Marshals & Myrmidons (M&M) started as a desire for an alternate to the table-top Role-Playing Games (RPG) that were available at the time. While teaching secondary education, Stephen Alvis created Marshals & Myrmidons in the 1980's to teach leadership and decision making. Over the next several decades, it was refined and honed into a streamlined experience developing its own unique, on-going backstory. Many of the most heroic and engaging players were immortalized as permanent non-player characters in the game. The version available today is a unique table-top RPG that combines the sociality and impromptu dialog of a table-top game with the speed and variety of a digital game.
Marshals & Myrmidons was originally an after-school activity and because of that there was a limited amount of time for game play. A big problem was the character creation. In typical RPG's it can sometimes take hours to create a character, because of the time constraint and the fact that it was mostly Jr high kids (who, let's be honest here, don't always make the best or smartest decisions and often killed their characters quickly) a fast and simple way to create characters was needed. With that in mind, the character wheels were created.
As the sessions progressed, we noticed that, when using dice, the encounters and adventures were not as random as they could be. The desire for a larger variety of encounters and adventures lead to the creation of the adventure wheels. At first it was 3 rings of paper with a spinner in the middle and you had the option of either spinning 3 times or taking what you got on the first spin. About 10 years ago we created a system of 3 interlocking rings that could be changed around to replace the need for multiple spins. While really cool looking, we could not mass produce it and that made it way too expensive so the whole project went back on the shelf. About 2 years ago we found software that was able to create the wheels in a digital format. Not only was this awesome (inner geek showing here. sorry), but it allowed for even more random encounters.
Marshals & Myrmidons has been game-tested for two decades by Arizona jr. high and high school students, who have stayed after school for hours to play and even started a summer program one year to keep the game going. The Adventure Wheels can be used in combination with most other role-playing games to make complex characters or intriguing adventures. Though colored-coded to match, many Adventure Wheel rings could be interchanged to create even more complications.
We have designed the game to be fun for everyone, no matter how much or little experience they have with table-top RPGs. Where players are encouraged to work together to get out of sticky situations, and sometimes to create sticky situations. And where the situations and solutions are as varied as the players themselves. The interactive adventure and character wheels are easy for beginners to learn and provide a fast paced way to play this table-top RPG.
The name Marshals & Myrmidons comes from ancient armies. A marshal is a great leader in war, commanding thousands, and a myrmidon is a loyal and obedient follower. Myrmidons were Greek warriors led by Achilles at the siege of Troy. In Classical Greek, the name was interpreted as "ant-people," who inhabited the island of Aegina, which Stephen visited as a young man. In our game, myrmidons are non-player characters executing every command with literal exactness.