knowledge (history): 10No information. 15Its
possible that Cerberus has monstrous ospring of
his own, and they might have powers relating to
his snaky tail and the underworld.
Tactics: Cerberean hounds start with their breath
weapons, then bite and tail-poison opponents,
tripping if possible. As theyre immune to cold,
theyre not cautious about catching each other in
their breath weapon areas.
Cerberus: CR 5; Large magical beast; HD 6d10+18;
hp 51; Init +2; Spd 50 .; AC 17, touch 11, atfooted 15; Base Atk +6; Grp +17; Atk +13 melee
(1d8+7, bite); Full Atk +13 melee (1d8+7, 3 bites), +7
melee (1d6+3 plus poison, snake tail); Space/Reach
10 ./5 .; SA trip, poison (1d6 Con/1d6 Con, DC
16); SQ immortality, low-light vision, scent; AL N;
SV Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +3; Str 25, Dex 15, Con 17,
Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Hide +0, Listen +11, Move
Silently +4, Spot +11, Survival +2; Alertness, Run,
TrackB, Weapon Focus (bite).
Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 16, initial
damage 1d6 Con, secondary damage 1d6 Con. The
save DC is Constitution-based.
Skills: Cerberus has a +2 bonus to Hide and
Move Silently checks, a +4 bonus to Listen and Spot
checks, and a +4 bonus to Survival checks when
tracking by scent.

Trip (Ex): If Cerberus hits with a bite aack

he can aempt to trip his opponent (+13 check
modier) as a free action without making a touch
aack or provoking an aack of opportunity. If
the aempt fails, the opponent cannot react to
trip him.
Description: Cerberus is a huge and ugly dog as
big as a dire wolf, with three heads and a snake
instead of a tail. His main purpose at the gate to the
underworld is to keep the dead from escaping, but
he sometimes challenges the rare living creature
that tries to get in.
Knowledge (history): 10Cerberus is the threeheaded dog guarding the gate to the underworld.
15His tail was a poisonous snake, and he kept
the dead from escaping back into the world.
Tactics: Cerberus takes advantage of his three
heads by making trip aempts until an enemy
falls prone, then using his remaining aacks on
the prone creature. Hes rather single-minded in
his aacks, preferring to kill one opponent before
dealing with other enemies (although he will move
to keep creatures from anking him).
Charon: CR 4; Medium monstrous humanoid; HD
8d8+8; hp 44; Init +4; Spd 30 ., y 30 . (poor); AC
20, touch 14, at-footed 16; Base Atk +8; Grp +9;
Atk +9 melee (1d6+1, quartersta); Full Atk +9/+4
melee (1d6+1, quartersta); Space/Reach 5 ./5 .;
SQ immortality, fast healing 10, unsinkable; AL LE;
SV Fort +3, Ref +10, Will +8; Str 13, Dex 18, Con 12,
Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12.
Skills and Feats: Balance +6, Escape Artist +6,
Intimidate +5, Knowledge (religion) +5, Listen +9,
Profession (boatsman) +5, Sense Motive +10, Spot
+5; Agile, Improved Bull Rush, Power Aack.
Fast Healing (Ex): Charon regains 10 hit points
per round. Fast healing does not restore hit points
lost from starvation, thirst, or suocation, and it
does not allow a creature to regrow or reaach lost
body parts.
Skills: Charon has a +4 racial bonus to Listen and
Sense Motive checks.
Unsinkable (Su): While he remains within
it, Charon has absolute control over the boats
direction and speed, and it cannot sink while he
is steering it. He cannot be removed from the boat
against his will or made to leave it in any way.
Description: Charon is the ferryman of the dead,
carrying spirits across the Styx if they were buried
or cremated with a coin in their mouth, leaving
them to wander the banks forever if they dont.
He appears an ugly older man with a grim face,
conical hat, crooked nose, and a beard, though
some see him as a winged end with snakes for

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hair (as a demon of the underworld, both may be

his true form).
Knowledge (history): 10Charon is the ferryman
who takes souls across the Styx to the underworld.
He wont carry anyone unless they pay the toll of
one coin. 15Charon has ferried heroes across
the Styx in the past, and charged them a coin for
passage in each direction.
Tactics: Charon prefers to deal with violent
passengers by bull rushing them into the Styx. If
frustrated in his aempts to push opponents into
the river, he ies away with his pole, leaving his
passengers to dri helplessly until they land on
one bank or the other (randomly, 1d6 hours later).
Cyclopes, Greater: CR 7; Large giant; HD 12d8+48;
hp 102; Init -1; Spd 40 .; AC 17, touch 8, atfooted 17; Base Atk +9; Grp +19; Atk +15 melee
(1d4+6, slam); Full Atk +15 melee (1d4+6, 2 slams);
Space/Reach 10 ./10 .; SQ cra thunderbolts,
immortality; AL N; SV Fort +12, Ref +3, Will +4; Str
22, Dex 8, Con 19, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 7.
Skills and Feats: Climb +7, Hide -5, Jump +7, Listen
+4, Spot +6; Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved
Sunder, Power Aack, Weapon Focus (slam).
Cra Thunderbolts (Su): Arges, Brontes, and
Steropes may cra thunderbolts and greater

thunderbolts (see Chapter 3: Magic) as if they met all

prerequisites for craing that magic item.
Description: The rst three cyclopes (Arges,
Brontes, and Steropes) were children of Gaea, born
in the era of titans. Cast into Tartarus by Uranos
because they were ugly, the gods freed them and
in gratitude the cyclopes forged weapons for the
upcoming ght against the titans, including Zeus
thunderbolts. When Asclepius had the audacity to
raise the dead, Zeus killed him with a thunderbolt;
this angered Asclepius father Apollo, and though
he could not retaliate against Zeus, he could
retaliate against those who made the thunderbolt,
and slew one of the cyclopes (and was punished
for this murder by Zeus, who forced him to be
a servant to a mortal for one year). The cyclopes
presented here represent them greatly weakened
and their minds dulled, probably due to some
unknown transgression against the gods or a
weakening of the mythic powers in the world. For
full-power cyclopes, use storm giant statistics but
without spell-like abilities or water breathing.
Knowledge (history): 10The cyclopes are great
one-eyed giants, skilled at building and forging,
and as old as the ancient titans. They made Zeus
thunderbolts. 15There are stories of less gied
cyclopes who herd sheep in the world instead of
forging with Hephaestus, but they are a dierent
breed. 20Apollo is said to have killed one of the
three cyclopes as vengeance for the thunderbolt
that killed his son Asclepius.
Tactics: The cyclopes normally carry at least 4
thunderbolts with them, and they strike rst with
those at long range. In melee they pound enemies
with their sts. Their diminished intellect isnt
enough to make them forget their earlier days
of glory, and they bierly ght to the death, not
fearing the aerlife.
Cyclopes, Lesser: These more common cyclopes
tended sheep and goats on one of the islands visited
by Odysseus. Brutish and without the godly powers
of their greater cyclopes kin, they ate human esh
just as readily as they ate animals. Use the statistics
for the greater cyclopes (above) to represent these
cruder specimens, except they lack immortality.
Knowledge (history): 10A more numerous
tribe of cyclopes is said to herd sheep on one of
the Aegean islands. Unlike the giants who forge
Zeus thunderbolts, these giants are no smarter or
skilled than a man, hold to no laws or gods, and eat
human esh.
Tactics: The lesser cyclopes carry no thunderbolts,
and are content to bash their enemies to death with
their bare hands.

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Erinyes: CR 4; Medium monstrous humanoid;
HD 6d8+12; hp 39; Init +6; Spd 30 ., y 60 .
(good); AC 16, touch 12, at-footed 14; Base Atk
+6; Grp +8; Atk +8 melee (1d8+3, scourge), or +8
melee (1d3+3 plus poison, scourge); Full Atk +8/+3
melee (1d8+3, scourge), or +8/+3 melee (1d3+3 plus
poison, scourge); Space/Reach 5 ./5 .; SA poison
(1d6 Con/1d6 Con, DC 10); SQ immortality, track
the guilty, kindly punishment, DR 5/; AL LN;
SV Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +7; Str 14, Dex 14, Con 14,
Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 12.
Skills and Feats: Intimidate +5, Knowledge
(religion) +5, Listen +11, Search +5, Sense Motive
+5, Spot +13; Alertness, Flyby Aack, Improved
Initiative, Improved TripB.
Kindly Punishment (Su): Erinyes are tasked
with punishing the guilty, not with murder. If
they so choose, none of their aacks (including
that of their snake-weapons and their poison)
deal enough damage to kill their target, though
the target can still be knocked unconscious due
to the damage and suers the pain of the aacks
normally even if they inict no damage.
Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 10, initial
damage 1d6 Con, secondary damage 1d6 Con.
The save DC is Constitution-based.
Skills: *Erinyes get a +4 racial bonus to
intimidate checks.
Track the Guilty (Su): The erinyes are given the
power to sense their chosen prey and can track
them at any distance. This is the equivalent of
an 8th-level spell for the purposes of evading or
blocking the erinyes ability to track in this manner.
Description: The Erinyes (Alecto Unceasing
One, Megaira She Who Holds a Grudge, and
Tisiphone Avenger of Murder), are three ercelooking winged women with snakes for hair.
Created when the blood from castrated Uranos
fell upon Gaea, they exist for vengeance and
retribution, particularly for crimes of children
against their parents. Also known as the Kindly
Ones, the Erinyes beat their prey with scourges
(whips that deal normal damage and can harm
creatures with natural armor) and snakes, driving
them to madness and despair until the ritual of
purication cleansed them of their sins. Because
they are technically minor goddesses, it is possible
that mortals cannot kill them, or they are reborn
in Hades to serve again if somehow killed.
Knowledge (history): 10The erinyes are minor
goddesses or spirits of punishment, usually for
crimes by children against their parents. 15
They beat their prey with scourges as a ritual of
purication cleans the victims of their sins against
mortals and the gods. 20They were born when

Cronus castrated Uranos and the sky-gods blood

fell on Gaea. They may be immortal.
Tactics: As embodiments of vengeance for
horrible crimes, erinyes are dauntless and
gleefully wade into combat with their weapons.
If aacked by something other than their prey,
an erinyes is likely to lash at it once or twice as a
deterrent so they can deal with their prey, but turn
on aackers who persist, as all children are guilty
of some crime against their parents (no maer
how small or pey) and thus deserve punishment
if prompted.
Erymanthian Boar: A great boar that ravaged the
farmlands of Erymanthia. Heracles brought it back
alive as his fourth labor. Use dire boar statistics.
Euryale, female gorgon (medusa): CR 3; Medium
monstrous humanoid; HD 6d8+6; hp 33; Init +6;
Spd 30 .; AC 15, touch 12, at-footed 13; Base Atk
+6; Grp +6; Atk +8 ranged (1d6/x3, shortbow), or +8
melee (1d4/19-20, dagger), or +8 melee (1d4 plus
poison, snakes); Full Atk +8/+3 ranged (1d6/x3,
shortbow), or +8/+3 melee (1d4/19-20, dagger), +3
melee (1d4 plus poison, snakes); Space/Reach 5 ./5
.; SA petrifying gaze, poison (1d6 Str/2d6 Str, DC

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14); SQ darkvision, immortality; AL N; SV Fort +3,
Ref +7, Will +6; Str 10, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 12, Wis
13, Cha 15.
Skills and Feats: Blu +9, Diplomacy +4, Disguise
+9 (+2 acting), Intimidate +4, Move Silently +8,
Sleight of Hand +4, Spot +8; Improved Initiative,
Point Blank Shot, Weapon Finesse.
Petrifying Gaze (Su): Euryales gaze aack slowly
turns creatures to stone. Any creature that fails
a saving throw against the gaze gets a -2 penalty
to Dexterity and -1 penalty to aack rolls (these
penalties are cumulative). The gaze aack has a
range of 30 ., Fortitude DC 13 negates. The save
DC is Charisma-based with a 2 penalty.
Poison (Ex): Contact, Fortitude DC 14, initial
damage 1 Con, secondary damage 1 Con. The save
DC is Constitution-based.
Description: Euryale and Sthenno were the two
immortal gorgons (using the original meaning of the
word, not the armored smoke-breathing bull in the
MM), born of the obscure sea-god Phorcus and his
monstrous sister Ceto. Hideous and evil, these two
monsters took in the similar-looking transformed
mortal Medusa, who was later killed by Perseus.
In many tales the gorgons had wings; for winged
gorgons, give them a y speed 40 . and good
maneuverability. The Euryale presented here is a
weakened form of the normal creature, possibly as
a result in the overall decline of mythic creatures in
the world as civilization advanced (or as Euryale put
it in the Argonauts playtest campaign, We are not
as immortal as we used to be).
In an Argonauts campaign where the worlds
magic is still strong and the vitality of myth in
full force, use the MM version of the medusa
instead of the weaker version presented here, and
consider adding DR 10/adamantine or fast healing
5 to represent Euryales full immortality. In an
Argonauts campaign where Euryale and Sthenno
are full-powered and immortal, use the MM
medusa statistics for the mortal Medusa (no DR or
fast healing for Medusa, who was a mortal cursed
by Athena for having sex at the goddess shrine).
In the Greek myths, Pegasus sprang from
Medusas decapitated neck, and was an immortal
winged horse. Zeus used Pegasus to carry his
thunderbolts into bale.
Knowledge (history): 10The three gorgons are
hideous monster women whose faces are so ugly
they turn any who look at them to stone. 15Two
of the gorgons are immortal; one was mortal, and
slain by the hero Perseus.
Tactics: The weakened Euryale presented here
prefers to get close to her opponents, keeping her
head hooded to disguise her nature, then striking

with her dagger and snakes from close range,

leing her dire gaze wear down her opponents. She
likes to take advantage of her darkvision, luring
heroes into the depths of caves and away from the
light of a sun or lamp (even though this means she
cant use her gaze aack on them, it forces all of her
opponents to aack her blindly). A full-powered
Euryale uses her petrifying gaze rst, then moving
in close (or even ying, if she has wings) to feel
the blood spraying from her enemies; she avoids
total darkness as her full-power gaze aack is only
eective if her enemies can see her.
False Oracle Guards (male human War2): CR 1;
Medium humanoid; HD 2d8+2; hp 11; Init +0; Spd
20 .; AC 17, touch 10, at-footed 17; Base Atk +2;
Grp +3; Atk +4 melee (1d8+1/19-20, longsword),
or +2 melee (1d6+1/x3, shortspear), or +2 thrown
(1d6+1, javelin); Full Atk +4 melee (1d8+1/19-20,
longsword), or +2 melee (1d6+1/x3, shortspear), or
+2 thrown (1d6+1, javelin); Space/Reach 5 ./5 .;
AL NE; SV Fort +4, Ref +0, Will +0; Str 13, Dex 11,
Con 12, Int 9, Wis 10, Cha 8.
Skills and Feats: Handle Animal +1, Intimidate +2,
Listen +2, Spot +2; Alertness, Combat ExpertiseB,
Weapon Focus (longsword).
Description: These six men are lackluster soldiers
who fell in with the old gorgons (Euryale and
Sthenno) who promised them gold in exchange
for swearing on the Styx that they would serve
the monsters loyally. Their arms (longsword,
shortspear, and 2 javelins) and armor (breastplate
and large steel shield) are ill-kept and dirty, and
they are from many city-states, having put aside
their dierences in the name of greed. These men
play a part in the sample Argonauts campaign
presented in Chapter 7: Running the Game.

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Knowledge (history): 10The Oracle is said to
have loyal men as guards as well as a great snake
that protects her.
Tactics: The guards use simple military tactics,
trying to ank opponents without geing too far
from the entrance to the Oracles cave.
Geryon: CR 7; Large giant; HD 10d8+50; hp 95;
Init +4; Spd 30 .; AC 16, touch 9, at-footed
16; Base Atk +7; Grp +16; Atk +12 melee (2d6+5,
greatsword), or +6 thrown (1d8+5, javelin); Full Atk
+12 melee (2d6+5, 3 greatswords), or +6 thrown
(1d8+5, 3 javelins); Space/Reach 5 ./10 .; SQ
immortality, superior two-weapon ghting; AL N;
SV Fort +12, Ref +3, Will +5; Str 20, Dex 10, Con 20,
Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12.
Skills and Feats: Diplomacy +5, Handle Animal
+5, Knowledge (religion) +5, Listen +10, Profession
(herdsman) +5, Search +10, Spot +10; Alertness,
Improved Initiative, Power Aack, Weapon Focus
Skills: Geryons three heads give him a +4 racial
bonus to Listen, Search, and Spot checks.
Superior Two-Weapon Fighting (Ex): Geryon ghts
with a greatsword or javelin in each hand. Because
each of his three heads controls an arm, he does
not take a penalty on aack or damage rolls for
aacking with three weapons.
Description: Geryon was the monstrous giant
son of the rain-goddess Callirhoe and a mortal son
of Medusa named Chrysaor. Geryon is no taller
than a man but has three complete bodies fused
at the waist, all fully armored and helmed. He
carries three weapons and three shields. Though
monstrous, he was civilized, and content to live out
his life herding cale in a far land. Heracles was
sent to capture Geryons cale as one of his labors,
and when Geryon aacked to prevent the the,
Heracles killed him.
Knowledge (history): 10Geryon was a triplebodied giant who guarded a great herd of cale.
15Heracles killed Geryon and his two-headed
dog Orthos as part of one of his heroic labors.
Tactics: Despite his powerful ancestry, Geryon
has lile experience in combat and normally
charges into bale with all three of his weapons
and loyal Orthos at his side.
Greek Noble (male human Ari2): CR 1; Medium
humanoid; HD 2d8; hp 9; Init +1; Spd 30 .; AC 11,
touch 11, at-footed 10; Base Atk +1; Grp +1; Atk
+1 melee (1d4/19-20, dagger); Full Atk +1 melee
(1d4/19-20, dagger); Space/Reach 5 ./5 .; AL LN;
SV Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +3; Str 10, Dex 12, Con 10,
Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 12.

Skills and Feats: Blu +8, Diplomacy +10,

Intimidate +6, Knowledge (nobility and royalty)
+5, Ride +2, Sense Motive +7, Sleight of Hand +3;
Negotiator, Persuasive.
Description: These are the court nobles of
Greece, trained in weapons but not balehardened like the warrior-kings in the great
stories. Most are more concerned with politics
and intrigue than heroics and bales, content to
have their guards do the ghting for them, but
there are some who are true leaders, and these
tend to have levels in ghter in addition to what is
presented here.
Greek Ocer (male human Ftr4): CR 4; Medium
humanoid; HD 4d10+8; hp 30; Init +2; Spd 20
.; AC 19, touch 12, at-footed 17; Base Atk +4;
Grp +6; Atk +8 melee (1d8+4/19-20, masterwork
longsword), or +6 melee (1d6+2/x3, halfspear),
or +6 thrown (1d6+2, javelin); Full Atk +8 melee
(1d8+4/19-20, masterwork longsword), or +6
melee (1d6+2/x3, halfspear), or +6 thrown (1d6+2,
javelin); Space/Reach 5 ./5 .; AL LN; SV Fort +5,
Ref +2, Will +2; Str 15, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis
12, Cha 12.
Skills and Feats: Handle Animal +2, Heal +4,
Jump +4, Listen +3, Ride +3, Spot +4; Alertness,
Combat ExpertiseB, Counter Combat Style (onehanded weapon ghting)B, Defensive StanceB,
Power Aack, Weapon Focus (longsword),
Weapon Specialization (longsword)B.
Description: These men are the bale-hardened
leaders of Greek troops. Their equipment is a cut
above the common career soldier (masterwork
armor, shield, and longsword) and their morale is
high. An ocer of this quality might lead anywhere
from six to twenty soldiers (normally ten).

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Greek Soldier (male human Ftr2): CR 2; Medium
humanoid; HD 2d10+2; hp 13; Init +2; Spd 20 .;
AC 19, touch 12, at-footed 17; Base Atk +2; Grp
+4; Atk +5 melee (1d8+2/19-20, longsword), or
+4 melee (1d6+2/x3, shortspear), or +4 thrown
(1d6+2, javelin); Full Atk +5 melee (1d8+2/19-20,
longsword), or +4 melee (1d6+2/x3, shortspear), or
+4 thrown (1d6+2, javelin); Space/Reach 5 ./5 .;
AL LN; SV Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +1; Str 15, Dex 14,
Con 13, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Heal +2, Jump +0, Listen +3, Spot
+3; Alertness, Combat ExpertiseB, Counter Combat
Style (one-handed weapon ghting)B, Defensive
StanceB, Weapon Focus (longsword).
Description: The above statistics should be used
for any career Greek soldier (no maer what citystate) with some experience in combat. These
soldiers wear breastplate armor and large steel
shield, and carry a longsword, shortspear, and 2
javelins. Part-time soldiers (Greeks who own their
own armor and weapons but do work other than
soldiering on a daily basis) are usually 2nd-level
warriors; use the statistics for the False Oracle
Guards, above.
Hecatoncheire: CR 12; Huge giant; HD 19d8+114;
hp 199; Init +6; Spd 50 .; AC 22, touch 10, atfooted 20; Base Atk +14; Grp +36; Atk +27 melee
(1d6+14, slam), or +14 thrown (2d6+14, rock); Full
Atk +27 melee (1d6+14, 8 slams), or +14 thrown
(2d6+14, 8 rocks); Space/Reach 15 ./15 .; SA
rain of stone, rock throwing; SQ immortality, rock
catching; AL N; SV Fort +17, Ref +8, Will +11; Str 39,
Dex 14, Con 23, Int 16, Wis 20, Cha 11.
Skills and Feats: Cra (weaponsmithing) +13,
Diplomacy +10, Hide -6, Intimidate +10, Jump +24,
Knowledge (religion) +13, Listen +33, Search +21, Spot
+33, Survival +15, Tumble +4; Cleave, Great Cleave,
Improved Bull Rush, Improved Grapple, Improved
Initiative, Power Aack, Weapon Focus (slam).
Rain of Stone (Ex): As a standard action a
hecatoncheire can hurl dozens of boulders as an
area aack. This aack aects a cone 400 . long
and deals 20d6 bludgeoning damage (Reex half
DC 21). The DC is Reex-based; the DC decreases
by 2 for every 100 feet of distance between the
target and the giant (so the save is DC 19 for
creatures 100 feet away, DC 17 for creatures 200
feet away, and so on).
Rock Throwing (Ex): A hecatoncheire can throw
up to eight targeted rocks as a standard action.
Each rock weighs 60-80 pounds (Medium objects).
Its range increment is 180 feet.
Rock Catching (Ex): A hecatoncheire can catch
Small, Medium, or Large rocks (or projectiles

of similar shape). Up to eight times per round,

a hecatoncheire that would normally be hit by
a rock can make a Reex save to catch it as a
free action. The DC is 15 for a Small rock, 20 for
a Medium one, and 25 for a Large one. (If the
projectile provides a magical bonus on aack
rolls, the DC increases by that amount.) The giant
must be ready for and aware of the aack in order
to make a rock catching aempt. A hecatoncheire
gains a +8 racial bonus on its Reex save when
aempting to catch a thrown rock.
Skills: Hecatoncheires have a +8 racial bonus to
Listen, Search, and Spot checks.
Description: These three monstrous children
of GaeaBriareus, Gyes, and Kooseach have
one hundred arms and y heads. Cursing their
ugliness, Uranos imprisoned the hundredhanded ones in Tartarus, but Zeus and the gods
later freed them and with their help won the bale
against the titans. The hecatoncheires may appear
monstrous and brutish, but they are intelligent
and noble like the best of the titans. Now they
guard the gates of Tartarus, preventing the escape
of the most evil titans who refused to make peace
with Zeus and be freed.
Knowledge (history): 10The hecatoncheires
(hundred-handed ones) are the younger brothers
of the titans. Each is of huge size and has a hundred
arms and y heads. 15Uranos imprisoned them
in Tartarus because they were so hideous, but Zeus
and the gods freed them to help in the bale against
the titans. 20Loyal to the gods, the three brothers
now guard the gates to Tartarus.
Tactics: The hecatoncheires throw boulders at
their far-o enemies, and either punch or grapple
melee opponents.
Hydra (5 heads): CR 4; Large magical beast; HD
5d10+30; hp 57; Init +1; Spd 20 ., swim 20 .;
AC 16, touch 10, at-footed 15; Base Atk +5; Grp
+12; Atk +7 melee (1d8+3, bite); Full Atk +7 melee
(1d8+3, 5 bites); Space/Reach 10 ./10 .; SQ hydra
defenses, darkvision, fast healing 15, immortality,
low-light vision, scent; AL N; SV Fort +9, Ref +5,
Will +3; Str 17, Dex 12, Con 20, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 9.
Skills and Feats: Hide -3, Listen +6, Spot +6, Swim
+11; Combat ReexesB, Iron Will, Toughness.
Fast Healing (Ex): The hydra regains 15 hit points
per round (damage to the body only). Fast healing
does not restore hit points lost from starvation,
thirst, or suocation, and it does not allow a
creature to regrow or reaach lost body parts.
Hydra Defenses (Ex): A hydra can only by slain
by severing all of its heads with slashing weapons
or by slaying its body (targeted eects cannot

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aect heads unless they deal slashing damage and

could be used to make sunder aempts). The body
has fast healing, the heads do not. All area aacks
and aacks not specically directed at a head
only aect the body. Aacking a head counts as a
sundering aempt (which provokes an aack of
opportunity unless the aacker has the Improved
Sunder feat), which must be declared before the
aack is rolled. Each of the hydras ve heads
has 11 hit points. Losing a head deals 5 points of
damage to the body; a reex causes the arteries of
the neck to close, preventing further damage from
the severed head. Severing a head prevents the
hydra from aacking with that head but causes no
other penalties. When a head is severed, roll 1d4
to determine how many rounds later that stump
sprouts two new heads with 11 hit points each.
The hydra cannot have more than 10 heads at any
time. To prevent heads from regrowing, 5 points
of re or acid damage must be applied to the
stump (a touch aack to hit) before the new heads
appear (aming and aming burst weapons deal this
damage automatically if used to aack a head). Fire
or acid area aacks can burn multiple stumps at
once as well as damaging the body.
Description: The MM hydra is based on the
original Greek hydra, which was a unique female
Greek monster born of Echidna and Typhon,
defeated by Heracles as one of his twelve labors.
The original hydra had nine heads and its breath
was so poisonous that it killed anything that came
close to it. One of its heads was immortal and could
not be killed, so Heracles buried the severed head
under a rock. The hydra above represents a slightly

dierent version of the MM hydra (using the slight

rule changes in this book to Toughness and so on).
To make this hydra or one of the MM hydras
more deadly, give it a poisonous bite (1d6 Con/
1d6 Con, Fortitude negates DC 10 + 1/2 HD +
Constitution modier), a cloud of poisonous breath
in and around its space to a reach of 5 . (same DC
as the bite poison, those in the area must save once
per round), and +10 hit points to the neck with the
immortal head (which gives that head more time
to recover with fast healing), increasing the CR
by +2. The Greek hydras blood was also deadly
poison and weapons dipped in its blood could kill
with a scratch (see the Magic chapter). The stories
disagree on how many heads the hydra had (many
say 9 but some say 50), so consider removing the
ten-head limit to create a truly monstrous and
terrifying hydra (though its reasonable only a
limited number of its heads should be able to
aack any particular creature).
Knowledge (history): 10The hydra is a swampdwelling beast with many heads, and each time
you cut o a head it grows another two in its place.
15The only way to keep a head from regrowing
is to sear the neck with re or acid. (Optional,
powerful hydra only) A hydras breath is poisonous
to anyone who comes near it. 20One of the
hydras heads is immortal and its body cannot be
killed while that head remains in place.
Tactics: Though not good at hiding, hydras are
smart enough to wait in pools of water in their
natural swampy habitat, concealing most of their
body and appearing to be nothing more than a
large snake (they usually array their heads in

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dierent directions so they can look all around
without appearing to be a snake den). They charge
at any creature big enough to eat and may focus
their aacks on one creature or split them up if
theyre taking damage from multiple enemies.
Kaukasian Eagle: CR 3; Large magical beast; HD
4d10+4; hp 26; Init +3; Spd 10 ., y 80 . (average);
AC 15, touch 12, at-footed 12; Base Atk +4; Grp
+12; Atk +7 melee (1d6+4, claw); Full Atk +7 melee
(1d6+4, 2 claws), +2 melee (1d8+2, bite); Space/
Reach 10 ./5 .; SQ evasion, immortality, low-light
vision; AL N; SV Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +3; Str 18, Dex
17, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Hide -1, Listen +8, Spot +11;
Alertness, Flyby Aack.
Description: The titan Prometheus was punished
for giving the gi of re to mankind, and the
gods had him chained to the top of the Caucasus
Mountains, where a giant eagle (some stories say a
vulture) visited every day and devoured his liver.
At night Prometheus liver grew back, and every
day the eagle tore it out again. Though Heracles
eventually freed Prometheus, the eagle still ies
and may be encountered by wandering heroes.
Knowledge (history): 10A monstrous eagle was
sent every day to tear the immortal liver from the
titan Prometheus, who was punished by the gods
for teaching mankind to use re.
Krommyonian Sow: A great sow named Phaia,
which killed many men, and some stories say it is
the mother of the Calydonian boar; Theseus killed
it. Use dire boar statistics.
Lamia: CR 2; Medium monstrous humanoid; HD
4d8; hp 18; Init +6; Spd 30 .; AC 14, touch 12, atfooted 12; Base Atk +4; Grp +4; Atk +5 melee (1d6
and 1 Constitution damage, claw); Full Atk +5 melee
(1d6 and 1 Constitution damage, 2 claws); Space/
Reach 5 ./5 .; SA improved grab (claw, Medium or
smaller); SQ disguise self, darkvision, immortality,
low-light vision; AL N; SV Fort +1, Ref +6, Will +6;
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 18.
Skills and Feats: Diplomacy +6, Gather
Information +6, Listen +9, Sense Motive +5, Spot +9;
Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (claw).
Disguise Self (Su): The lamia can use illusion to
make herself appear as a beautiful human woman.
This ability functions like the disguise self spell,
except she can only appear as a human woman.
She can use this ability at will.
Description: Lamias are evil creatures that
seduce men and (once the man falls asleep) feasts
on their blood or esh. From the waist up theyre

human, but instead of legs they have a snake tail.

Lamias use their magic to disguise their nature
from their prey. These creatures are considered
demons by the Greeks, and dont surround
themselves with weak-willed former victims like
the MM lamia (they eat their victims).
Knowledge (history): 10The lamia is a kind of
demon that disguises herself as a beautiful woman
so she can seduce men and eat them. 15In her
real form, a lamia has a snake tail instead of legs.
Tactics: Lamia prefer to avoid direct combat with
multiple opponents, choosing to single out a male
target, lure him away from his friends to a private
place, and aack him once hes fallen asleep.
Manticore: The manticore mentioned in ancient
Greek texts is actually a Persian monster similar
to the MM manticore except that it has no wings
and its tail is a scorpions stinger with multiple
poisoned barbs. It can hurl these barbs just like the
MM manticore can, and also uses its tail in melee.
To create a Persian manticore, remove the wings
and y speed, and add a tail aack as a secondary
aack (same aack bonus as the bite) that deals 1d6
damage plus 1/2 Strength bonus and poison. Its
poison deals 1d6 Con/1d6 Con, Fortitude negates
(DC 10 + 1/2 HD + Constitution modier). The
poison applies to melee aacks with the stinger and
to ung spikes (each spike is poisoned, so a creature
struck multiple times must aempt a save for each).
Increase the monsters CR by +1 for this variant.
Knowledge (history): 10The manticore is a
Persian monster with a lions body, a mans head,
and a scorpions tail. 15It can speak, ing
poisonous barbs from its tail, and prefers the taste
of human esh.
Tactics: Lacking ight, a Persian manticore
usually lies in wait for creatures to wander past
it, striking them down with a volley of spikes
and pouncing upon any creature weakened by
its poison. Sometimes it is an active hunter, going
aer herd animals (or groups of humans) in the
manner of lion, except that it uses its poisoned
spikes to fell any creature rather than seeking out
the weak and inrm.
Nemean Lion: CR 4; Large magical beast; HD
5d10+10; hp 37; Init +3; Spd 40 .; AC 15, touch 12,
at-footed 12; Base Atk +5; Grp +14; Atk +9 melee
(1d4+5, claw); Full Atk +9 melee (1d4+5, 2 claws),
+4 melee (1d8+2, bite); Space/Reach 10 ./5 .; SA
improved grab (bite), invulnerable skin, pounce,
rake 1d4+2; SQ immortality, DR 15/, low-light
vision, scent; AL N; SV Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +2; Str
21, Dex 17, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6.

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Chapter Eight: Monsters

Skills and Feats: Balance +7, Hide +3, Listen +5,
Move Silently +11, Spot +5; Alertness, Run.
Improved Grab (Ex): If the lion hits with its bite
aack, it deals normal damage and aempts to
start a grapple as a free action without provoking
an aack of opportunity. Improved grab works
against targets up to Medium size. The lion has the
option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply
use the part of its body it used in the improved
grab to hold the opponent. Each successful
grapple check it makes during successive rounds
automatically deals bite damage.
Invulnerable Skin (Ex): The Nemean lions greatest
strength is its skin, which cannot be harmed by
natural or manufactured weapons. Aacks which
do not harm the lions skin (such as grapple aacks)
bypass the lions damage reduction. Bludgeoning
aacks treat the lions DR as 5 instead of 15, as the
skin absorbs some of the damage but transfers the
rest to the soer tissues underneath.
Pounce (Ex): When the creature charges, it can
make a full aack (including rake aacks) instead
of a single aack.
Rake (Ex): The creature can rake with its rear
claws (+7 melee, 1d4+2) aer a charge, pounce, or
successful grapple check.
Description: This creature looks like a
particularly ferocious lion. The son of Typhon and
Echidna, its skin was invulnerable to weapons.
Heracles choked it to death in a grapple.
Knowledge (history): 10The lion of Nemea was
a ferocious monster invulnerable to weapons. 15
The creatures invulnerability was due to its thick
skin, and Heracles was able to choke it to death,

which didnt have to break the skin and thus found

its weakness.
Oracle at Delphi (female human Exp6): CR 3;
Medium humanoid; HD 6d6+6; hp 27; Init +5; Spd
30 .; AC 13, touch 13, at-footed 10; Base Atk +4;
Grp +3; Atk ; Full Atk ; Space/Reach 5 ./5 .;
SQ blindness, python companion, foresight; AL
NG; SV Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +7; Str 8, Dex 13, Con
12, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Cra (cooking) +5, Diplomacy
+12, Heal +5, Knowledge (history) +11, Knowledge
(nature) +11, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +11,
Knowledge (religion) +11, Listen +14, Search +9,
Sense Motive +10; Blind-Fight, Improved Initiative,
Negotiator, Skill Focus (Listen).
Blindness (Ex): The Oracle was born blind and
has all the normal penalties for being blind.
Foresight (Su): The Oracles ability to prophecy
also helps protect her from danger. Identical to the
eects of a foresight spell, she is never surprised or
at-footed. She has a +2 insight bonus to AC and
Reex saves (included in the above totals, lost in
circumstances where she would lose her Dexterity
bonus to AC).
Python Companion (Ex): The Oracle is protected
by the guardian python (see below), which is in
many respects like a druids animal companion to
her. She can command the python to perform the
defend, guard, and heel tricks (as dened
in the Handle Animal skill) without having to
make Handle Animal checks (she is automatically
successful in these aempts).
Description: The Oracle at Delphi is a Greek

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Chapter Eight: Monsters

woman blessed by Apollo with the gi of true
prophecy (and unlike Cassandra, people actually
believe the Oracles prophecies). In some records
the Oracle is just a young woman pressed into
service by the priests of the temple and her
prophecies are just the babblings of a druginduced stupor, but this book assumes that the
Oracle was chosen by Apollo and her prophecies
come from the god himself, though she may use
unusual means to put her mind in the right state
to receive the prophecies. In some stories Apollo
claimed the site of the oracle aer driving away its
serpent guardian Python, in others the python is
the guardian beast who watches over the Oracle.
In the sample Argonauts campaign (see Chapter
7: Running the Campaign), the Oracle is a young
blind woman whose guardian python has been
slain by minions of the gorgons.
Knowledge (history): 10The Oracle at Delphi is
a servant of Apollo. Her prophecies are the truth,
and people come from all over the known world to
hear them. 15She is guarded by a sacred python
and human soldiers who have sworn themselves to
her service.
Tactics: The Oracle prefers not to ght on her
own behalf, leaving that sort of thing to her python
and guards. If aacked, she ees, taking advantage
of her foresight ability.

Cerberus. Orthos served the monster Geryon and

was killed by Heracles when Heracles tried to take
Geryons cale. According to some legends, he is
the father of the sphinx and the Nemean lion (both
mothered by the chimera).
Knowledge (history): 10The monster Geryon
had a two headed-dog named Orthos, liermate of
the beast Cerberus. 15Like Cerberus, Orthos had
a snake for a tail.
Tactics: Like Cerberus, Orthos tries to trip an
opponent and single out that creature for all his
Python of Delphi: The python is a monstrous
serpent that guards the Oracle at Delphi. Identical
in abilities to a huge constrictor snake, the python
is absolutely loyal to the Oracle and can never be
made to aack or harm her in any way. It ghts
to the death to protect the Oracle. If the python
is slain, another young constrictor snake arrives
within a month to protect the oracle, soon growing
to its full size.
Knowledge (history): 10The python is a great
snake that guards the Oracle from all harm.

Orthos: CR 3; Medium magical beast; HD 4d10+12;

hp 34; Init +2; Spd 40 .; AC 16, touch 12, atfooted 14; Base Atk +4; Grp +8; Atk +9 melee
(1d6+4, bite); Full Atk +9 melee (1d6+4, 2 bites), +3
melee (1d4+2 plus poison, snake tail); Space/Reach
5 ./5 .; SA trip, poison (1d6 Con/1d6 Con, DC
15); SQ immortality, low-light vision, scent; AL N;
SV Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +2; Str 18, Dex 15, Con 17,
Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Hide +4, Listen +8, Move Silently
+4, Spot +8, Survival +2; Run, TrackB, Weapon Focus
Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 15, initial
damage 1d6 Con, secondary damage 1d6 Con. The
save DC is Constitution-based.
Skills: Orthos has a +2 bonus to Hide and Move
Silently checks, a +4 bonus to Listen and Spot
checks, and a +4 bonus to Survival checks when
tracking by scent.
Trip (Ex): If Orthos hits with a bite aack he can
aempt to trip his opponent (+9 check modier)
as a free action without making a touch aack or
provoking an aack of opportunity. If the aempt
fails, the opponent cannot react to trip him.
Description: Orthos is a two-headed snake-tailed
dog, a smaller and weaker version of his brother

Scylla: CR 4; Large monstrous humanoid

(augmented humanoid, human); HD 8d8+40; hp
76; Init +6; Spd 20 ., swim 40 .; AC 19, touch 11,
at-footed 17; Base Atk +8; Grp +16; Atk +11 melee

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Chapter Eight: Monsters

(1d8+4, bite); Full Atk +11 melee (1d8+4, 6 bites);
Space/Reach 10 ./5 .; SA improved grab (bite),
pounce; SQ darkvision, DR 5/, immortality, lowlight vision; AL N; SV Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +6; Str
18, Dex 14, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 14.
Skills and Feats: Hide +2*, Listen +11, Move
Silently +2*, Spot +11, Swim +12; Alertness, Combat
Reexes, Improved Initiative.
Skills: *Scylla gets a +4 bonus to Hide and Move
Silently checks in water.
Description: The creature Scylla was once a
beautiful human woman, daughter of a rivergod. She was loved by a man named Glaucon,
who spurned Circes aections to pursue Scylla.
In revenge, Circe poisoned the waters of Scyllas
favorite bathing pool with foul magic, and when
Scylla went to bathe herself, the submerged portion
of her body transformed into six barking dogs and
a monstrous snake tail. Thereaer she lived in a
seaside cave, living on sh, dolphins, and whatever
sailors she managed to snatch from passing ships.
Knowledge (history): 10Scylla is a horrible
female monster with six dogs and a snake tail
instead of a lower body. She devours sailors whose
ships come to close to her cave. 15Scylla used
to be human but was transformed by a jealous
sorceress. When she aacks a ship, each of her six
dog heads snatches a sailor, which she drags back
to her lair to devour.
Tactics: Scylla cares lile for ghting and only
aacks because she is hungry. She prefers to
grapple one or more creatures with her improved
grab ability, then retreat. If she fails to grab
anyone with her rst aacks, she tries again, and
if those fail she retreats to wait for easier prey.
Sphinx: CR 6; Large magical beast; HD 8d10+8; hp
52; Init +5; Spd 40 ., y 60 . (poor); AC 21, touch
10, at-footed 20; Base Atk +8; Grp +16; Atk +12
melee (1d6+4, claw); Full Atk +12 melee (1d6+4, 2
claws); Space/Reach 10 ./5 .; SA pounce, rake
1d6+2; SQ darkvision, immortality, low-light
vision; AL NE; SV Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +6; Str 19,
Dex 12, Con 13, Int 18, Wis 19, Cha 19.
Skills and Feats: Blu +5, Diplomacy +8, Hide
-3, Intimidate +13, Knowledge (history) +10,
Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +5, Knowledge
(religion) +10, Listen +15, Move Silently +12, Sense
Motive +10, Spot +15; Improved Initiative, Power
Aack, Weapon Focus (claw).
Pounce (Ex): When the creature charges, she
can make a full aack (including 2 rake aacks)
instead of a single aack.
Rake (Ex): If the sphinx pounces, she can rake
with her rear claws (+11 melee, 1d6+2).

Description: Born of Typhon and Echidna (or

perhaps the Chimera), the sphinx has a lion body,
a womans torso, and eagles wings. She had
learned a riddle from the Muses, and terrorized
the people of Thebes by posing the riddle to all
who tried to enter or leave the city; those who
failed to answer were throled and devoured by
the sphinx. Oedipus solved the riddle and she
hurled herself to her death. Clearly the Greek
sphinx is a more cruel and malevolent sort of
creature than the sphinx found in the MM, and
it lacks the magical powers aributed to it by
modern authors.
Knowledge (history): 10The sphinx was halfwoman, half-lion, and challenged all who crossed
her path with a riddle, killing those who failed
to give the right answer. 15The sphinxs riddle
was correctly answered by Oedipus, and in a rage
she threw herself o a cli and died. 20The

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Chapter Eight: Monsters

sphinx is the daughter of Typhon and Echidna, or
perhaps Chimera.
Tactics: Any other sphinx has probably learned
the lesson of her ancient sister and ignores riddles,
focusing instead of grappling her opponents and
raking. If approached with peaceful intent and
given oerings of meat she may answer questions
about mankind, the world, or even the gods.
Sthenno, female gorgon (medusa): CR 3; Large
monstrous humanoid; HD 6d8+12; hp 39; Init +7;
Spd 30 .; AC 18, touch 12, at-footed 15; Base Atk
+6; Grp +10; Atk +8 ranged (1d6/x3, shortbow), or
+8 melee (1d4/19-20, dagger), or +8 melee (1d4 plus
poison, snakes); Full Atk +8/+3 ranged (1d6/x3,
shortbow), or +8/+3 melee (1d4/19-20, dagger), +3
melee (1d4 plus poison, snakes); Space/Reach 10
./5 .; SA petrifying gaze, poison (1d6 Str/2d6 Str,
DC 15); SQ darkvision, immortality; AL N; SV Fort
+4, Ref +8, Will +6; Str 10, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 12,
Wis 13, Cha 15.
Skills and Feats: Blu +9, Diplomacy +4,
Disguise +9 (+2 acting), Hide -1, Intimidate +4,
Move Silently +9, Sleight of Hand +5, Spot +8;
Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Weapon
Gaze (Su): Sthennos gaze aack slowly turns
creatures to stone. Any creature that fails a saving
throw against the gaze suers a -2 penalty to
Dexterity and a -1 penalty to aack rolls (these
penalties are cumulative). If the Dexterity penalty
ever equals or exceeds the characters Dexterity
score, the creature turns fully to stone. The gaze
aack has a range of 30 ., Fortitude DC 13
negates. The save DC is Charisma-based with a 2
penalty. (In a standard-power campaign, use the
normal medusas instant-petrication gaze aack
instead of this weaker version.)
Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 15, initial
damage 1d6 Str, secondary damage 2d6 Str. The
save DC is Constitution-based.
Description: See Euryale for general information
on the gorgons and why the version presented
here has a weak gaze aack. In the Argonauts
playtest campaign, Sthenno was even more
monstrous than her sister, with the torso of a
beautiful woman and the lower body of a giant
snake (Reaper Miniatures makes a miniature of
this type of gorgon), but there is no reason why
she cant look like her sister (if so, use Euryales
statistics block instead of the one above).
Knowledge (history): See Euryale.
Tactics: See Euryale for general information on
gorgon tactics, although Sthenno likes to remain
hidden while Euryale talks to potential foes, as

her snaky body quickly informs any visiting

heroes that something strange is afoot.
Stymphalian Bird: CR 1/2; Small magical beast;
HD 1d10+1; hp 6; Init +2; Spd 10 ., y 80 .
(average); AC 15, touch 13, at-footed 13; Base
Atk +1; Grp -3; Atk +4 melee (1d4, claw), or +4
thrown (1d3, blade feather); Full Atk +4 melee
(1d4, 2 claws), -1 melee (1d4, bite), or +4 thrown
(1d3, 2 blade feathers); Space/Reach 5 ./5 .; SQ
low-light vision; AL N; SV Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +2;
Str 10, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6.
Skills and Feats: Hide +6, Spot +14; Weapon
Description: These strange ibis-like birds have
sharp metal feathers, which they hurl and anyone
who accosts them. The feathers are so sharp that
dead birds have been known to kill men simply
by falling on them out of trees or the sky.
Knowledge (history): 10A ock of metalfeathered birds lived on Lake Stymphalis in
Arcadia, hurling their sharp feathers like arrows
from a bow. 15Heracles drove the birds away
from the lake by making loud noises, and shot
them out of the sky as they took ight.
Tactics: The birds prefer to use their feathers as
ranged weapons, only swooping in to claw and
peck at foes near death from the feathers.
Talos: CR 4; Medium construct; HD 8d10+10;
hp 54; Init +6; Spd 30 .; AC 20, touch 12, atfooted 18; Base Atk +6; Grp +11; Atk +11 melee
(1d3+7, slam), or +8 thrown (2d6+5, rock); Full
Atk +11 melee (1d3+7, slam), or +8 thrown (2d6+5,
rock); Space/Reach 5 ./5 .; SA rock throwing;
SQ critical vulnerability, acid resistance 10,
cold resistance 10, electricity resistance 10, re
resistance 10, sonic resistance 10, construct traits;
AL N; SV Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +4; Str 20, Dex 14,
Con , Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6.

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Chapter Eight: Monsters

Skills and Feats: Listen +4, Spot +15; Alertness,
Combat Reexes, Improved Initiative,
Critical Vulnerability (Ex): Unlike most
constructs, Talos is not completely immune to
critical hits; his living artery means that he is only
90% immune to critical hits and sneak aacks
(similar to the eect from fortication armor).
Rock Throwing (Ex): The range increment is 100
feet for Talos thrown rocks.
Description: An animated bronze man created
by Hephaestus and given by Zeus to the Queen
of Crete, Talos patrolled the islands shores and
kept pirates away by hurling boulders at their
ships. Unlike most constructs, he has a blood
vessel running from his neck to one ankle. In
some myths he was slain by Medeas magic,
which caused him to strike his vulnerable ankle
and bleed to death, though in other stories he was
slain by an arrow to that ankle.
Knowledge (history): 10Talos was a bronze
man given to the Queen of Crete by Hephaestus.
He sank enemy ships by hurling boulders at them.
15As a man of bronze craed by the gods, Talos
was almost invulnerable. His only weakness was a
single artery running the length of his body.
Tactics: Talos is simple-minded and hurls
boulders at anything he perceives as an enemy. If
that fails, he hammers away at foes with his metal

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Appendix: Sources and Suggested Reading

There are hundreds of books on the classic Greek
era and as many on the Greek myths. I found these
to be particularly useful:
The Ancient World: A Social and Cultural History,
Fih Edition by D. Brendan Nagle, published by
Prentice Hall in 2002. This is actually a textbook
my sister used in one of her Classics classes, and it
provided most of the information I needed about
ancient Greek life and the origin of their society, as
well as references for the region map.
DAulaires Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and
Edgar Parin DAulaire, republished by Dell
(Bantam Doubleday Dell). This is a childrens book,
but is wonderfully illustrated and covers not only
the stories of the gods but of important mortals
as well. This is the bookchecked out by me as
a child over and over again from my local public
librarythat got me hooked on Greek mythology,

and later (through another DAulaire book, Norse

Gods and Giants) on the Asgardian mythos. Its
an oversized full-color 192-page book that gives
enough details on the heroics of the stories without
geing into the uglier parts (it says Zeus married
many nymphs and mortals, for example), and I
cant recommend it enough for children or adults. I
bought a copy from a local bookstore just so I could
refer to it when writing this book.
Not a book but a website, Aaron Atsmas
<> was an invaluable resource
for creating this book, not only in the authors
photographs which he so kindly gave me
permission to use in The New Argonauts, but his
extensive research and cross-linking about the
myths, including stories I had never heard of. You
could spend days reading the site (Ive done so)
and still not hit every page.

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15. Copyright Notice:
Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
d20 System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the
Coast, Inc.; authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich
Baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, and Bruce R. Cordell,
based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
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