Immortals of Bronze was an idea that didn’t actually go anywhere. We had one, maybe two games, and then moved on to Nefertiti Overdrive. Over at Sword’s Edge, I reviewed Cities of the Ancient World, a lecture series from the Great Courses, and I mentioned my interest in ancient history. Immortals of Bronze was based on that interest.
The game was set in 2600 BCE Mesopotamia, and the players were representatives of the city-state of Eridu. The Overseers of the city-states are immortal. They have been given eternal life through magic. The necessary reagents for this magic can only be obtained from foreign lands, which leads many to send trade missions abroad. Other trade missions are from those of wealth or influence wishing to increase these. As the heroes of city-states, the PCs directed or protected these missions, which leads them into action, adventure and intrigue. These allows character to take on niches as warriors, traders, diplomats, spies, explorers, sorcerers, or pretty much anything else.
I was excited about a game set in Mesopotamia since, although we have evidence and information, we have no concrete facts. I like the malleability of that setting. I mean, in Nefertiti Overdrive, I took a well-documented moment in history and bent it to my will, but with Immortals of Bronze, history is even more interpretation than usual.
Further, basing adventures on trade missions provided a coherent explanation for the PCs being inserted into all sorts of dangers and intrigues – these aren’t just wandering murder-hobos, they represent the power of the a city-state government, meaning that they will be extended some level of deference and acceptance by most other states, except, of course, rivals.
The complex society of ancient Mesopotamia, its importance to the growth of Western civilization, and the ephemeral nature of our knowledge of the period make it fertile ground for adventures in a mythic locale most of your players will have at least some ideas about.
You can learn more about Mesopotamia with Dr. Kenneth Harls’ lecture series Origins of Great Ancient Civilizations at the Great Courses.