[greek city-state idea] random event cards?

hey folks,
i'm thinking about incorporating random "development" cards into a game about classical greek social strife. the "developments" would be in the vein of developments in a historical RTS - basically, things like new institutions (gov't services, new religions, etc.), festivals, declarations of war, etc.

imagine a gm and several players; one pc is a noble, a king, or some other supreme ruler, and the other pc's have various levels of social status. the king would be able to "consult the astrologers" and see what cards are coming up, and then must occasionally draw new ones, like at the start of a season or when someone (who?) rolls a critical fumble or something.

thoughts? anything like this out there, in terms of using a deck of special cards? suggestions of any games about ancient-world social strife would also be appreciated.


  • thanks nathan! these look awesome :)
  • Yeah, I thought they looked cool, added to the fact that the meanings of the minor arcana have been altered from the norm, and the suits are atypical: Instead of Cups, Pentacles, Wands and Swords, you have instead suits of Places, Objects, Creatures and Heroes. Perfect!
  • Blood and Bronze is an Ancient Greek poleis boardgame by James Brown.

    Did you have any specific time period or genre of literature in mind, Zac?
  • edited May 2012
    Johnstone, it seems to be shaping up into the Solonian Athens period, with the four classes and the oligarchy and whatnot.

    And thanks for the suggestion!

    EDIT: I'm going to go more historical and set the game right after the Persians burn Athens to the ground in 480 BCE. I want to focus the game two or three things:
    - The Glory That Was Athens (the players can recall property and religious/political institutions that were destroyed by the war)
    - relations with Sparta (who are the biggest rivals of the Athenians, and their home and army are still intact)
    - voting! Holding court, calling for the banishment of your rivals, changing what constitutes a Citizen, etc.
  • It seems like it's kinda hard to get all three of those into the same game, though.

    I like the idea that players can come back to the city and talk about what they lost in the war, but if you're going for something with more scope and a longer timeframe than, like , a year or two, the nostalgia aspect probably isn't all that appropriate. After the wars with Persia, Athens was all about the Glory That IS. And if you want relations with Sparta and the popularity contests of voting for generals and ostracism to be main events, you probably want to cover the whole of the Pentakontaetia? I guess it depends on the scope of the events you want on these development cards.
  • These Lectures might give you some good ideas.
  • @Rustin: thanks!
    @Johnstone: yeah, the more I sit and fiddle with the .doc file, the more I think the "nostalgia" is going to be replaced by a personal-level exploration of what was lost in the sacking of Athens. Did you lose a home? A business? Was the temple of your favorite god pulled down?

    I think it's going to involve Athenian veterans and refugees arguing with Spartan emissaries about how best to rebuild the city. I'm reading ahead in this Cartoon History of the Universe, Pt. 1 and apparently the Golden Age/Periclean Age begins not a decade after the sacking. And then we have the Athenian Empire, etc. etc.

    What I want is to have a game that can handle up to a couple of years' worth of salvaging, rebuilding, and political wrangling, enough to give the city some sort of specific new direction, as a society - military superpower? Oligarchic market-town? A radical democracy? Maybe they abolish the constitution and crown a king, like Sparta.
  • Hi

    I found Donald Kagan's popular, 1-volume The Peloponnesian War inspirational reading for this period.

  • Thanks Rob!

    I'm glad S-G has so many ancient-Greece enthusiasts ^___^
  • edited May 2012
    Sounds like a good game, Zac! I'm working on one set between the end of the Persian Wars and the end of the Peloponnesian War, called ATTIKA. It's based off of Tony Dowler's excellent Principia system. ATTIKA uses a public domain text on life in ancient Athens as its core, with the rules presented in the side-bars. Here's what I have so far: ATTIKA .


Sign In or Register to comment.