The Greek word for weapon is hoplon, and so a Hoplite is literally a “man at arms.” The characteristic style of Greek warfare is the close hand-to-hand struggle and tight formations of heavy infantry called a phalanx. It is these heavily armed fighters, known as Hoplites, who fight either in the armies of their own cities or as mercenaries in foreign service.

Hoplite equipment includes a helmet, a similar bronze muscled corselet and graves. He carries an alternative to the normal hoplite sword, the kopis, a heavy slashing sword.

Typically, hoplites approach the enemy on foot. They carry either one or two spears and launch them against their opponents. After the spear assault, the two hoplites resort to swords, but before they engage may hurl heavy stones or small rocks at each other. Officers, known as strategos, are expected to fight in the front rank along with other wellequipped hoplites. The strength of hoplites is in shock combat. The two armies literally run into each other in hopes of breaking or encircling the enemy line. Failing that, things degenerate into a pushing match, with the men in back trying to force the front lines through those of the enemy.

Just before contact with the enemy, the rear ranks closed up so that each man occupies three feet of frontage and the left side of his shield covers his neighbor. The rear ranks take a man’s place as he falls or pushed behind him as required.

Hoplites work best in a team. Their abilities all revolve around a Hoplite’s organization and ability to stand fast with his brethren. They are the grunts of any military organization and represent the established military practice of polearm tactics.

Hoplites value the warrior gods over other deities. For the evil types, Ares is the prime choice. More benevolently inclined Hoplites worship Athena. All revere Zeus, the ultimate authority.

Hoplites are trained from birth to defend their homes and their land. Hoplites come from all walks of life. They are fathers, brothers, cousins and uncles. Some Hoplites are simply advanced militia. As they progress in skill, they sell their services to the highest bidder. All are accountable to the leaders of the city-state they serve.

Hoplite organization is based on an average row of eightman deep. Four of these rows form an enomotia or platoon; four enomotiai form on their turn a pentekostis or company which was commanded by a pentekonter; four pentekosteis formed a lochos or battalion under the leadership of a lochagos. The average army has about seven of these lochois.

Call To Battle

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you learn how to inspire your allies to fight on past their injuries.

When you use your Second Wind feature, you can choose up to three creatures within 60 feet of you that are allied with you. Each one regains hit points equal to your fighter level, provided that the creature can see or hear you.

Hold The Line

Also at 3rd level, you become a master of locking down your enemies. Creatures provoke an opportunity attack from you when they move 5 feet or more while within your reach, and if you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, the target’s speed is reduced to 0 until the end of the current turn.

Shield Wall

At 7th level, you learn to interlock your shields. You must be wielding a shield to use this feature. When an attack roll is made against an ally wielding a shield that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to use your Second Wind feature and add the number rolled to its AC against that attack, after seeing the roll but before knowing whether it hits or misses.

Close Order Fighting

Starting at 10th level, when you use your Action Surge feature, you can choose one creature within 10 feet of you that is allied with you. That creature can make one melee or ranged weapon attack with its reaction, provided that it can see or hear you. Starting at 18th level, you can choose two allies within 60 feet of you, rather than one.


Beginning at 15th level, you can extend the benefit of your Indomitable feature to an ally. When you decide to use Indomitable to reroll an Intelligence, a Wisdom, or a Charisma saving throw and you aren’t incapacitated, you can choose one ally within 60 feet of you that also failed its saving throw against the same effect. If that creature can see or hear you, it can reroll its saving throw and must use the new roll.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

5E RPG: Ancient Adventures. Copyright 2020, Mal and Tal, LLC; Author Michael Tresca.