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ROME - Life and Death of the Republic


Trifletraxor

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rome.jpgROME is the longest enduring civilization in western European history. It is synonymous with empire, legions, dictators, gladiators and decadence. The Romans have been an inescapable influence on our lives. Much of modern law, European languages and even some political systems are based upon their legacy. The efforts of this once mighty nation still echo in our psyche, making Rome a perfect setting for roleplaying campaigns. Whether you prefer the gritty underhanded corruption of Roman politics, fighting great battles against Rome’s enemies, or participating in the spectacular excitements of chariot racing and gladiatorial combat, ancient Rome can cater to your needs. In its own peculiar way, Rome is the archetypal metropolis, the original upon which our modern cultures are but a pale shadow. Welcome to the Eternal City, and plumb its treacherous depths . . . .

This book contains setting information for role-playing in Rome during its Monarchy and Republic. The content focuses on the city and culture of Rome from its legendary founding in 753 BC, to the end of the Republic in 27 BC. Seven hundred years is an incredible length of time, which makes it difficult to cover the period in any detail. Though readers may find the following contents more comprehensive than any previous role-playing supplement on the era, it still only scratches the surface! Despite the focus on the city itself - rather than its burgeoning empire - game masters should bear in mind that to a Roman, Rome was the centre of the world, and the provinces merely places to conquer and reap taxes from. On a more practical level, there simply wasn’t room to add any additional material covering the regions and enemies of the empire!

Most of this book contains dates and periods to indicate when certain historical events occurred:

* The Monarchy, 753-509 BC – The founding of the city to the overthrow of the Monarchy

* The Early Republic, 509-264 BC – The start of Republic and conquering of Italy

* The Middle Republic, 264-133 BC – The Punic Wars to the Gracchi reforms

* The Late Republic, 133-27 BC – Political instability and civil wars leading the end of the Republic

Since this is a historic setting, most of the information has been carefully researched to be as accurate as possible, drawing on the archaeological and historical theories current at the time of publication. Many of the cultural conventions described may seem odd or even wrong, but where space permits their accuracy has been illustrated using quotes from Roman and Greek authors contemporary to the time, or within a few generations of the period. Due to the dearth of written material surviving from earlier times, most of the information is skewed towards the lifestyle and culture at end of the Republic, and at best are only generalizations.

Although primarily a historical guide to early Roman life, some supernatural and mythological elements have been included in the Magic and Creatures chapters to provide for Game Masters desiring a mythic campaign. These aspects are more subtle than their earlier archaic Greek counterparts and demonstrate Roman superstition prevalent at the time. The layout of the book places the cultural sections first, leaving the majority of chapters involving game mechanics and campaigns to the latter half.

By Pete Nash. 220 pages. Published by Alephtar Games June 2009.

Supplement for this setting: Veni, Vidi, Vici

Edited by Trifletraxor

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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  • 4 months later...

I just received this in the mail from Lulu today (I took advantage of their 'HOHOHO' sale).

My immediate impression is very positive. It looks packed with information. And, although set during an earlier era, it should compliment Cthulhu Invictus nicely (I hope).

Also, it's cool to have an A4 sized book. :)

However, I have two small issues with the formatting. First, the inner margins are too small -- i.e., the text is too close to the binding. This isn't a huge problem -- everything is readable -- but it doesn't look nice. Second, the paragraph formatting alternates between 'unjustified' (most text) and 'justified' (most quotes). Personally, I think that all text should be justified. In any case, it should consistently be one or the other. All IMHO, of course.

Sorry for the nitpicks. As I said, this looks like a very high quality product, and I look forward to reading -- and eventually using -- it! :D

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My immediate impression is very positive. It looks packed with information. And, although set during an earlier era, it should compliment Cthulhu Invictus nicely (I hope).

Yes it should provide a lot of cultural and social background, along with many interesting historical events on which to pin scenarios.

Also, it's cool to have an A4 sized book. :)

It helps to squeeze in a higher word count! :)

However, I have two small issues with the formatting. First, the inner margins are too small -- i.e., the text is too close to the binding. This isn't a huge problem -- everything is readable -- but it doesn't look nice. Second, the paragraph formatting alternates between 'unjustified' (most text) and 'justified' (most quotes). Personally, I think that all text should be justified. In any case, it should consistently be one or the other. All IMHO, of course.

The quotes were formatted that way for emphasis, so that you can locate the passage quicker if scanning the page, and it breaks up the flow of the quite dense text. I like it because it captures the attention of a casual browser and sucks them straight into the subject with a paragraph or two.

Sorry for the nitpicks. As I said, this looks like a very high quality product, and I look forward to reading -- and eventually using -- it! :D

Tastes vary of course, but if this the worst of your nitpicks, I think I'm a very happy man indeed! :lol:

Thanks for the comments Akrasia. Perhaps after you finish reading it you could post something nice about Rome on your blog? :thumb: Does anyone else have any (re)views which will help out the production team at Alephtar Games, or my own future projects?

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Hello

Yes, A4 is far better than US letter! :-D

>However, I have two small issues with the formatting. First, the inner margins are too small -- i.e., the text is too close to the binding. This isn't a huge problem -- everything is readable -- but it doesn't look nice. Second, the paragraph formatting alternates between 'unjustified' (most text) and 'justified' (most quotes). Personally, I think that all text should be justified. In any case, it should consistently be one or the other. All IMHO, of course.≥

Yes the inner margins was my error. Rome was my first time with a 200 page moloch, I have forgotten that this problem could have rised ;-)

Luckly redeability isn't compromised by this...

Also I would like have used a bit fewer clip arts and more “fresh” illustrations. But the deadline was hellish (and the clip arts give it a “historical” flavour

For the change in justifications it is a voluntarly choice, to break the main text from the quotations (as Pete says)

Thank you for the positive comments

;-)

Dario

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  • 4 months later...

Hi there,

I haven't doine more than browse through this book yet, but I'm very impressed. This is one of my favorite periods of history. I'm a big fan of John Maddox Roberts' SPQR series, which is also set during this time period, and it will be a wonderful inspirations for a Rome campaign.

Good luck with this and future supplements!

Guy

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Hi all! First time posting.

I just picked this one up and am going to be using it to GM for the first time. Really looking forward to it! It is my favorite period in history, and I'm planning on running a campaign during the second Punic War. If anyone has any advice, I would love the input!

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I have just downloaded BRP Rome, and from what I have seen so far I am almost convinced

that it is by far the best historical supplement I have ever seen - Congratulations. ;t)

My only problem is that it is a little difficult to read on the screen, especially the black on grey

quotes in the margins.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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I just picked this one up and am going to be using it to GM for the first time. Really looking forward to it! It is my favorite period in history, and I'm planning on running a campaign during the second Punic War. If anyone has any advice, I would love the input!

I'd suggest keeping combat to a minimum, perhaps using it as the climatic conclusion to some scenarios - a battle or assassination attempt for example. BRP can be lethal and healing wounds takes time. Using long distance travel or campaigning seasons can help pace the adventures so that PCs have time to recover.

If you know your history, the 2nd Punic War can be a fantastic basis for lots of internecine feuding amongst the senate members, and political intrigue between Rome and its wavering client city-states. So I'd suggest focussing on the ambitions, stupidity and treachery of the leading figure of the time - lots of roleplaying and political manoeuvring, with the PCs starting as loyal clients before being tempted (or driven) to seizing power for themselves. Throw in the occasional battle to keep the combat junkies happy and some sea voyages which narrowly survive bad storms, pirates or Punic fleets.

Realistically the greatest danger in the campaign shouldn't be Carthage, but the military incompetance or self-seeking aspirations of their own side... assuming the party are Romans of course! ;)

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I have just downloaded BRP Rome, and from what I have seen so far I am almost convinced

that it is by far the best historical supplement I have ever seen - Congratulations. ;t)

Thanks Rust! Of course I'm only reponsible for the writing, it was the rest of the team (Dario, Paolo and co.) who did such a fantastic job of layout and locating/providing better art. Although it maybe a little difficult to read on screen, I personally think it was their production values which made this a top-notch supplement. As a physical book, the clarity of layout is excellent.

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I'd suggest keeping combat to a minimum, perhaps using it as the climatic conclusion to some scenarios - a battle or assassination attempt for example. BRP can be lethal and healing wounds takes time. Using long distance travel or campaigning seasons can help pace the adventures so that PCs have time to recover.

That's what I'm told. I think I have the type of players who will avoid conflict in general, but you never know!

If you know your history, the 2nd Punic War can be a fantastic basis for lots of internecine feuding amongst the senate members, and political intrigue between Rome and its wavering client city-states. So I'd suggest focussing on the ambitions, stupidity and treachery of the leading figure of the time - lots of roleplaying and political manoeuvring, with the PCs starting as loyal clients before being tempted (or driven) to seizing power for themselves. Throw in the occasional battle to keep the combat junkies happy and some sea voyages which narrowly survive bad storms, pirates or Punic fleets.

This is my favorite period of Roman history. The game is practically writing itself at this point! I am so pumped for this game!

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  • 6 months later...
  • 5 months later...

Pete,

I'm really happy with this book (so much so that I acquired both the pdf and hard-copy). What are your further plans for the title? In the course of compiling data for a campaign I'm working on (I feel like I am always working on something and never playing), I seem to be "needing" a gazeteer of the Roman World. Toward that end I'm starting to accumulate maps of various urbs and such and maps in general.

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Well I have enjoyed the ROME supplement and think it is a good example for Historical BRP.

In might a man, a youth in years, Of boisterous valour, Swift long-maned steeds under the thigh of a handsome youth ...Quicker to a field of blood, than to a wedding quicker to the ravens' feast

- Y Gododdin

"The soldier knows little of philosophers but in him and in his deeds life expresses itself more profoundly than any book can"

- Ernst Junger

E3b1a2 V13 V36

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I'm really happy with this book (so much so that I acquired both the pdf and hard-copy). What are your further plans for the title? In the course of compiling data for a campaign I'm working on (I feel like I am always working on something and never playing), I seem to be "needing" a gazeteer of the Roman World. Toward that end I'm starting to accumulate maps of various urbs and such and maps in general.

At the moment I have no current plans to expand the setting, although I had considered writing a political campaign. Paolo said that Alephtar had been working on a Punic War campaign, but I haven't heard anything for months.

My focus at the moment however is to do something for Moon Design then think carefully about my next few books. I do want to write one on Mythic Greece, completing a trilogy of historical settings, albeit split between different systems/publishers. :)

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So are you writing Gloranthan HQ content for Moon Design, and also potentially doing historical setting material for BRP to be published through Alephtar?

Sounds like a great career niche to me. MRQ2 Vikings and Alephtar's BRP Rome have been some of the best supplements to hit the market, and I've seen more than a few over the years.

I love Glorantha ( it has been my default fantasy setting for years), and I reckon Moon Design is really going to benefit from your involvement; although I must admit that I'm very interested at the prospect that you may do a BRP Mythic Greece setting - it's a pity that one looks further down the track, it'll surely sell as well as Rome has.

Best wishes with your new endeavours

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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Actually, work has started on the Rome:Generals and Senators supplement. IndianaKen is doing the writing. We hope to hit the shelves for Christmas.

Now that Pete is freelancing again, we might be willing to publish something by him again. But _after_ he is over with the Gloranthan supplement.

Proud member of the Evil CompetitionTM

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Actually, work has started on the Rome:Generals and Senators supplement. IndianaKen is doing the writing. We hope to hit the shelves for Christmas.

Now that Pete is freelancing again, we might be willing to publish something by him again. But _after_ he is over with the Gloranthan supplement.

Excellent News !!!! Question... in the future do you think there will be plans for Late Imperial Supplement?

In might a man, a youth in years, Of boisterous valour, Swift long-maned steeds under the thigh of a handsome youth ...Quicker to a field of blood, than to a wedding quicker to the ravens' feast

- Y Gododdin

"The soldier knows little of philosophers but in him and in his deeds life expresses itself more profoundly than any book can"

- Ernst Junger

E3b1a2 V13 V36

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Excellent News !!!! Question... in the future do you think there will be plans for Late Imperial Supplement?

That area is already covered by Cthulhu Invictus. You just take away everything with tentacles, and you are ok. Rome was intentionally aimed at the Republican period to avoid conflicting with that work.

Proud member of the Evil CompetitionTM

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I see I am not CoC fan....but I understand

In might a man, a youth in years, Of boisterous valour, Swift long-maned steeds under the thigh of a handsome youth ...Quicker to a field of blood, than to a wedding quicker to the ravens' feast

- Y Gododdin

"The soldier knows little of philosophers but in him and in his deeds life expresses itself more profoundly than any book can"

- Ernst Junger

E3b1a2 V13 V36

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm trying to come up with a Latin name for a secret organization that seeks out and destroys supernatural menaces that threaten Rome. Probably more of a Cyhulhu Invictus subject, o guess. It's like an ancient Roman version of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense from the Hellboy comics and movies.

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I'm trying to come up with a Latin name for a secret organization that seeks out and destroys supernatural menaces that threaten Rome. Probably more of a Cyhulhu Invictus subject, o guess. It's like an ancient Roman version of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense from the Hellboy comics and movies.

Deus Vult? ;)

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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Deus Vult? ;)

How about this then?

The most important of these precursor orders existed during

the Roman era. The Averrunci were a secret sect under the

direction of certain rich families. At night, they would creep

through the streets of Rome, searching for foreign priests,

druids, practitioners of human sacrifice, magi and demon-

worshippers.

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  • 5 months later...

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