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Roma – Historic roleplaying

June 24, 2012 Leave a comment

DavidI love history, and especially the Roman period. As a kid I loved visiting ruined Roman forts, which is why I’m really excited to see a Roman-themed roleplay created on OngoingWorlds. This article was written by Edward Willems, the GM of Roma.

RomaThe idea for Roma came gradually, mainly through watching far too many films about ancient Rome and Greece – Come on, what GM hasn’t had a game at least partly derived from a favourite book or film? Anyway, the idea basically solidified when watching the film Troy. The thinking was effectively: “Brilliant, great film, historically accurate, good battle scenes, where are all the gods and monsters I wanted to see?” In the actual myth gods and magic frequently pop in and out, and the story’s pretty flat without them.

It occurred to me that this is true of roleplaying games too – Historical ones are great fun because it’s basically a fantasy setting that’s more believable and comes with its own inbuilt backstory. But the same problem applies: stringently detailed historical accuracy and ruthless realism take the bounce out of any game. Read more…