This is a quick notice to all of you out there who enjoyed my Lex Arcana review and the older interview with Valerio Ferzi about the game’s development. If you didn’t, the tl;dr version is that I love this game and think it’s both visually stunning and well-constructed. That’s why I’m so excited that they have a new Kickstarter campaign underway for a brand-new sourcebook!
Just from a Roman fan’s perspective, it sometimes seems like the portrayal of the Roman Republic and Empire are limited to the city of Rome itself (obviously), the wartorn Germanic frontier (Rome, Barbaren, Gladiator), and the culture clash in Egypt (Cleopatra, the Rome series again). I get it, those are really awesome locations and certainly the attention of a lot of imperial historians was focused there (I also love the history of Egypt so I’m not complaining that Lex Arcana went there first) and sometimes I also get a glimpse into Roman outposts in Britain (an easy sell to English-speaking audiences) as well as the Gallic Wars (though not often Gaul after Vercingetorix)…
All this is to say that there are parts of the Roman world that often get left out and that is more of a loss than a lot of people realize. The complexities of the relationship between Rome and their Italic allies (the socii) both as lead up to the Social War and then beyond, the legacy of Etruscans, Sabines, and others, the important cultural centers that turned into the Italian city-states of later centuries… It’s all like a fantastic Game of Thrones that really happened but for some bizarre reason it gets skipped over. Off to the east, the land of Dacia was a reservoir of enemy tribes until Trajan invaded and then it was settled so thoroughly that the Latin language remained to this day. Plus it’s got Zalmoxis who… well just read, he’s amazing. Next door (and related cultural) is Thrace which is the wild threat hanging over Greece in the Hellenistic period and continued that reputation into the Roman era.
All of these things are covered in the new Dacia and Thracia and Italia supplements, with the promise of Quality Games’ customary gorgeous artwork, thoughtful historicity, and intriguing character options. The campaign also includes maps of these regions, maps of the cities of Byzantium and Alexandria (from different scenarios), a brand new map of Carthage, scenarios, and probably more to come. If you’re interested in this, check out the campaign and get excited with me!
It is the twilight of the V century a.D., thirteen centuries since the foundation of Rome.
The Roman Empire did not fall as the Eternal City, in this alternate timeline, used her Haruspices, scholars and oracles to survive the chain of events that led her version from our world to ruin.
Stability and economic growth brought serenity and wealth to the people of Rome and many others even beyond Imperial borders are considered citizens of the Urbs, protected by the invulnerable Pax Romana. However, mighty and invincible legions and divination magics are not enough to protect the Empire anymore. Ancient demons, dark magic, sorcery and monsters from forgotten depths, all conspire to bring Rome down.