Top 10 Sword and Sandal Hero Requirements – By Danny Runion

The days are gone when the only requirement to be a sword and sandal hero was to look as if you stepped out of Frank Frazetta painting. Well, if you’re standing beside the Red Sonya analogue, the Frazetta thing is still a good idea… Most of those days are as gone as the noble king who has been overthrown by his nefarious chancellor. Are you a callow youth who has their head in the clouds and dreams of adventuring distant lands? Have you considered adventuring as profession? Well, are you ready to swing that two-handed sword against an army of villains and cry to "Crom" to allow you to crush them? A hero is more than just some dude carrying a cool sword and running off to avenge a wrong. This career requires many abilities and talents. The following isn’t a complete list but should give you a decent understanding of what is required before buying a pair of furry boots.

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Top 10 Requirements

1. Annoying Sidekick – A comedic foil who is constantly getting you in trouble accidentally. Until Kevlar is invented, he is the best body armor available. At worst, he’ll be attacked by your enemies and cry for your help. At best, he’ll be eaten by a dragon..

2. Befriend All Waifs – Always be kind to young waifs in castles and give them a crusts of bread. Remember, today’s hungry waif will be sneaking you the dungeon key tomorrow if you’ve shown them sny semblances of compassion.

3. Evil Sorceror or Warlord – What kind of sword-slinging hero would you be without a true archnemesis? For as heroic and noble as you are, the enemy must be a villainous and reprehensible opposite.

4. Ignorance of Family Background – This lack of genelogical data normally marks you as being the chosen one. If you know your actual family have been farmers for generations. That isn’t going to motivate you to run off and regain any stolen crown you obviously deserve.

5. Love Interest – Purity of heart isn’t purity of loins. No bar maid will call after a night of debauchery. Preferably, she will be able to wield a broadsword. Remember, she will only love who can best her in combat. The Red Sonja Complex isn’t a bad thing if you are a sword master who prefers redheads…

6. Quest – Many types of quests are available: Rescue the maiden fair, stop the evil sorceror from conquering the kingdom, etc….  Dragon slaying is no longer a recommended quest, as dragons are the most prevalent eater of sidekicks.  Revenging the slaughter of your village or family is always a good start to a quest as well.

7. Strength – While not being as buff as a Mister Universe isn’t required, you better not look ridiculous in a loincloth and furry boots. Will any goon quake in fear of a swordmaster that looks like Barney Fife in a loincloth? They may quake is disgust and revulsion but not fear of your amazing killing talents.

8. Trekking – While riding horses is acceptable, you can’t be a full-fledged sword and sandal hero without trekking through deserts, mountains, and forests on foot. It is better if you have some some good epic traveling music.

9. Weaponry – An extremely cool weapon is required. It needs to have a cutting edge and preferably be magical, too. A sword passed down for generations is a good weapon forany questing hero.

10. Wizened, Older Warrior – He will help to hone your latent fighting skills. He normally dies at the exact moment for you to mature into the great warrior, he knew you could become. Yes, in science fiction checklists, this is the Obi Wan Kenobi theorem.