The Age of Empire

  • 6 Replies
The Age of Empire
« on: February 14, 2013, 02:07:30 PM »
Hi everybody. Let me introduce myself. My name is Luigi, I'm an italian medievist and freelance journalist and I am a real appassionate of roleplaying game.
I've started playing Apocalypse World about two years ago and I play it nowadays.

I'm writing here to introduce a hack project based on Apocalypse World and set in Ancient Roman Empire. The following is the pitch of the game I'm writing:

One hundred years ago Octavianus Augustus founded the Roman Empire and take the control of the most powerful and rich State in the whole civilized world. A lot of emperors later, Rome is still in expansion, trying to conquer the entire Europe invading lands, plundering resources, imposing its authority. At the four corners of the Empire, people try to find their place in the status quo: the hope of every single citizen lay on social redemption or becoming rich and powerful or more rich and more powerful or simply obtain Roman citizenship in order to enjoy the privileges coming from this status. Meanwhile, on the frontiers, barbarians press the limes to enter Rome looking for fortune or just to plunder from the opulent colonies of the borders. At East, Parthians are an ongoing menace and threaten the eastern edge with a continuous wind of war.

You are the scum belonging to all that kind.

The game can be played in whatever year between 73 a.C. and 476 a.C. (namely from the reign of Vespasianus to the end of Roman Empire). The Emperor is just dead and pretorians have elected a new one. The player will act character capable to knock over - if they want - the stated power, such as a Senator, a Gladiator, a Philosopher, a Centurion and so on.

I've already written 8 of the 9 basics playbooks (the ninth is in doubt). I have to ask to Vincent Baker/lumpley if I can go on writing it in order to (one day) publish it if it's worth. Maybe, I will need to draw on some passages from Apocalypse World, the ones strictly related to the very basics rules that I preferred to leave as they are.

This is it for now. If there are any questions, I'm glad to answer.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 03:18:15 PM by luizbriganti »

Re: The Age of Empire
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 01:30:43 AM »
It's great, Luigi!
I'm no Vincent, but knowing that Dungeon World and Monster of the Week are published and have at least some similarity with basic AW, I don't think you'd have any problems. Please, go on, Rome definitely is an interesting thing to play

Re: The Age of Empire
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 02:02:57 PM »
Thank you for the support :)
I've just thought that maybe it's more attractive to set the story in a specific moment of the history of Roman Empire. Maybe it's better to set it just after the death of Commodus: on one hand, the worst emperor of Nervan-Antonian dynasty; on the other hand, an empire at his apex. What comes next? It's up to players (and their character, of course) to decide it.

Re: The Age of Empire
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 08:09:10 PM »
Following idea might sound strange... but maybe try and give the players ability to choose their last Emperor? (and, by necessity, empire's state at this point)
Like the hardholder chooses their holding in the main AW, like players choose their regimental commander and the regiment itself in Regiment, and so on
you could ask questions like:
"Hey, Brutus. Tell us, what the worst thing you remember about the last emperor?"
"Hey, Avitus, when you first saw him in person, and what you remember the most since this day?"
"Mark, you fought at the last conquest of his. What this conquest gave to the empire, as they say? What it gave to you, personally, or what it took from you?"

or give them "pick two good things and one bad thing about the last emperor"
and maybe some choices are good things for you, but poor for the state of the empire

(I'm not saying playing in the actual history is bad, it's awesome. but choosing this way gives the players more investment. and you can choose actual time frame if you have a good knowledge of history, basing on those choices)

Re: The Age of Empire
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2013, 02:25:17 PM »
Sounds awesome Luigi! I'd love to play your Hack in future!

The Roman Empire is facinating!


Re: The Age of Empire
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 01:34:55 PM »
Hi everybody.
Sorry for not posting for so long, I was busy with university. Anyway, I'm going on writing the game. I've changed the setting in the way suggested Guns_n_Droids, leaving untouched some points. I've decided to set the game after Antoninian Dynasty, but also to leave at players' description who were the dead Emperor (name, attitude, behavior, etc.), and who the new one is (if there is one).

About rules, I've written those for 1st session, described how do fronts work (they are called "crisis" and work in a slightly different way from AW) and the threats (that are one or two more). For now it's all.

Re: The Age of Empire
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2013, 08:41:07 PM »
Interesting! I will also be watching your progress - I'd love an AW-powered Roman game.