Meet Achilles, Greatest Warrior of the Trojan War!

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters, coming soon to Kickstarter, compiles Mike Myler's fantastic column here on EN World, with brand new art in a gorgeous full-colour book. Here's a quick look at a preliminary version of Achilles' entry.

achilles_2.png


Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

Achilles. Lancelot. Robin Hood. Thor. Heroes, all.

The world is full of myths and legends which inspired those in our modern fiction and games. Iconic warriors and wizards, vampires and things from the deep, these legends are universally known.

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters delves into these paragons of literature, fable, and folklore. From Ancient Greece to the Outer Realms, deepest Transylvania to the High Seas, you’ll meet champions and thieves, pirates and knights, demigods and fey queens, ancient evils and urban legends. Archetypal heroes meet exemplars of villainy like Blackbeard, Rasputin, Dracula, and Baba Yaga.

From Mike Myler’s popular column, this epic compilation of over 100 legendary heroes, villains, and monsters brings these characters to life for the 5th Edition of the world’s oldest roleplaying game.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Comments

Hurin88

Explorer
Str: 16

Really? He was the greatest hero of the greatest epic of the ancient world. 16 is the highest you would go?
 

Hurin88

Explorer
Just for perspective, having only 16 strength means you are barely cracking the top 5% of ordinary human strength. That would mean that Achilles was not only not the strongest hero at the Siege of Troy, nor even the strongest hero in the Greek army, but that he probably wasn't even the strongest guy in his own boat. In every group of 100 soldiers in the Greek army, you'd find 4 or 5 stronger than Achilles.
 

Corrosive

Adventurer
Just for perspective, having only 16 strength means you are barely cracking the top 5% of ordinary human strength. That would mean that Achilles was not only not the strongest hero at the Siege of Troy, nor even the strongest hero in the Greek army, but that he probably wasn't even the strongest guy in his own boat. In every group of 100 soldiers in the Greek army, you'd find 4 or 5 stronger than Achilles.
He was the greatest warrior (and definitely the angriest!), but he wasn't the strongest man. Ajax was bigger and stronger. In other tales, Heracles is stronger, as is Thor. Achilles isn't a weightlifter. Top 5% seems fine.
 

Mike Myler

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters KS soon
Just for perspective, having only 16 strength means you are barely cracking the top 5% of ordinary human strength. That would mean that Achilles was not only not the strongest hero at the Siege of Troy, nor even the strongest hero in the Greek army, but that he probably wasn't even the strongest guy in his own boat. In every group of 100 soldiers in the Greek army, you'd find 4 or 5 stronger than Achilles.
That sounds perfectly fine to me—I don't recall Achilles ever being depicted like Fezzik from Princess Bride and there should be some big lugs in ancient greco army. :)

Other folks stronger than Achilles: Amazon Queen Penthesilea, Harald Hardrada, Conan the Barbarian, Captain Nemo (albeit from a "magic" item)
People stronger than that: Gilgamesh, John Henry, Paul Bunyan
Stronger still: Beowulf
Strongest: Thor
Most Strongest: Hercules

Feeling pretty solid about the scale of Strength scores inside of this future supplement/column!
 
He was the greatest warrior (and definitely the angriest!), but he wasn't the strongest man. Ajax was bigger and stronger. In other tales, Heracles is stronger, as is Thor. Achilles isn't a weightlifter. Top 5% seems fine.
This is correct. He was never known for super human strength. Many great fighters are not the strongest. He was more athletic that pure strength.
 

Tonguez

Hero
this looks noice, it'll be a great resource

Just for perspective, having only 16 strength means you are barely cracking the top 5% of ordinary human strength. That would mean that Achilles was not only not the strongest hero at the Siege of Troy, nor even the strongest hero in the Greek army, but that he probably wasn't even the strongest guy in his own boat. In every group of 100 soldiers in the Greek army, you'd find 4 or 5 stronger than Achilles.
that's accurate to the story too, there were 4 or 5 stronger than Achilles. What I recall was that Achilles was more known for speed and accuracy anyway, so personally Id have made his Dex higher
 

Hurin88

Explorer
that's accurate to the story too, there were 4 or 5 stronger than Achilles. What I recall was that Achilles was more a Dexterity based fighter anyway, so personally Id have made his Dex higher
I didn't say 4 or 5 stronger in the entire Greek army. I mean 4 or 5 stronger in every group of 100 ordinary people, to say nothing of trained soldiers. That would make hundreds if not thousands of Greek soldiers stronger than Achilles just in the Greek Army alone.

His Dex and Con are even worse than his strength. He has the stats of a moderately in-shape security guard at the local shopping mall. What was he spending his ASI's on for all those 18 levels?
 
I didn't say 4 or 5 stronger in the entire Greek army. I mean 4 or 5 stronger in every group of 100 ordinary people, to say nothing of trained soldiers. That would make hundreds if not thousands of Greek soldiers stronger than Achilles just in the Greek Army alone.

His Dex and Con are even worse than his strength. He has the stats of a moderately in-shape security guard. What was he spending his ASI's on for all those 18 levels?
[/QUOTE}

Agreed. Overall his scores seem quite low. Most of my current D&D groups party would have better ability scores than one of the greatest fighters of all times.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Achilles literally slays Penthesilea in single combat in epics including the Aethiopis and Posthomerica.
You keep conflating combat prowess with physical strength. They're two different things!

I think it's inevitable that folks won't agree on what a mythical figures ability scores should be. I never saw Achilles as a strong, hulking type (and he's not usually depicted as such). This is a 27-point buy with ASIs on feats. But we all imagine these things differently, and if that's what's in your mind's eye, fair enough. :)

(You could certainly choose to swap those feats for ASIs if you wanted -- that gives you four ability points to play with).
 

Mike Myler

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters KS soon
I didn't say 4 or 5 stronger in the entire Greek army. I mean 4 or 5 stronger in every group of 100 ordinary people, to say nothing of trained soldiers. That would make hundreds if not thousands of Greek soldiers stronger than Achilles just in the Greek Army alone.

His Dex and Con are even worse than his strength. He has the stats of a moderately in-shape security guard at the local shopping mall. What was he spending his ASI's on for all those 18 levels?
If only we had some way to figure that out :unsure:

1584480846536.png


Achilles literally slays Penthesilea in single combat in epics including the Aethiopis and Posthomerica.
Aye it was a pretty even fight which might be why they have identical challenge ratings.
 

Hurin88

Explorer
You keep conflating combat prowess with physical strength. They're two different things!
I don't; DnD does.

Str is the ability score that governs both your accuracy (to hit) and damage. It is by far the single most important determinant of melee combat ability until very high levels. Leaving a legendary Greek hero at local-mall cop level strength is mystifying in such a system. The problem is then only compounded when Achilles is given ordinary-human levels of Dexterity and Constitution to boot.

A much better approach would be one like Rolemaster's Mythic Greece supplement (and I daresay DnD's Deities and Demigods) took. It recognized that the heroes of Greek epics went beyond ordinary stats: they were heroes. They had to have stats far beyond the ordinary, because (if you read the epics) they actually literally outfight and outwit the gods themselves.

This Achilles wouldn't even be able to finish basic training for the Marines.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It recognized that the heroes of Greek epics went beyond ordinary stats: they were heroes. They had to have stats far beyond the ordinary, because (if you read the epics) they actually literally outfight and outwit the gods themselves.
You just described player characters. :)
 

Mike Myler

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters KS soon
I don't; DnD does.

Str is the ability score that governs both your accuracy (to hit) and damage. It is by far the single most important determinant of melee combat ability until very high levels. Leaving a legendary Greek hero at local-mall cop level strength is mystifying in such a system. The problem is then only compounded when Achilles is given ordinary-human levels of Dexterity and Constitution to boot.

A much better approach would be one like Rolemaster's Mythic Greece supplement (and I daresay DnD's Deities and Demigods) took. It recognized that the heroes of Greek epics went beyond ordinary stats: they were heroes. They had to have stats far beyond the ordinary, because (if you read the epics) they actually literally outfight and outwit the gods themselves.

This Achilles wouldn't even be able to finish basic training for the Marines.
He has resistance to weapon damage and after hitting 70 odd hit points starts regenerating 1/10th of his health every round, and he can move around 500 pounds (and carry half as much, which is still well over twice the weight of a modern marine's kit). He would destroy basic training for any marines, whether that be the USMC, Alpha Legion, or Ultramar. o.0
 

ddaley

Explorer
Str is the ability score that governs both your accuracy (to hit) and damage. It is by far the single most important determinant of melee combat ability
I don't know... In 5e it may be preferable to focus on a high dex, a finesse weapon (rapier), and studded leather...

Edit: Put an 18 on dex and play an Aarakocra and you start with a 20 dex... giving you an AC of 17 before equiping a shield.

Edit 2: And the 20 dex gives you a +7 to hit... which is crazy...
 
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