Welcome to the past that never was.
OGL Ancients is a roleplaying game set in a world long past, where Greek heroes do battle with horrendous monsters and Egyptian priests pray to weird, animal-headed divinities. This is an environment that many roleplayers will not have ventured into before. Instead of cottages, castles and dungeons, the environment is one of great columned temples, amphitheatres, pyramids and hanging gardens, where wise or corrupt kings rule over their monstrous empires and wars are fought for generations over the hand of one beautiful queen. The world of the Ancients is one of true heroes remembered forever after, where a man favored by the Gods can rise from the humblest of origins to command half the world.
The Ancients game is set before the rise of the Roman Empire and focuses on the two most influential civilizations of the ancient world, the Egyptians and the Greeks, though other cultures also appear. Those who wish to play the game as a ‘straight’ re-enactment of history may do so, drawing upon accurate historical depictions of weapons, armor, equipment and the structure of society, while those who prefer the fantastic element may include such mythic elements as the wrangling of the Gods, the emergence of heroes with divine blood and the appearance of monsters truly worthy of the name.
Ancients is a game with a strong fantasy feel to it, in keeping with the ‘heroic golden age’ view of the history of that time. Although it can be played without the fantastic elements, with such sections as the Gods being used as a cultural reference for added realism rather than a catalogue of beings who actually exist, many players will prefer the larger-than-life feeling of the myths.
To walk in the Ancient world is to live in a time when magic is a fact, when witches weave spells in secret glades under the full moon. The spirits of the dead really do revisit the living and wicked specters lurk in the pestilential places of the earth. Sometimes, even the dead arise and walk again. In a world without technology, the strange and marvelous are dominant. There is no science yet; instead, the arts of the Artificers work mechanical miracles, while those of the priests petition the Gods to intervene directly.
In Ancients, the Gods are always close at hand. Choose your deity carefully and be sure to heed them well, for their support can literally work miracles and their displeasure can lead to your annihilation, body and soul. Those who the Gods love may prosper, even going so far as to have the use of the Gods’ own weapons and equipment, when used in the divine cause.
If you have ever wished to sail with Jason on the Argo, to dare the labyrinth in the footsteps of Theseus, or to twist men’s bodies into the shapes of swine like Circe; if you would besiege the white walls of Troy or fly amid the clouds on winged sandals; if you would walk in columned halls and practice the magic that ibis-headed Thoth teaches, or learn the secrets buried in the hearts of the pyramids; if you would leave your body in spirit form and meet with the witches on lonely mountains; if you long to spread your wings with the artificer Dedalus and hunt with silver Artemis, listen to the Orphic melodies and aspire to the feast that awaits a true hero in Olympus... read on!