Welcome to Rome, 647 AUC
Welcome to this new episodic series dedicated to When In Rome, a game about daily life in a friendly Roman neighborhood in the Year of the Consulship of Longinus and Marius, 647 Ab urbe condita (other periods will be playable, too).
One Series, Two Games
When in Rome will be presented episodically for two rulesets: Cortex Prime for an immersive historical experience; and PbtA for a more casual game. As currently planned, Season 1 will star Cortex Prime, with PbtA making guest appearances, until it joins the main cast in Season 2.
When In Rome is a “spiritual successor” of GURPS: Imperial Rome, and follows GURPS’s philosophy of baking setting elements into character sheets as story generators. All Pathways Leads to Rome (I) covers its design philosophy.
Season 1: Cortex Primus
S1E01: Distinctiones Romanorum: A good Roman character needs a good Roman name (Roman naming conventions and the Distinctions for Cortex:WIR—Praedistinctio, Distinctio Gentilicia, and Distinctio Cognoscenda).
S1E01.5: Inventing Cispia: How Cispia Perigrina, A. Cispius Iunianus and M. Bantius Peregrinus came to life, with a guide to online resources to create good Roman characters with good Roman Names.
S1E02: Do Ut Des: A good Roman character swears by the Gods. (Religion in Rome, and six pledges to six Roman gods to define a player character: Ianus, Iuno, Iupiter, Mars, Minerva, and Vesta.)
S1E03: Ordines Civitatis [May 14th, 2022]: A good Roman citizen knows their neighborhood. (The social structure mirrored in five divisions: Patricians, Plebeians, Foreigners, Slaves, and after 107 BCE, the Legions.)
Authenticity, not Accuracy
When In Rome does not aim for historical accuracy, but what Jonathan Stamp, HBO’s historical consultant on Rome, called “authenticity.” Each post will introduce an element of the game in its historical context, insisting on the details of daily life.
To guarantee the authenticity of When in Rome, we have secured the collaboration of Iacopus Benenatus Perseus Americanus Senex, author of the six-part Old School Strength series on the world-renowned Analytic Fitness™ blog The Older Avocado.
When In Rome will not shy away from the most glaring issues of Roman life—slavery, patriarchy, social inequalities, and colonialism—but players and game moderators will remain free to decide how much of them they want in their game.
A Collaborative Endeavor
I. Benenatus Perseus Americanus Senex is the lead designer of When In Rome, but the game design is a collaborative effort. Join us on the game’s dedicated channel on The Dirty Window, the Discord server for the Polverine’s blog.
In the meantime, valete.