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Friday 15 March 2019

Classic Rant: What Can You Do in Lords of Olympus?

In a recent top-notch comparative review of Amber, Lords of Olympus, and Lords of Gossamer and Shadow, which I had commented about here, one of the readers of that excellent assessment claimed that they felt they had no idea what you could actually do with a campaign of any of these games.

Others have written volumes about what to do with Amber, and I'm sure someone's done the same for LoGaS, but here's what I explained as what type of campaign you can make with Lords of Olympus:

There are several different types of campaigns suggested in Lords of Olympus. You can do a "percy jackson" type of thing that starts with the PCs as thinking they're mortals only to learn that they are the children of greek gods. You can do a campaign where the PCs are all working together, agents of one major god. You can have the most classic "Amber" scenario, where the PCs actually fight amongst themselves; each having different divine parents, they get caught up in the conflicts and fights between their larger family, and have to decide if they want to escape the family dysfunction or chase after power, and if they will throw in their lot loyally behind their parent, ally with the enemies of their parent because of daddy/mommy issues, or seek to make their own place in the multiverse with their own alliances.

There's also a number of 'external events' that could be incorporated into a game: First, there's the Titans. They were defeated, but most of them still live, trapped in the underworld. If they escaped, there would be another war.

Second, there's the Hera/Zeus thing. Hera basically wants to murder any child Zeus has that wasn't hers too. That has all kinds of possibilities.

Third, the prophecy of the future: Dionysus is destined to overthrow Zeus. Only a tiny handful of people know this. Dionysus himself seems dangerous and crazy. He seems to want to create nothing but a world of chaos and debauchery. But others see him as a liberator. There could be a whole new war in heaven, this time of the Olympians against the Dionysians. Which side would the young god PCs be on?

Finally, some outside force: primordials gone insane threatening to destroy the universe, some mortals who have somehow gained great power (magic or technological) to the point that they threaten the status quo, a whole different pantheon from another multiverse (say, the Romans, or the Norse gods, or the Aztecs) break through into this one and shit happens, etc.

In my case, when I run it, it actually turns out to be lots of scenic roleplay and talking and arguing and intrigues, highlighted with sharp short intense moments of crazy action. My own Lords of Olympus campaign feels a little bit like a Wes Anderson movie in terms of style.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Oversize + H&H's Chestnut

(originally posted July 6, 2017) 

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