Exploring the sandy environs of the Slumbering Ursine Dunes in the Hill Cantons last Saturday, the players stumbled upon a series of low, distant islands on the horizon. While they have yet to fill in this particular blank spot on their map, it has given me leeway to expand the invisible walls of their sandbox a little more. A noteworthy part of this mysterious, magically-shrouded chain is an island ruled by the legendary iron-willed Amazon queen Antianara.
This little piece of campaign lore wouldn't normally drag a blog entry out of me if it wasn't for a recent inspired bit of serendipitous postings on the Troll Lord Games and Knights-n-Knaves Alehouse boards about nixing barbarians as a class in favor of reclassifying them as playable races in C&C and AD&D 1e. Amongst the satisfyingly diverse group of suggestions for new, variegated barbarian races tricked out with their own custom attribute hikes and racial/cultural abilities is the Amazon. Count me among the intrigued.
Down here in the human-centric HC we have been sloppy with barbarians, now numbering no less than four out of our 14 PCs. It's doubtful that we'll go the full way and dump our valiant, ill-smelling northern brothers as a class mid-stream, but I do see an opening for introducing the Amazon as an option for new characters.
While I may yet adopt Keolander's yeoman work on Hyperboreans, Steppe, and Desert barbarian races at an appropriate moment, my own campaign's conception of what constitutes an Amazon is a bit at odds with the conception posited on the previously-mentioned boards. The Amazon presented there seems more of an agile, jungle-setting kinda race of wimmin folk (they climb trees and cliffs well, get a bonus on their starting Dexterity, wear light armor, yadda yadda) than the somewhat more-civilized, strong-boned Greek Mythical/Black Sea Amazons I am imagining.
Besides a bit more gravitas, what would this other Amazon entail in game terms? A bonus to strength? A penalty to Charisma for their brusque arrogance? Bonuses to hit with a spear or short bow? What classes would be compatible?