Bronze age and Glorantha.

From: s.lucek@ic.ac.uk
Date: Fri 31 Jan 1997 - 19:32:14 EET


Bronze age and Glorantha.

I may not be a classicist, but I am English, (James Frusetta seems to think
that is the next best thing).

There seems to be confusion over Bronze age and Classical. The bronze age is
the age of heroes, the age of Greek mythology, Hercules, Perseus, the
Argonauts, the birth of cities, the Trojan war etc.. Gilgamesh even, though he

may be too early. It is the age of the great citadels of Mycenae and Troy and
Tyrins (?) (incidently used for the citadels of Balazar in Griffin Mountain).
It takes us up to ~ 1000 BC. All the ancient cultures (baring Egypt) are
overcome by the dread sea raiders, and other barbarians, and a long dark age
follows, until the glimmerings of Classical civilisation (Greece, Homer,
Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Caesar etc.) starting around 600 - 400 B.C.
Confusing the two is like confusing us with the middle ages. Indeed the Greeks
of the Trojan wars are completely different to the Greeks of Homer's time, the
latter were descended from the barbarian invaders (the Dorians? The ones in the
Trojan wars were the Ionians? I begin to forget the names).

Glorantha does seem very much inspired the heroic age. A lot of the stories,
people and cultures of Glorantha have that 'being at the very birth of
civilisation' feel, when the world is still young and myths, heroes and
monsters still abound. Not at all the feel of Malory's Arthurian legends, or a
medieval setting. Also in the Heroic age (a term used for the late Bronze age,

Troy and all that) you do have lots of very, very different cultures clashing
in a very small region of the western Mediterranean. In the middle east, by the
Tigris and Euphrates, you have the first city states, already millenia (i.e.
from the time of Gilgamesh) old, with countless empires rising to dominate
them. To the south the Egyptians, the the west the great civilisation of the
Minoans (with the great palaces of Crete e.g. Knossos, and the famous maze) on
Crete, and the emerging Greek states (e.g. Mycenae), as well as all the (too
complicated to remember) goings on in Anatolia (modern Turkey), and the great
sea goers, the Phonecians, trading across the whole Mediterranean, and as far
as Cornwall.

Armour

Bronze age armour is very, very different from classical age armour. It also
looks very, very silly. Basically a imagine a cylinder for the chest, with big
horizontal rings attached below, looking very much like a skirt. You would not
get one of my characters in one of those! I prefer to use armour that is more
classical (Greek). It looks so much better! I agree that armour points are far
too high. One could argue that Homer is full of images of someone piercing
armour straight through with a spear (something I find difficult to imagine
with iron armour). However, I have lower armour values in my campaign for a
different reason. I like fast, quick and exciting combat, and find it boring
when people slog it out for hours hiding behind enormous armour, and waiting
for the critical to finish it off. If you are interested, contact me by e-mail
and I will dig out my (ancient and rather forgotten since my Pendragon days)
armour rules. I think it rather too boring for addition here!

Regards to every one,

Stephen Lucek.

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