Every day, hundreds of people (or none) email me asking how they can be more like Hercules. They also ask for my social security number, so it may be an elaborate internet scam, but in case it isn’t, I present this guide.
If your fighter or barbarian character checks off everything on this list, when they die they will ascend to Mount Olympus and become a god. Any player at the table who plays a cleric will have to convert to your new religion, which obviously means they have to adopt your dead character’s alignment and they lose access to spells if they don’t fetch drinks and chips for you.
|Kirk Morris as Hercules and Illoosh Khoshabe as Samson|
Throw a Mega-Punch
At least once in his life, a real Hercules must throw a mega-punch. Here’s how:
1. When making an attack, declare it’s a mega-punch
2. Roll a d20, d12 and d10, adding your Str bonus and attack bonus to each dice
If all three rolls best your opponent’s AC, you reduce the target to 1d6 hit points and knock them out for an hour – yep, even if its Gandalf or Cthulhu
If two hit, you score normal punching damage, and are banned from mega-punching again until you gain a new level. We’re all a little disappointed in you.
If one hits, you swing wildly and miss. Any ally within fist range, though, must pass a saving throw or get clocked by you, suffering normal damage. If this occurs in a bar, your friend now has to get up and punch a stranger, and so on.
If none hit, you lose one level due to embarrassment and divine punishment. This lost level returns after you defeat something awesome in battle – without help Poindexter!
|Reg Park as Hercules|
Swear an Oath to the Gods
When bad shit happens to good people, look to the heavens and cry, “By the power of Zeus I will avenge you!”
Then do it.
Earn double XP, and operate under a bless spell during your next adventure.
Dear God, It’s Me, Hercules
A variation on the above. Whenever you screw up something you shouldn’t have, look to the sky and ask “Why have you forsaken me?”
There is a 1% chance, +1% per person at the table who laughed or snickered at your failure, that the head of the pantheon appears and tells you, and then gives you a quest to fulfill.
What’s the upside? There is none. But being Hercules ain’t all cheese and crackers, you know.
|Gordon Scott as Hercules|
Wrestle With Something Way Out of Your Class
If you’re medium, it should be huge. You can warm up on something large, but eventually you need to step it up to huge. And I mean wrestle – not attack with sword. Grab it. Pin it. Choke it out.
|Dan Vadis as Hercules|
If the world provides you with two pillars within arms reach of one another, you damn well better knock them down.
“But wait,” you cry, “I can’t do that with even an 18/00 strength!”
Then I guess you can’t be a god.
|Steve Reeves as Hercules|
Kill Someone with Chains
And not just any chains. The chains with which they bound you. Break out of the chains, then pick them up, and then start cutting down bastards like you’re harvesting grain.
Heavy chains do 1d6 damage and add 5′ to your reach. When attacking anyone who was involved in binding you, you score double damage.
|Mark Forest as Hercules|
Lead and Army in Skirts
No armor, just grim determination and skirts so short they would make a nun blush. Bonus if the army is Inca. You know, because of mythology and such.
Smack Around Some Moon Men
They may look like earth elementals, but trust me, they’re Moon Men and they have it coming.
Note – unless you’re lucky and they’re on Earth plotting to resurrect their queen by draining the life from a human woman, you’ll have to go to the Moon to fight them.
|Mark Forest as Hercules|
Choke a Thick Snake
Proudly, and announce that you’re choking a thick snake. Repeatedly. And talk about how your hands are tired afterward.
Don’t worry – each person at the table that snickers only adds to your glory. It’s called confidence, and there’s nothing manlier than that.
|Sylvia Lopez as Omphale|
Dally with an Evil Queen
She needs to be scary-hot. And evil.
Doing it while under a spell counts.
Changing her alignment counts for more.
|Nigel Green as Hercules (one of my favorites)|
Endanger The Party with Your Antics
Like, maybe by awakening Talos by stealing treasure you were specifically told not to steal.
Of course, you also have to save the day, or die trying.
|Reg Park as Ursus|
Two For One
Kill two men-at-arms by throwing one at the other. Extra points for a trick shot.
Or a guy dressed up as Moloch.
Okay – I just included this one because I thought the guy looked cool.
|Steve Reeves as Hercules|
Row a Galley
Bonus points if the captain can water ski behind it.
AND FINALLY …
5 thoughts on “How to Herc – An Illustrated Guide to Demigodery”
Best. Post. Ever.
I love that they worked the strangling a snake thing into the move, as according to the myth Hercules did this _as a baby in his cradle_…
Thanks for making me want to watch more of these old movies by the way.
Baby Herc strangled TWO snakes, one in each hand. And even if they were regular snakes, they count as thick because he had tiny baby hands.
The photos are great, too.
Makes me want to run a game of Herculean types trying to outdo each other in manliness (even the ladies). Hmm…another side-project to develop…
Nevermind…just picked up Swords & Sandals.
I hope you like it – and you should still develop that idea. The more ideas that are out there, the better.
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