Thebes, Plataea and Against the Giants

So, not only am I reading History of the Peloponnesian Wars, I’m also reading “…and the sky full of dust”‘s real play of Against the Giants. Every so often, I’d see a post and think nothing of it. When they got up to around eighty sessions or so, I was all “Wait a minute, I though Against the Giants were con mods, there’s something else going on here…” So, I started back at the beginning and have been working my way through. Well, it turns out that they’re playing the anniversary “Against the Giants: Liberation of Geoff” campaign, which places the heroes in the position of a resistance force slowly gaining strength to where they are actually ready to begin the true struggle Against the Giants.

So, how does this tie into the Peloponnesean Wars? Well, I just finished Book 1, and the incident between Thebes and Plataea got me thinking. What a great setup for an epic campaign!

For those who don’t know, let me recap what happened between the two city states. Thebes (a Spartan ally) and Plataea (an Athenian ally) were only 8 miles apart (maybe they can make a movie about this and call it 8 Mile). While the war had officially broken out between Sparta and Athens, neither of the main players had made a move yet. Thebes, however, decided that now was a great time to strike a blow against their rival before they had a chance to make preparations. They sent a small contingent of soldiers who marched into Plataea pretty much unopposed, thanks to the help of a few traitors who thought that the Thebans would kill all of their political opponents. Instead, the Thebans made an overture to the citizens to peacefully join up with the Spartan Alliance, an offer that was too good to refuse. Except it wasn’t. The Plataeans knew that the only thing worse than having the Spartans after them was being punished by the Athenians for breaking their alliance. The Plataeans also figured out that there were only around 300 Thebans in the city.

Covered by rain and darkness, the citizens of Plataea conspired against the Thebans whom they had just welcomed as liberators. They tunneled through the walls of houses, carefully set up barricades in alleys and avenues, and, just before the dawn, attacked the Theban contingent from all sides. They overwhelmed the Thebans, who scattered through the city, lost and trapped. They were all killed or captured. The Theban relief force, unaware of how badly things had gone, originally intended to take hostages from the countryside to exchange for their men, but the Plataeans said if anything happened to their countryside, they’d kill all the captives. Both sides agreed that the other would be spared. Well, the Plataeans killed all of the captives anyway. What a mess!

Eventually, though, the Plataeans got theirs for breaking the oath when the Spartans tore the place down stone by stone.

So, gaming…. right.

-The characters start out as citizens in a town invaded by foreign power.
-Resistance fighters attack large contingent of lvl 0 or 1HD invaders.
-Pursue through an urban maze
-Find out that your actions have brought the attention of a much more powerful foe upon your city.

I don’t know, maybe I ran out of steam on this.

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6 responses to “Thebes, Plataea and Against the Giants

    • I think that was sort of what I was going for. That with maybe some ‘puzzle’ elements of blocking avenues effectively with finite resources. Almost like a Tower Defense style puzzle?

      • I wonder if there’s a way to make effective “interactive terrain?” This seems like the kind of situation skill challenges were created to address.

        –Dither

      • Either visually represented with maps or models helps. One simply has to know the resources one has available. For instance, several people who run the Tomb of Horrors tend to break apart benches, tables and pews to use to bridge the pit traps. It’s not quite the same, but a similar concept that can be used so long as players know exactly what they have at their disposal.

      • Huh. Our group didn’t think of that. Then again, we *were* playing a 4e remake of ToH and may not have needed to, I don’t recall.

        *sigh* Just thinking about this is depressing. My players are kind of… well, we’re working on it. Hopefully they’ll get better.

        –Dither

      • I really can’t imagine ToH really jibing with 4e. 4e is written as a tactical wargame and ToH was written to specifically subvert and undermine gamers who were hack & slash oriented (I think there are only 4 encounters in the tomb, and at least 2 of them are optional). Even the 3e version acknowledged “Well, normally you’d just roll your skill here, but that kind of ruins the experience” in a number of spots. Having the printed out maps for it are awesome, though (somewhere I found little battlemat style maps of all the rooms in the tomb), so you can know who fell in what hole and died.

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