Rune Quest 3 Gladiator Previous Experience
Gladiators are slaves who are forced to fight so spectators can watch them display weapons skills and the stoic bearing of wounds up to death. They are trained harshly in the skills of personal close combat and are given extensive physical training to be strong, enduring and fast on their feet. Of all the slaves, gladiators are at once the lowest of the low due to them being forced to give their bodies for other’s amusement, yet they are also considered to be admirable examples of martial and human virtues in the face of death. A gladiator who is a willing fighter and bears their wounds with dignity are often famous and will have a large following of fans.
While most gladiatorial matches are not ‘to the death’, the chances of severe injury and death remained high. Weapons were proven to be sharp for the crowd’s approval and the torso of the gladiator was almost never armoured. The death rate was high.
Gladiators are never given spells. Statistic boosting spells might be cast on a gladiator before they entered the arena and healing spells might be cast on them when they are wounded, but the gladiator as slaves do not have spells and the spell would be lost when the gladiator died on the sand of the arena.
Instead gladiators are trained physically in Strength, Constitution and Dexterity when these statistics are raise-able according to the Rune Quest 3 ‘Increasing Characteristics’ rules (page 38, Player’’s Handbook). One point of training is given for every point of spirit magic they would normally receive. Note that some gladiators who are undesirable assets and were destined to simply die would not be trained at all.
Each gladiator is trained in a gladiatorial style and only the weapons inside that style are considered ‘cultural weapons’ with a base 30% skill. The following are some historical gladiatorial styles but the game master is encouraged to make up their own. Note that the gladiator never owns any of this equipment.
Parma (Target), Spear, Machera (sword), Pugio (dagger), hand to hand. Helmet, greaves, balteus (armoured girdle), right arm manicum (arm guard)
Trident, Lasso, Dagger, hand to hand. Right arm Manicum (arm guard), balteus (armoured girdle)
Scutum (Hoplite Shield), Gladius (short sword), Pugio (dagger), hand to hand. Helmet, greaves, balteus (armoured girdle), manicum (arm guard)
Trident, Net, Dagger, hand to hand. Right arm manicum (arm guard), balteus (armoured girdle)
Scutum (Hoplite Shield), Gladius (short sword), Pugio (dagger), hand to hand. Helmet, greaves, balteus (armoured girdle)
Scutum (Hoplite Shield), Gladius (short sword), Pugio (dagger), hand to hand. Helmet (special smooth helmet to avoid being snagged or caught), greaves, balteus (armoured girdle), right arm manicum (arm guard)
Parma (Target), Sica (short sword), Pugio (dagger), hand to hand. Helmet, balteus (armoured girdle), greaves.
Buckler, Javelin, Gladius (short sword). (Note: The Veles’ javelin had a ten metre leather thong that attached it to the Velites’ arm.)
This sub-group of gladiators dispenses with a shield and uses a Gladius (short sword) in each hand but is otherwise identical to any other sword-wielding gladiator. The off-hand sword has a base chance of 20%
Jump x2, First Aid x3, Martial Arts x3, Fast Talk x2, Conceal x1, Sleight x1, Listen x1, Hide x1, Sneak x1, Scan x1, Fist Attack x2 or Grapple Attack x2, Dagger Attack x2, 1H Weapon Attack x4, Shield Parry x4 or Dodge x4 or if Dimachaerius Offhand 1H Weapon Parry x4, 1H Weapon Attack x4 from another gladiatorial style or if Dimachaerius 1H Weapon Attack x4.
Linen tunic, Sandals, 1D3 Scars, Slave Brand if applicable, Rudiarius (wooden short sword) for freed gladiators.
Helmets, greaves and manica are either 6AP or 8AP plate, manica may also be chain mail 7AP, scale 6AP, padded linen 1AP, leather 2AP or cuirboilli 3AP. All have 1AP sub armalis padding. Balteus is heavy leather 2AP or cuirboilli 3AP.