Beowulf, & Greeks: New 5E Settings Coming From Handiwork Games
  • Beowulf, & Greeks: New 5E Settings Coming From Handiwork Games


    Jon Hodgson used to be the creative director at Cubicle 7. They've recently relocated to Ireland, and Jon has started a new company called Handiwork Games, with two new games announced: Hellenistika, a greek D&D 5E setting by Ken Hite, and Beowulf, a mythic setting for one DM and one player, based on one of the oldest European fantasy stories.





    Here's the full announcement:

    "Handiwork Games is a new tabletop games publisher based in Scotland, UK. Led by ex Cubicle 7 Creative Director Jon Hodgson, Handiwork Games has launched with news of two RPG lines.

    The first is a partnership with renowned RPG author, Ken Hite. Hellenistika is a fantasy ancient greek setting for 5th Edition. With the tag line “LIVE FAST • LOVE WELL • LEAVE A GOOD-LOOKING MOSAIC” Hellenistika promises new classes, playable species and setting specific rules for 5e.

    The newly-launched Handiwork Games website (www.handiwork.games) says this about the setting:


    “From the Pillars of Herakles in the West to the Silken Cities of the East, from the isle of Hyperborea in the North to the Mountains of the Moon in the South, the world spreads before you, alive with gods and marvels.


    The Great Conqueror lies dead and mummified in Alexandria, leaving the world to scheming kings and greedy cities ... and to you, if you can seize it. Ancient magics lurk in Babylonian ziggurats and Egyptian pyramids. Carve your names into history with your weapons and your wits, and beat your fellow wonder-makers and mercenaries in the games of treasure, wine, and love.


    Adventure across the “good parts version” of the Hellenistic Age, a time of swords and scrolls, heroes and cults, war elephants and deadly Amazons, griffins and dragons, piles of gold and robot guardians, super-ships and death-machines – and that’s before we put our fantastic spin on history!”

    The second game in the line up is BEOWULF – a mythic setting again for 5e. Promising similarly tailored rules, BEOWULF stands out as being designed for two players – the GM and the Hero. The Handiwork site has this to say:

    “One of the oldest recorded stories in Western Europe, Beowulf is an epic tale of hero against monster. And then the monster's mother. And then a dragon. 

BEOWULF is a setting and rules set for 5th Edition, designed primarily for duet play - one GM and one player.


    
BEOWULF presents a host of new and specially adapted rules to create epic and thematic adventures for your lone hero and his or her companions. 

Explore Migration Era Europe and beyond, solve mysteries, and do battle with dreadful monsters.

With writing and rules design from hand-picked 5e and folklore geniuses, and with art from Jon Hodgson and friends, BEOWULF will be a thing of epic wonder.”

    Known for his work at Cubicle 7 as creative director, his defnitive Tolkien art on The One Ring RPG and as a successful freelance artist in his own right, Jon Hodgson oversaw a great deal of C7’s successful creative work, so when he announced his departure in early 2018 many were keen to know what he was moving on to do. It appears the plan was to launch his own games company."
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. Polyhedral Columbia's Avatar
      Polyhedral Columbia -
      cool
    1. Jay Verkuilen's Avatar
      Jay Verkuilen -
      Wow, both titles look fantastic. I really look forward to them.
    1. Grimkrieg's Avatar
      Grimkrieg -
      I was on the fence about Hellinistika, although the art is nice. Ken Hite being involved will probably tip the scales for me on that one, I don't know how I missed that he was writing it.
    1. Stacie GmrGrl's Avatar
      Stacie GmrGrl -
      The Greek setting might be enough to get my roommate into 5e. She loves ancient Greek stuff.
    1. robus's Avatar
      robus -
      Liking the sound of the Greek setting, would love to run a Jason and the Argonauts type of campaign.
    1. Bolongo -
      Well, if you listen to Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff, you know that Hellenistika is actually Ken's home game of 13th Age.

      I suppose the publishers feel that porting it to 5e gives them a bigger market. And they're not wrong. But I would personally have preferred to see Ken's original notes...
    1. doctorbadwolf's Avatar
      doctorbadwolf -
      That’s pretty rad. I hope the new races are within the balance band of normal 5e, bc I love me some Greek critters!
    1. Sadras's Avatar
      Sadras -
      So first Arkadia and now Hellenistika...
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sadras View Post
      So first Arkadia and now Hellenistika...
      One big difference between Arkadia and Hellenistika is I believe era, Arkadia is classical Greece/Greek Mythology, Hellenistika is more global in focus, focused on the Kingdoms that arose from the break up of Alexander the Great's Empire, which while heavily influenced and shaped by Greek philosophy and ideas, was a macedonian empire controlling a lot more then just Greece. So it will obviously include a lot of Greek culture and elements, it's the Hellenistic age for a reason, but also possibly Babylonian, Assyrian, Canaanite, Jewish, Egyptian, Hindu, Buddhist, Libyan, and other cultural influences.
    1. Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
      Ralif Redhammer -
      Hellenistic fantasy seems to be in the air, lately. Assassins Creed Odyssey, Arkadia, The Codex Classicum, The Age of Aegon, and now this. Still, the names involved here are promising.

      The Beowulf RPG is an odd niche – one player, one GM. Beowulf is one of my favorite tales, but I’m not sure I’d have a use for a one-on-one campaign.
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellenistic_Greece

      Just a taste of the exciting time period and the Hellenistic world.
    1. dave2008's Avatar
      dave2008 -
      Quote Originally Posted by gyor View Post
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellenistic_Greece

      Just a taste of the exciting time period and the Hellenistic world.
      Wow - its amazing there were enough people still alive to fight all those wars!
    1. Eltab's Avatar
      Eltab -
      The 3e Mythic Settings softcover book for Trojan War -era Greece intrigued me. So does post-Alexander. I most like the Glory That Was Greece age, capped with the defense of Hellas against Persia. The mythic creatures are interesting, reasonably familiar, and can be fun!
    1. Jay Verkuilen's Avatar
      Jay Verkuilen -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ralif Redhammer View Post
      Hellenistic fantasy seems to be in the air, lately. Assassins Creed Odyssey, Arkadia, The Codex Classicum, The Age of Aegon, and now this. Still, the names involved here are promising.
      The first 5E thing I ran was Hellenistic, at least sort of. It's not in Greece or the Mediterranean at all, but I definitely drew on it a lot, though I also drew a good bit on the late Byzantine era of the same place.


      The Beowulf RPG is an odd niche – one player, one GM. Beowulf is one of my favorite tales, but I’m not sure I’d have a use for a one-on-one campaign.
      Yeah I dunno about that, but it's likely interesting to see how they did a Dark Ages adaptation.
    1. Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
      Ralif Redhammer -
      It's something I've never done in all my years of gaming. Shame, really.

      As for Beowulf, despite it's limited utility for the games I run, Beowulf is one of my favorite stories, since I was a kid (though my favorite translation is the relatively more recent Seamus Heaney one). I'm curious to see it translated to D&D.

      Quote Originally Posted by Jay Verkuilen View Post
      The first 5E thing I ran was Hellenistic, at least sort of. It's not in Greece or the Mediterranean at all, but I definitely drew on it a lot, though I also drew a good bit on the late Byzantine era of the same place.



      Yeah I dunno about that, but it's likely interesting to see how they did a Dark Ages adaptation.
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