Golarion: This is (almost) Sparta!


Advice


So I've noticed that there are a good many feats, equipment, etc that would really go well with making a solid Greek / Roman Phalanx fighter similar to those seen in the movie, "The 300".

I'm looking for any builds, equipment, feats / archetypes that any might suggest for creating such an effect.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

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I recommend picking up Pathifnder Campaign Setting: Distant Shores, which presents a city and new rules tied to the setting's classical Greek/Roman-inspired archipelago Iblydos. If you want to use a heavy spear one-handed, that book's doru is a great choice.

As a classics major I'm obliged to note:
You might be looking for information about the Greek phalanx and the Roman legionary (not a Roman phalanx). It's a minor point but might help you if you're searching for more information. You might also find the Roman legionary/auxiliary an equally compelling character concept.

I'll also note that 300 creates some cool visuals but breaks pretty heavily from the traditional Greek fighting styles of the time—no doubt in the name of comic book action and cinematography. For a fantasy game and designing your character, that shouldn't stop you from making an awesome character who meets the vision you have.

That's my obligatory classics major knee-jerk reaction. I'll leave it at that, as the setting and the game may be inspired by real-world history, but they are not slaved to it. Play something cool that you'll enjoy.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

There is also a Fighter archetype in the APG called the Phalanx Soldier that you might be interested in.


^If you don't want the Phalanx Soldier archetype (for instance if you want to keep some ranks of Armor Training and Weapon Training), supposedly the Armor Master's Handbook has a feat or feat chain to let you get some of the same capability, but I haven't yet gotten to see that for myself.

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The mention of Iblydos prompts me to point out cool photo painting of Aelyosos (in Iblydos) on the www.pathfinderwiki.com entry for Iblydos. But one small detail quickly stood out to me: Anybody notice anything REALLY weird about the two ships in the lower right? (Hint: Neither one would look weird on its own.)


Is it the sails of the two ships? I know next to nothing about this stuff, but they look like they might be catching wind from two different directions.

/shrug


UnArcaneElection wrote:
The mention of Iblydos prompts me to point out cool photo painting of Aelyosos (in Iblydos) on the www.pathfinderwiki.com entry for Iblydos. But one small detail quickly stood out to me: Anybody notice anything REALLY weird about the two ships in the lower right? (Hint: Neither one would look weird on its own.)

Actually, both look odd in isolation.

The large ship has a square sail below the deck level in front of the ship. I've never seen that before.
The smaller ship's sail is in-line with the ship rather than perpendicular to it.

There are at least two other ships in the painting that have sails up. One is a smaller version of the larger ship, complete with secondary sail too low. The second is also a smaller version of the in-line sail ship with its own sails in-line.

Lastly, Redblade8 is right. To fill the sails of the larger ship, the wind if coming from top-left. However, the smaller ship's sail would be forced against the mast, something a mariner would not do. It also shows nearly no wind, despite proximity to the other ship.

/cevah


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My advice is to check out the feat Shield Brace from the Armor Master's Handbook.

Combine this with any spear and you get a good Phalanx Fighter without needing the fighter archetype. I suggest the Longspear for reach goodness.

To complement this, add the feat Phalanx Formation from Melee Tactics Toolbox and maybe Improved Shield Bash or just Improved Unarmed Strike for foes up close.

I've been wanting to have a good approximation of the phalanx for years, and I wasn't entirely happy until Shield Brace came into being.

If you find anything else that works better, post it! I'd love to hear other ideas as well.


Cevah wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
The mention of Iblydos prompts me to point out cool photo painting of Aelyosos (in Iblydos) on the www.pathfinderwiki.com entry for Iblydos. But one small detail quickly stood out to me: Anybody notice anything REALLY weird about the two ships in the lower right? (Hint: Neither one would look weird on its own.)

Actually, both look odd in isolation.

The large ship has a square sail below the deck level in front of the ship. I've never seen that before.

I saw that too, but I thought it was a mini-spinnaker, so even though I hadn't seen it before, I didn't think it was particularly weird.

Cevah wrote:
The smaller ship's sail is in-line with the ship rather than perpendicular to it.

Not quite perpendicular -- it is at a shallow angle such that a fore-and-aft rigged sail at that orientation might serve for a ship running REALLY close to wind coming from the right of the picture, but angled a bit to come somewhat from starboard of that ship (probably wouldn't work for a square sail, though, and would be touch-and-go for a fore-and-aft sail at that angle). But a wind from that direction wouldn't fill the sail of the ship in the foreground.

Cevah wrote:
There are at least two other ships in the painting that have sails up. One is a smaller version of the larger ship, complete with secondary sail too low. The second is also a smaller version of the in-line sail ship with its own sails in-line.

Those are enough farther away that they are probably only moderately smaller than the foreground ship (although on careful inspection, the perspective seems to be broken into 2 zones, one in the foreground and one in the background -- actually wonder how hard it would be to get the same effect by photographing a scene with a telephoto lens and a normal lense and then blending together the foreground part from the telephoto and the background part from the normal lens, taking care to make sure that the transition between photos is entirely or almost entirely in the water).

Cevah wrote:
Lastly, Redblade8 is right. To fill the sails of the larger ship, the wind if coming from top-left. However, the smaller ship's sail would be forced against the mast, something a mariner would not do. It also shows nearly no wind, despite proximity to the other ship.

The small waves in the harbor are compatible with a slight breeze that could just fill sails, but they do not indicate the vortex or microburst needed to fill the sails of both foreground ships at the same time in their respective orientations.

* * * * * * * *

Back on topic, I looked for some pictures of shields meant for fighting with spears, and while the only shields with cutouts for spears seem to be on fantasy/FRPG sites, I have seen Greek art (and the Wikipedia article on Greek Hoplite soldiers indicates that these soldiers used some pretty long spears in conjunction with their shields.


Mythraine wrote:

My advice is to check out the feat Shield Brace from the Armor Master's Handbook.

Combine this with any spear and you get a good Phalanx Fighter without needing the fighter archetype. I suggest the Longspear for reach goodness.

To complement this, add the feat Phalanx Formation from Melee Tactics Toolbox and maybe Improved Shield Bash or just Improved Unarmed Strike for foes up close.

I've been wanting to have a good approximation of the phalanx for years, and I wasn't entirely happy until Shield Brace came into being.

If you find anything else that works better, post it! I'd love to hear other ideas as well.

Thanks I'll take a look into these. There are also a couple of articles about Bronze equipment (and magical bronze which resists breakage) which go well with this. I'm thinking about converting over my Dwarves as a Greek / Spartan culture vs the nordic culture they are generally depicted as.

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