[OOC] PbtA Ironsworn - PbP in Ancient Greece


Table of Contents
  1. Game Status
  2. Setting Notes
  3. Spare
Game Status - Recruiting 2/4
  • KN playing Penelope, devotee of Apollo, healer and archer from Polis:Alpha
  • TI playing Pallas, hoplite from Polis:Gamma
  • Vacant
  • Vacant
Game Summary

23 Jul 2019 - Interest Check Posted
26 Jan 2020 - IC Thread Posted.

PbP Guide
  1. When in doubt, post.
  2. Add the game threads to your Watch list.
  3. Every IC post should have IC content. Otherwise post it in the OOC thread.
  4. Linking to rolls is not required.
  5. No colours for speech. Bold is ok, if you want to.
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad


:: Cites and Culture ::

The Polis (city-state)

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 with the exception of Sparta.[TNA]

During the Archaic Age there were over 1,500 polis of various sizes all over the peninsula and on the shores of the Aegean. Polis 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 attack by foreigners and rival city-states. People from other polis are tolerated if allies and attacked if enemies. Alliances can change quickly and old grudges tend to linger. Travel for citizens is open and mercenaries are not uncommon. Each polis tends to honour one god above the others, but all gods are to be respected lest they become angry.[TNA]

Non-Greeks are considered primitive barbarians and should only be tolerated while they remain amusing and useful.


The citizens of the polis 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 benefit 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 or the maintenance of city warships.[TNA]

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, Porfirio, Rasmus, Rodas, Sebastian, Stefano, Theodosios, Theron, Ulysses, Urian, Vanko, Vasilis, Xenophon, Xenos, Zale, Zoltan. [TNA]

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. [TNA]

:: Warfare and Equipment ::


The fragmented political structure of Ancient Greece, with many competing polis, increased the frequency of conflict, but at the same time limited the scale of warfare. Limited manpower did not allow most Greek polis to form large armies which could operate for long periods because they were generally not formed from professional soldiers. Most soldiers had careers as farmers or workers and returned to these professions after the campaign. All hoplites were expected to take part in any military campaign when called for duty by leaders of the state. [Ancient Greek Warfare - Wikipedia]

The hoplite phalanx of the Archaic and Classical periods in Greece (c. 800–350 BC) was the formation in which the hoplites would line up in ranks in close order. The hoplites would lock their shields together, and the first few ranks of soldiers would project their spears out over the first rank of shields. The phalanx therefore presented a shield wall and a mass of spear points to the enemy, making frontal assaults against it very difficult. It also allowed a higher proportion of the soldiers to be actively engaged in combat at a given time (rather than just those in the front rank). [Phalanx - Wikipedia]

Battles between two phalanxes usually took place in open, flat plains where it was easier to advance and stay in formation. Rough terrain or hilly regions would have made it difficult to maintain a steady line and would have defeated the purpose of a phalanx. As a result, battles between Greek city-states would not take place in just any location, nor would they be limited to sometimes obvious strategic points. Rather, many times, the two opposing sides would find the most suitable piece of land where the conflict could be settled. Typically, the battle ended with one of the two fighting forces fleeing to safety. [Phalanx - Wikipedia]


Aspis - deeply dished round shield made primarily of wood. Some had a thin sheet of bronze on the outer face, often just around the rim.
Doru - Long Spear, 7-9 feet with iron leaf-shaped spearhead and an iron butt-spike
Javlin - throwing spear
Kopis - a heavy knife with a forward-curving blade
Panolpy - the panoply (or body armour) consisted of a number of parts:
  • Cuirass - linothorax (linen/natural fibre) or bronze.
  • Helmet - Corinthian (heavy) or Chalcidian (light), usually bronze.
  • Greaves
Xiphos - a double-edged, one-handed Iron Age straight short-sword

:: God and Titans ::

Short List of Gods [TNA]

Aphrodite: Eros, apple, dove
Apollo: laurel wreath, bow and arrow, lyre
Ares: helmet, spear
Artemis: bow and arrow, deer, hunting spear, lyre
Athena: aegis (shield with Medusa’s head on it), helmet, spear
Demeter: grain, lotus staff, torch
Dionysus: panther, thyrsus (staff tipped with a pine cone and twined with ivy), vines
Hephaestus: donkey, hammer, tongs
Hera: crown, lotus staff, lion
Hermes: caduceus, petasos (a winged wide-brimmed hat), winged boots
Poseidon: octopus, trident
Zeus: eagle, lightning bolt, lotus staff

Long list of Gods and Titans [TNA]

The Anemoi: The four winds, sons of Eos, some also representing a season—Boreas (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 offspring 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 fight over her so he quickly gave her as a bride to Hephaestus. Unhappy with her ugly club-footed husband, she had many affairs—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, battle, and frenzy. Handsome and cruel, he had an affair with Aphrodite and married her after Hephaestus divorced her. His sons Phobos (god of panic) and Deimos (god of fear) attended 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 soft as moonbeams and bring painless death. Artemis is often 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, battle-skill, heroism, and the defense of cities. She is patron deity of Athens (after winning a contest with Poseidon). The daughter of Zeus and Metis, she sprung forth fully grown from Zeus’s head. She wears Medusa’s 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.

Cronus: Titan of time’s effect 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 Demeter’s 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 often helps mortals but likewise can drive them to drunkenness and madness if they offend 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 mother’s ire about the mortal girl’s beauty.

Epimetheus: Titan of afterthought and the father of excuses, he created the beasts of the earth. After Prometheus stole fire 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 attention (and hasten the speaker’s death), so they called him “the Unseen” or “the Host of Many.”

Hecate: Goddess of witchcraft, 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 fiery wild horses. He is so bright that only the gods can look at him directly in his true glory.

Hephaestus: The forge and fire god, born lame in one foot (or crippled when thrown from Olympus to the earth by jealous Zeus or angry Hera). A master craftsman, 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 affairs.

Hera: Goddess of marriage and women, queen of the gods, wife of Zeus. Jealous of all of his infidelity (many myths revolve around Zeus’ attempts 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 first 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 sacrificial flame. 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 sacrificial fire, and a portion of every sacrifice 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 (gifts 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 Olympians.

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 fly 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 first goddesses of music and her nine daughters the Muses (fathered by Zeus) carry on that role.

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 personification 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 flocks and shepherds. A nature god, Pan is the son of Hermes and has goat’s legs, pointed ears, and shaggy hair all over his body. He is the protector of hunters, shepherds, and flocks. 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 gifted to her grandson Apollo.

Poseidon: God of the sea, earthquakes, and horses. He created horses as a gift to Demeter after several failed experiments such as the hippo, camel, and giraffe. 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 after the first race was wiped out by the battles of the gods. Stole firefrom 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 first 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 fifty daughters (the Menai, who represent the fifty lunar months between each Olympiad).

Tethys: The titan of nursing and of water flowing 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 divination.

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 emitted 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 different women (some immortal, some not), much to the annoyance of his queen Hera. His weapon is the thunderbolt.


I am still feeling my way with this system.

I was thinking of this scene purely in terms of a combat encounter. I hadn't thought about how a vow would tie in at this point. That said, play it as you feel is right, and we will work our way through it. If you are not sure, use the OOC thread to ask questions and we ca hash it out.

Play to see what happens right?

To keep it simple as this is the first encounter, the raiders are Dangerous (2 progress/harm, Inflicts 2 harm).


I am still feeling my way with this system.

I was thinking of this scene purely in terms of a combat encounter. I hadn't thought about how a vow would tie in at this point. That said, play it as you feel is right, and we will work our way through it. If you are not sure, use the OOC thread to ask questions and we ca hash it out.

I picked this up from listening to some online play throughs. As vows are the XP mechanism in the game it helps to make as much as possible about a vow, that way you get XP. So generally I try to make a vow about every path or encounter I choose. Whereas random encounters caused by failed rolls do not always allow a vow and therefore XP.

Also Pallas should have +6 Momentum: +2 starting; +1 from Aid Ally from my Loyalist Asset; +1 from making a vow and +2 from the string enter the fray.


Weak hit
Pay the price: Something of value is lost or destroyed.
And that’s a good start...

Nice call. Going all in.

Also Pallas should have +6 Momentum: +2 starting; +1 from Aid Ally from my Loyalist Asset; +1 from making a vow and +2 from the string enter the fray.

I was also only counting the change in momentum, not the running total. But, yep, I missed the +1 momentum to Pallas from the Loyalist Asset.

And I didn't count the +1 momentum from Pallas's Swear a Vow move. Both Pallas and Penelope rolled for Make an Vow. Only one character should make the roll when allies are working together. The Progress Bar and outcome is shared.

I thought that Penelope made the Vow with the benefit Secured for Pallas's Aid Your Ally move. Not important enough to pick apart now. Just leave the momentum numbers as they are.

That's 10 progress, so we can end the fight there, not sure how many enemies there actually are though. Or if you are tracking enemies with individual progress tracks.

No, not tracking the Raiders individually. So one Dangerous Progress bar. But I see only 3 harm inflicted (by Pallas) making the progress bar is at 6/10. Can't see where the other 2 harm was inflicted.

Pallas could attempt to End the Fight here.
  • Pallas has initiative.
  • Penelope does not.

But first I think that first Penelope needs to do something about the Raider up in her face, Clash?, Face Danger? I think that it needs to happen before Pallas can attempt to end the fight.



I was also only counting the change in momentum, not the running total. But, yep, I missed the +1 momentum to Pallas from the Loyalist Asset.
Ok makes sense, I got confused because momentum can go -ve

And I didn't count the +1 momentum from Pallas's Swear a Vow move. Both Pallas and Penelope rolled for Make an Vow. Only one character should make the roll when allies are working together. The Progress Bar and outcome is shared.
Also makes sense, I've not played with allies before and I thought we kept our vows separate (sworn and tracked individually). Having said that this vow is basically the same.

No, not tracking the Raiders individually. So one Dangerous Progress bar.
Ok I was wondering how much flexibility we had in writing outcomes. eg could I write how Pallas' strike killed a raider? In my solo game I set encounters up with multiple enemies (or friendly NPCs) deliberately to allow writing that inflicting harm kills enemies or suffering harm kills the NPCs. Not every time though, but I found the flexibility useful.

But I see only 3 harm inflicted (by Pallas) making the progress bar is at 6/10. Can't see where the other 2 harm was inflicted.
Something made me think that Penelope had caused 2 harm - guess I should practice my reading.


I have been thinking about this over the course of the day.

The book says use a single Progress track for a shared/common vow. I think I will run with this approach until I know enough to make an informed decision about changing it.

You can write your own outcomes based on the move. I will probably handle the complications, costs, etc. But that said, if you write something cool/dramatic (like Penelope losing her bow), then I will more than likely just step out of the way and let the story run.

As for the current situation, you can make the End the Fight move now. If you want to. (On a Strong Hit, you can easy narrate how you took both out of the fight - the Strike with Iron doesn't have to be a single blow, but a combination of blows, shield bashes, moves etc. But a weak hit or miss will potentially put Penelope at risk.) Otherwise, its over to Penelope.

Finally, note to self. When Penelope called for the healers etc to retreat to the hills, she was making a move. Compel? Face Danger? I kind of missed that. We can look at it once we deal with the immediate threat.



The book says use a single Progress track for a shared/common vow. I think I will run with this approach until I know enough to make an informed decision about changing it.

I missed that, it makes sense though. I guess there is nothing stopping a character from swearing a vow on his own still.


Nice save.

KN: To draw a weapon during a melee sounds like Face Danger (with speed, agility, or precision: Roll +edge).
That's ok, Penelope still has a arrow in hand, so she doesn't need to draw anything. She can use the arrow as a weapon to inflict 1 harm (vice 2 harm with a sword).

Which makes the progress track:

Raiders: Dangerous (2 progress per harm; inflicts 2 harm)
ProgressBar: 8/10.

Both Penelope and Pallas now have initiative.
  • Penelope (having scored a strong hit) can now seek to End the Fight
    i.e.: Roll two Challenge dice vs Progress (8).
  • Both Penelope and Pallas can seek to continue to attack (if you want to improve the ProgressBar).


Drawing a weapon is a move? Really? Okay, I guess...

Drawing a weapon is not a move. Characters don't have moves, they make moves when trying to do something risky or uncertain.

Drawing a weapon whilst engaged with an enemy is risky, so drawing the weapon in this situation means making the Face Danger move to see what happens.

I am still getting my head round it. I am starting to think of moves as something the character does when trying to resist the world (from killing them, say) or shape the world to their desires (ike trying to get a group of confused/scared people to move towards the mountains).



I would have thought it would have been part of Enter the Fray/Clash/Strike.

They are all combat moves, but other moves can be triggered within combat depending on the fiction. Face Danger is a fairly common one.

IC: As they moved, Penelope looked around to try and find another bow she could use.

OOC: Would that be Resupply?

Good question. I am going to say no. You can acquire a bow at the cost of 1 Supply.

Note: According to the rules, when adventuring as a group, you share the Supply Score.



I have been thinking through how this plays from here. This is the question I have been considering:

Getting everyone safely to the mountains is a formidable challenge. Why is it formidable?
  • What is involved?
  • What needs to be done?
  • What are the challenges?
Challenges (i.e. potential milestones) will come up along the way. But you can also drive the progress bar by identifying milestones you can work to achieve. Some of the things I have been thing along the lines of:
1. Eliminating/driving out the Raiders within the camp.
2. Identifying a destination and getting everyone moving in the same direction.
3. Establishing a force to protect the rear and flanks from raiders.
4. Finding a defensive position in the mountains.
5. Creating a camp a setting guards and defences.

You have achieved one milestone (1 box checked). You need a least 5 more to be in a position to consider Fulfilling your Vow.



My grandmother died this weekend, so I will be going on a LOA until next week for the funeral. I will be available on Discord/Hangouts, but not likely to be writing.


Hey KN. Sorry to hear about your grandmother. I hope that you are travelling OK.

Take whatever time you need. Give us a shout when you are back.



Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition Starter Box

An Advertisement