Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mesopotamian Currency

I've been doing a very brief bit of research on the money that was used by the Mesopotamians, and have become pretty sure of what they used.

(sorry about that sentence, it reads rather strangely)

So, the Mesopotamians used the silver shekel, and (I believe) silver mina, with their value based on the amount of grain. Using a base sixty (?) system, I'm pretty sure I read that 1 shekel equalled about sixty mina, and each mina had a 'base price' of about 10 grains I think?

So yeah, not 100% sure, but my players won't know any better, so everything's cool.

I'll post about the Mesopotamian pantheon soon, as I've got it all sorted out (i.e. who was descended from who, their domains, for lack of a better word, and which cities that they're patrons of).

I'm also finishing off a not-quite-accurate-but-good-enough-for-me hexmap of Mesopotamia.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Weapons & Armour in Mesopotamia

I've been researching the weapons used in mesopotamia, and looking at the list of weapons and armour in my copies of B\X, to see what I need to get rid of.

As a note, it turns out the Mesopotamians were very advanced in terms of military. I mean, there is evidence of them forming shield walls, phalanxes, and squares in battle!

So, onto the list of what weapons are allowed:

Battle Axe
Hand Axe
Short Bow
Short Sword
Two-Handed Sword
Pole Arm (specifically pikes, or at least their equivalent)

So, for those reading along with their B\X books, that means every weapon except for the long bow, crossbow, and war hammer.

The new weapons are two in number, being the Egyptian bladed mace, and spearbreaker.

The Egyptian bladed mace is, quite simply, a normal mace with a large blade stuck on the back of it. Costs 16 gp (or rough equivalent, I'll post about money later) and deals 1d8 damage, and, if using weapon vs. armour class tables from AD&D, uses whichever is better: broadsword or mace (light or heavy, you decide).

The spearbreaker is essentially a handle with two sharp prongs, in which you catch a spear and proceed to snap it. Costs maybe 20 gp, and requires a roll to break the spear?

Now, onto armour in Mesopotamia.

Looking at the B\X list, we find shield, leather, mail, and plate.

Here is where I'm torn. The Mesopotamians had shields, leather, copper studded leather, and bronze or iron breastplates and other such armour. My initial thought is to keep the B\X armour list as is, but swap mail for studded leather and just note that plate is essentially a breastplate and maybe greaves, over some leather armour.

That's it for now, next up: Money in Mesopotamia

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mesopotamian Setting

So, I've decided to start work on a fantasy Mesopotamian setting for D&D, although I might end up running it under a different system.

For the purpose of the blog, I will post the setting information on this blog.

So, I am stuck with a few things, and as I hate making decisions, I've put up two polls.

The first one is for the era in which to set it:

1. The Empire of Sargon the Great. About early 2000 BC, Sumerians have fairly recently been conquered, so, while Akkaddian is still the common tongue, a large amount of people will speak

2. The 'middle age'. There are several empires: The Hittite Empire, Babylonian Empire, Assyrian Empire, and the Egyptian Empire, so a lot of food for conflict.

3. The Assyrian Empire at its height, in 650 BC. This also has the advantage of a more civilised Europe and western Africa, allowing the players to go to more familiar waters if they want.

So that's the first one, and the last one, the level of fantasy:

1. Normal D&D level, with magic and monsters everywhere.

2. 'Historical' level, with all their beliefs being real (ruins infested with demons, etc.)

3. Somewhere in between the two.

Cool, hope you make the decision for me!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Fantasy Campaign, and the Assyrian Empire

I've recently started work on a historical fantasy setting, and I decided to set it in Mesopotamia, but I'm trying to choose between the empire of Sargon the Great, the time of several empires (the Hittites, Egyptians, Babylonians, and Assyrians), or the Assyrians at the height of their power.

And just a note on the Assyrians, I never realised how massive it was. Seriously, look up the Assyrian Empire in 650 BC.

Their empire stretched from parts of Turkey all the way down to past Thebes in Egypt. Look at the size of that thing!