02 03 Nerd Lunch: Oddly Shaped Dice: The Sons of Hercules! 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Oddly Shaped Dice: The Sons of Hercules!

The Sons of Hercules! would be an homage to the sword-and-sandals movies that came out of Italy in the late 50s and 60s, usually starring Steve Reeves or another bodybuilder as a Classical Age superhero, smiting evil and posing impressively and speaking in a rich baritone. Since RPGs have an unlimited budget, you could mix in the Harryhausen and some contemporary stuff like 300 and Troy.

In researching the genre, I learned that a lot of these movies were syndicated for American TV under the name “The Sons of Hercules,” with little changes to the English dubbing to reflect that the hero of each of these (unrelated) movies was a son of Hercules.

Now, you read a little more, and you learn that in Greek myth, Hercules actually married the fifty daughters of King Thespius on the same day and impregnated them all on the same night and they all bore him strong sons.

So there’s a convenient hook for an RPG — assume that Thespius fostered his heroic grandsons to various other kings and princes all over the map (knowing that fifty demigods in one kingdom gets kind of crowded). The PCs are some of these brothers reunited after long years apart. Maybe they are competing to prove who is the rightful heir of Hercules; maybe they travel from kingdom to kingdom seeking their other brothers (some of whom are bad, or at least unmanageable); maybe they just smite evil and kill monsters and bed dancing girls. It’s all good.

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