These notes are written for a Greek campaign setting, including general information about people, creatures, equipment, and things that might pertain to a player character paladin.

– Generally speaking, all adults in your typical Greek village will be trained in basic combat using cloth armor (+0 AC), and either a spear (1d8) or a club (1d6) and light shield (+1 AC). They will have probably fought and killed a couple wild animals and repelled a bandit, raider, or slaver attack in their lifetime. Commoners will be less disciplined than soldiers or fighters and tend to gang up on enemies and use underhanded tactics to drive off or kill their enemies. They’re generally what amounts to an “apprentice rogue.” The sling and staff are the weapons of choice for shepherds, who often work alone in the wilderness and not only have the time to practice, but drive off or kill dangerous foes from a distance.

– Having the weapon and armor proficiencies of a paladin (cloth, leather, hide, chainmail, scale, plate; heavy shields, light shields; simple melee, military melee, simple ranged; holy symbols) means your character will no doubt have fought and killed many times in his or her life. Bandits, raiders, pirates, and slavers are the most likely to attack settlements. Humans aren’t very nice to each other and the most likely to prey on one another. Most people will have a passing familiarity with nymphs, dryads (tree-spirits), naiads (water-spirits), centaurs, fauns, and satyrs. Sylvan creatures typically work alone, but centaurs are known to occasionally form warbands.

– Undead spontaneously arise most frequently as allips (insane ghosts of suicide victims) and other incorporeal undead. Most people know that ghosts exist, and know someone or are related to someone who has seen a ghost. Unlike Third Edition, magic weapons aren’t needed to kill insubstantial creatures, but they are still quite powerful and generally require a hero to drive them off or slay them. Skeletons and zombies are less common, occurring more frequently among adventurers, bandits, and pirates than commoners. Unintelligent undead are rare, as most undead are the result of the failure of an individual to cross the river Acheron to the Underworld.

– Armor technology generally advances to keep up with weapon technology. Most people will be familiar with the club, staff, sling, and spear — generally made out of wood. Very few weapons are made out of metal, such that axes are prized for their utility (mostly for chopping wood) and swords are a badge of honor. Even mundane swords are likely to have a name and a history. It is the beginning of the iron age, and while more expensive than copper or bronze, iron weapons and armor are much easier to maintain. When an iron sword loses its edge, it can be ground down until it’s sharp again. Eventually you have to just replace the weapon. A copper or bronze blade has to be completely reforged after only a few uses.

– Rather than change the balance of the game by eliminating any armor types, we’re going to just assume that they’re composed of different things (same armor, different flavor). Armor starts out as rags or layers of wool cloth (+0 AC). Most armor is leather or hide and consists of protection for the torso and thighs (+2/+3). At that stage, armor for the arms, legs, and head is mostly superficial. Chainmail (+6 AC) is basically just the standard torso protection plus arm, leg and head protection (bracers, greaves, and helm) made of leather and reinforced with metal where helpful. Scale and plate (+7/+8 AC) require a great deal of metal and consist of breastplate, armor skirt, bracers, greaves, and helm.

– As with weapons, armor made with metal is a mark of great wealth and prestige. Every suit of armor above “cloth” (including leather, hide, chainmail, scale, and plate) is constructed with a specific wearer in mind, and as with weapons, suits of mundane armor will often come with names and histories, as most were owned by individuals of renown like heroes and kings. When a hero dies, ownership of their armor will often spark conflicts in communities, and sometimes a major battle between armies will grind to a halt when a hero dies, while warriors argue over who will get the hero’s body, armor, and weapons.

– Horses are incredibly expensive to take care of, and like weapons and armor, are often a sign of fantastic wealth. Most horse-owners use chariots instead of riding on the horses, and a chariot is yet another expense. Bareback mounted combat is mostly utilized by barbarian horse-tribes, whereas civilized peoples will use chariots much as I imagine helicopters are used in conflicts now — they’re used to quickly move elite troops across the field (dragoons) either insertion or extraction, and they can be used to “strafe” the battlefield if equipped with an archer. Though chariots can be used to trample soldiers, this makes them vulnerable to close-ranged attacks.