Hubris is excessive pride, tending towards arrogance and a severe overestimation of one's own abilities, worth and place in the world. What makes an act of hubris depends on individual circumstances but Greek mortals and the gods regard it as a grave offence.
Ancient Greece values personal greatness. Pride and self-confidence are a big part of a hero's identity and failing to celebrate one's own greatness is seen as a weakness. The challenge for heroes is exhibiting greatness and self-confidence without falling into hubris. Many heroes have failed this challenge and suffered for it; such a fate is part of Greek tragedy and almost expected of heroes. The gods want mortals to do great deeds in their name but heroes must remember their place as mortals.
Mortals, Gods and Hubris
To mortals, an act of hubris is an act of contempt — the belief that other mortals are below them and the justification for their ill-treatment. This is a particularly common problem amongst rulers and the rich. These acts of hubris centre on shaming and humiliating others. The offender believes they are so far above their victim that the rules of honour and decency no longer apply. In the eyes of immortals, hubris is when a mortal aspires beyond their station. Icarus claimed he could fly, a power the gods have not granted to mortal man, so Helios melted his wings.
Acts of hubris will attract the unwanted attention of both mortals and gods, though it is the gods who are a hero's biggest worry. When Achilles considered himself above the mortal Hector it was not enough for him to kill the Trojan, but in hubris he sought to humiliate him too. Achilles defiled Hector's body and dragged it behind his chariot, earning the hero the anger of both mortals and immortals. The gods ensured Achilles received a painful death while mortals gave Hector's body a proper burial.
Mortals who aspire to greatness are lauded by the gods and rewarded with an afterlife in the Isles of the Blessed. Mortals who place themselves above other mortals or who claim the power of immortals are committing hubris and are condemned to Tartarus. This is a fine line to tread but players and Game Leaders should revel in the rise of a Champion and their fall into hubris. The gods are always happy to use Champions as a morality tale for mortals.
Recovery for injury and illness is a slow process and the Healing Throttle is set to once a week (see Page 38, 6d6 RPG Core).
The wild magic of the Hellenic world is unsuitable for healing. Magic is temporary, so a ward might stop or slow the effects of injury or disease but never cure the causes. A hero affected by an injury no-one else can cure must travel to the nearest asclepeion and throw themselves on the mercy of the compassionate Asclepius. Alternatively a champion could look to their god for healing, expending their divine favour for a return to full health. While it might be in the patron god’s interest to keep their hero alive, the gods do not offer healing lightly. The hero is there to solve the god’s problem, not to become a problem for the god.
Few character advantages in Age of Legends are directly applicable to healing. Champions will often be relying on advantages such as Manual Dexterity for stitching wounds and Problem Solving for treating diseases. Recovery actions commonly involve only 2d6 or 3d6.
Characters will be at the mercy of local healers who are little better than the characters. Their skills range from 1d6+1 to 3d6+3. A healer's skill is often related to the size of settlement they are in but there are exceptions. The wizened hag in the tiny hamlet could prove to be a 3d6+3 expert while the charismatic healer treating the king may be a 1d6+1 butcher. Characters who reach an asclepeion will find their treatment better. Senior priests may be as good as 4d6+4 but people of this skill level are almost unique.
Situation bonuses to recovery actions are allowed. Anyone who enjoys complete bed rest for a week will gain a 1d6+0 bonus. Special effort placed into gathering the best and rarest herbs also justifies a bonus.
The lack of skilled healing coupled with the slow healing throttle results in characters carrying injuries for long periods. The toll of lots of small injuries gained during a long odyssey often proves fatal for a character.