Monday, January 21, 2013

Roman-themed Adventure Ideas

William over at the Ramblings of a Great Khan blog has been running a Roman-themed adventure design contest that began back on the feast of Saturnalia, with the deadline being the end of this month. The prizes are pretty cool and are worth entering something just for the chance of winning, even if you're not sure how worthy your entry may be, and include: dice with Roman numerals, and PDF copies of the 43 AD rpg and its Warband supplement.

It took a while for me to get my head wrapped around this one, but I kept my focus and plowed through it over the weekend, and finished my entry (ended up being 12 pages; details to come; I have not submitted it yet because I need to do another read-through). I do also have ideas for a couple of one-pager adventures and, time-permitting, will take a crack at those.

William has mentioned entries are slow in coming. I know many are busy with other things, but it also struck me that entries to the contest might be slow because people may not be sure what to do in the Roman setting. It is for that reason I thought I'd throw some things out to get your juices flowing, and let you know you still have 10 days to get something together.


Augur: Religious official who observes natural signs, esp. the behavior of birds, interpreting these as an indication of divine approval or disapproval of a proposed action.

Flamen: A priest serving a particular deity (1 of 15 major deities). The fifteen Republican flamens are part of the Pontificial College which administer state-sponsored religion.

Haruspex: A person trained to practice a form of divination called haruspicy, hepatoscopy or hepatomancy. Haruspicy is the inspection of the entrails of sacrificed animals, especially the livers of sacrificed sheep and poultry. The rites were paralleled by other rites of divination such as the interpretation of lightning strikes, of the flight of birds (augury, auspicy), and of other natural omens.

Haruspex: A senatorial priesthood reserved for patricians.

Praetorian Guard: Household troops/bodyguards of the Roman emperors.

Lictor: An officer attending the consul or other magistrate.

Legionarie: A soldier in a Roman legion.

The great thing about the Romans is that they stole A LOT from the Greeks (beyond their alphabet), and that includes their mythology. So any of the following are common to the milieu: chimera, dryads, griffons, elementals, centaurs, harpies, medusas, nymphs, pegasi, satyrs, strigae, titans, and unicorns. There were also daemons, that were really just invisible creatures; you could adjust the stats for the invisible stalker for that one. And then there are cacuses, a race of fire-breathing giants, which I will post as a new monster tomorrow. Also, if you had to, you could get away with the inclusion of cyclops, hydras, and minotaurs.

Need some location ideas?
- Check out the Google search for Roman temple plan >>
- And here's the search for Roman building plan >>
- Take a tour of a typical ancient Roman town >>

And now some of other thoughts to start combining with the above.
- Conspiracy
- Kidnapping
- Blackmail
- Barbarians & Druids
- Gladiators
- Slaves
- Catacombs
- Ruins

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