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Author Topic: Gladiators!  (Read 12521 times)
Lance D. Allen
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« on: August 09, 2002, 12:14:33 AM »

Okay, so I'm a night late on posting this... But here it is.

The idea was originally conceived by Darren of Imperial Outpost Games here in Phoenix. His idea was rather vaguely expressed as "each player runs a stable of gladiators for a tournament". While walking home from work (which I do when it rains too hard the night before to ride my bike, therefore weaseling a ride to work) I was tumbling this idea over in my head, and the root of my idea came to me.

Players and characters: Each player plays a Landed Gentry. Full chargen is not required for this character, however, though the player may do so at their option. All that is required is a name, a list of any gladiators the gentry owns, and a manifest of equipment bought for the gladiators' use in battle.
The Gladiator: Each Gentry owns a single gladiator at the beginning of the game. The gladiator is created using standard character generation rules, with the following exceptions:

1. The character cannot be Gifted, but can be a Halfling or Siehe.
2. The character's Social Status is Slave, and as such, has no possessions of their own.
3. The character's only SA is Luck, which starts at 3, and has an upper limit of 7.

After the Gentry has entered his gladiator in a single fight, win or lose, he may then use his funds to purchase more gladiators. These gladiators can either bought from stock, meaning they will be created using the modified chargen rules for gladiators, or existing gladiators owned by other players may be bought.

The battles: Each battle will have certain things spelled out from the beginning, which will affect the entry fees. Some of these things might be:

Number of participants: duels, melees, free-for-alls, or scenario battles
Lethality: Some might be to first-blood, others might be to the death, though I imagine that most will fall somewhere in between.
Weapons: Some battles might be restricted to fists, sword and shield, or maybe even totally open, with a scattering of weapons found in the arena, with combatants bringing none with them.
Armor: as above, so below.

In addition to the total entry fees going to the winner(s), there is also a prize set for each sanctioned bout. This amount may be small or large, depending on the conditions of the battle, the level and fame of the combatants, etc.

Also, every sanctioned bout will have 5 points per every 2 combatants of Luck hanging in the balance. These 5 points will be distributed as the judge sees fit. If you survive, you gain 1 point. Beyond that, the points are distributed based upon the degree of victory. If you are totally defeated in a duel by the terms of the battle, then you receive 1 point, and your opponent receives 4. Any combatants who die, of course, get no points. These points go into the character's Luck SA. Points from the SA can be used as normal during bouts, and can be spent as normal between bouts. Likewise, they may also be spent into a "pool" of points for improving that character immediately before a bout, but these points can never go back into Luck. Also, Insight is not in effect.

Time: Time is measured in the same time-frame as real life. If a group gets together once a week to play, then one game-time week has passed. This is an important note for healing times. If your fighter was beat into incapacitation, then they will not be able to fight anymore until they have healed that damage. Also note that if multiple battles take place on the same day, then they take place on the same day in-game as well. A single day tournament will be very, very hard on gladiators, for example.

Tournaments: Every so often, however often the judge/Seneschal decides to hold one, there will be a tournament. Tournaments will have large entry fees, and equally large prizes granted to winners, in addition to the prestige of being a tournament victor, or at least someone who made a good showing in a tournament. There are no Luck points to be given during tourney bouts, but the Luck pool refreshes between battles, rather than at the end of the play session, as normal.

This is the beginning of what I've got. I'm still not certain on specifics, like how much the standard entry fees would be, or how much it would cost to buy a stock gladiatorial slave. I'm also assuming that this is not in the Weyrth setting, and as such there are no nationality bonuses or penalties. I would, however, like to add optional rules to set it in Weyrth, which would possibly bring more of a roleplaying aspect into it. Non-Gentry players could join the game as slavers who captured slaves and sold them to the Gentry, or some-such. I can see Stahl, Ixliaph. Odeon and Savaxen as being in-demand, due to physical bonuses. Also additional rules for setting the prize based on the pull that a given battle would have to the audience. ("Who's fighting? Never heard of 'em, so *I* probably won't go.." or "Oh, Lord So-and-So's got himself a new gladiator, and he's fighting his first battle today? This I've got to see." or even "All no-name comers -vs- 3 captured Hefs? I am SO there.")

Comments and suggestions are welcome, as this is grist for the Compendium mill.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Mokkurkalfe
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Posts: 340


« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2002, 01:20:30 AM »

That's cool...

Some feedback:
Should one out it in Weyrth, the roleplaying possibilites would be great as well(imaging trying to capture a war-trained Hef from his clan).

Also, since the prizes go to the owner, not the slave, one could have special prizes, such as "favorite of the audience", and "judges' favorite" and so on, even if the gladiatior died.

When you buy slaves from stock, it might be cool if *they* have insight points to use immediately in chargen, to symbolise their experience. They will, of course, be more expensive.

To-the-death fights and "maiming fights" should have very high prizes, altough perhaps as low entry fees for the gladiatiors as more non-lethal fights. The audience will pay for the extra cost...

Also, gladiators could be "hired" to represent some noble in a public challenge or duel. Then, of course, the noble pays.

Tournaments, are they knock-out style(i.e. as the soccer world cup finals)?

There could be a "house-league", similar to that in racing. "Lord Herwin's gladiatiors fought very well today and Herwin has now passed Lord Meridus with eighteen victories and only two losses so far."

Some scenarios:
House vs. House
Men vs. Beast
Men vs. Beasts
Rookies vs. Champion(s)
Champion vs. Champion
Beast(s) vs. Champion
House vs. man(i.e. public execution)
Champion vs. Challenger
Beast vs. Challenger
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Joakim (with a k!) Israelsson
Jake Norwood
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2002, 09:33:25 AM »

I'll chime in. I want to see this. Badly. Make it or die.

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Mokkurkalfe
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2002, 09:38:20 AM »

Whoa!

No failures allowed here, it seems.
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Joakim (with a k!) Israelsson
Mike Holmes
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2002, 10:30:16 AM »

Lance,

I did almost exactly this using Hero System years ago. But you are missing a couple of things that I came up with that might be cool. So here goes.

1. You don't get slaves from "stock", man. You get them at the slave auction. Have them regularly scheduled, and the players who attend can buy. Generate teh slaves yourself before hand. Have them make skill checks based on PER and knowledge skills to get a chance to determine what the slaves stats are. Then, acting the part of the auctioneer, make claims about the slaves competency. "Strong as an ox!", "Quick as a hawk!", "Trained as a soldier in the Stahlnish army!", etc. Don't use actual stats, just description. Really try to get as much as you can for each slave. It's great fun. The shrewd buyers start out with an advantage.

2. In fact, I also allowed players to hire pro scouts who could give you extra rolls on finding out what the characters stats were like. Once purchased, the player could keep the stats secret (though the other player's present at the auction at least had a look at the slaves). At the beginning of each gala, the scouts could then be employed to try and determine what training the slaves may have had, etc. After fighting they'd get another roll as well. In essence you get the character's ratings slowly over time. All roll results should remin secret and the GM should do the math so as to maintain this secrecy (this last is diffficult, and can be sacrificed saying that any stat required in a fight becomes public knowledge).

3. The character should have a popularity rating that relates to things like his size, Social stat, his performance on the sand, and how well he plays to the audience during fights. That's right, when characters circle, they can adopt a neutral stance and speak to the audience making rolls to impress them. They can also bravely turn their back on their opponents (call it the "tempting" stance; this rule can be used with regular Taunting rolls as well, BTW), which gives the character a big penalty to their CP. This is more effective in terms of grandstanding against an unwounded foe, but can also be used against a wounded one. This is one way in which a wounded foe has a chance to come back, having a moment to shake off shock effects, as the opponent plays to the audience. Fun, fun.

In general, see the rules for Heat from Kayfabe for ideas on what makes a gladiator popular. Popularity relates strongly to the crowd draw, and the potential purses. Thus it's very important (as it was in Rome) for one to keep their good gladiators alive. You might purchase some gladiators for death matches just as throwaways to spice up the main matches in general.

4. The matches should be organized on a circuit by the owners. Each venue has it's own ratings for crowds, and in general, during the season you should work your way up to larger and larger venues until you have a "main event". Again, Kayfabe will be of great use in this. See also Blood Bowl.

5. As teh season progresses, calculate travel time, and where the gladiators will be such that you can figure out how much time that they'll have to train. Only allow them to improve their skills and stats at a rate comensurate with the time available to train (modified by actual time onthe sand). Certain facilities may only be useful for some types of training.

6. While we're at it, you need trainers too. These are experienced warriors that make training time count. If the PC has these abilities, he can do the training. But depending on the size of the stable, he may need more folks. After a few seasons you may want to retire a gladiator to a trainer position. Good trainiers can make all the difference between a big lunk getting his head lopped off, and being a true gladiator.

Some trainers only know some skills, so you need to hire whatever trainers you need to in order to train on whatever skill. Things you might not think of, language (big penalties on orating to the crowd unless you know the local language) and oratory skills. You might want a trainer who can pump up WP (so Bull doesn't keep falling for those Stop Short maneuvers). Etc.

7. Healers, anyone? These folks are indispensable. Single trips are not too expensive, but they can add up. At some point you may get big enough to want one on your staff. Of course, given the tech available, healing is only so good.

8. So you might need magic. Especially if you want to get an arm reattached to your favorite gladiator. Rare, and only available in certain places or conditions, there may be magic items or substances or persons that can help. Very expensive, however. Only for the most incredibly valuable of gladiators should one bother.

9. Travel, food, housing, this all costs money! You can go to great lengths in Simming out all this stuff. Do you let the gladiators go to the brothels and taverns regularly? If so, there are risks involved. If not, morale might drop (resulting in less than stellar performance). Perhaps you have enough money to order grog and women in? All things to consider.

10. Finally, wagering. Players should be making side bets with each other certainly, but there should also be a "house" taking bets. And fights can, of course, be rigged. But beware the repercussions of that. You might find your favorite fighter comes up lame one morning after an assassin cuts his achilles tendon. Or the whole stable comes down with food poisoning. In fact, why wait for an excuse, use these dirty tricks against the opposing stables before the event! Again see Blood Bowl, just be more realistic.

Oh, and let's find a place to do this on-line, man. I want in, and I want in now!

Mike
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2002, 11:10:09 AM »

Well, damn, Mike. All of that sounds like really, really great ideas (esp. the slave auctions) but my original idea was meant as a RP-light tournament battle system. I think I'll do something with a "core set" of rules, and add the rest on as options for those who want to go really in-depth. It would require a LOT of management on the part of the Seneschal, more than even running a game. In something like this, you might even want to have co-Seneschals to take some of the work off...

But it really would be worth it to pull it off, wouldn't it? I'll work on it, boyos. I'll toss up ideas here occasionally for input as well.

Keeping with the "core rules" concept, what do you think a "basic gladiator" would cost? There are no prices whatsoever for slaves in the book, so I have nothing to extrapolate against. Also, what would be a decent "base fee" for entry into battles? Toss some numbers my way so I can have something to build off of.
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~Lance Allen
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2002, 06:59:57 PM »

Aaaaand here I am again, with the basic core rules (wherein I decided to make most of Mike's suggestions standard after all, and the rules light version the option) of Gladiators. So, without further adon't....

Gladiators:
A combat supplement for The Riddle of Steel

         Introduction: Gladiators is not meant to be a roleplaying game, despite the fact that it uses the rules from The Riddle of Steel, which IS a roleplaying game. Due to this, while it is possible to roleplay in connection with a Gladiators game, it is not the focus and will do little to nothing to further the game itself. Gladiators is meant to be a combination of resource management strategy with blood-and-guts battle tactics. It is a bigger framework for running duels between characters specifically designed for combat, adding a new dimension to combat for combat's sake.
         Premise: You play a noble who owns a stable of Gladiators, whom you fight in arena matches for entertainment and profit.

         Roles within the game: There are various roles taken up by participants in the game. Most of the participants will be players, each running a noble character with their stable of gladiators. Others may take up "administrative" roles to make sure the game runs smoothly. It is possible for one person to handle all of the Admin roles, or for more than one person to share them out. For larger groups, this second option is adviseable.
         Admin. Roles:
         Master of Ceremonies: The MoC acts as the referree and Seneschal for any and all battles and duels fought. If a larger group wishes to have multiple duels and battles running at once, it is possible (and highly encouraged, in such circumstances) to have multiple Masters of Ceremonies. The MoC is the final arbiter of any rules questions in a given bout, and runs any NPCs which might be present. Also, at his option, the MoC may choose to allow others not running Gladiators in the battle to run NPCs. The MoC is also responsible for keeping track of audience responsiveness during a bout, if the rules for such are in effect.
         Auction Master: The Auction Master is responsible for having a collection of beginning level Gladiator characters, either created by themselves, or collected from others. These characters will normally have one of two backgrounds: Either they were born slaves bred and trained to the lifestyle of a Gladiator, or they were prisoners of war, criminals, captured by slavers, or any other background. Some of these latter sorts may have been purchased from players acting as slavers, if those options are being used. The Auction Master is also responsible for holding auctions in which the nobles may bid upon and purchase slaves to be used as Gladiators.  NOTE: It is possible to do without the Auction Master if a lighter version of Gladiators is being played. If this is the case, then the players will create their own stock characters and get them approved by the Seneschal before purchasing.
         Mapper/Resource Tracker: This person is responsible for keeping track of where in the land the nobles and their servants are currently, as well as keeping records of healing progress, available funds, and any NPC personnel retained by the nobles.
         Player roles:
         Nobles/Gladiators: As mentioned above, most participants will be playing noble characters who own stables of one or more gladiators whom they fight in arena matches, scenarios and tournaments. When beginning a new Noble character, you begin with the funds of a Landed Noble, and a single Gladiator character created using base Character Generation rules. The Gladiator is limited in the following ways:
         1. Social Status: Slave. As such, they have no possessions of their own, and everything must be
         purchased by their master.
         2. Race: any Ungifted. The Gladiator cannot be a sorcerer, because that would be simply ugly.
         3. The only SA available to the character is Luck. It begins at a 3, and has a maximum rating of 7,
         rather than 5.
         Once the noble has fought their Gladiator in at least one match, they are free to purchase new
         slaves from the Auction.

         Slaver: A character type only available if the game uses the slaver options. The slaver character is capable of creating characters with non-slave backgrounds, and may sell them either to the Auction Master, or directly to noble players. Slavers may also capture beasts to sell to the Auction Master or interested nobles. For any sort of capture, however, it must be played out with the intended slave, the slaver(s) and any hired help. Slavers can also be hired to track down and re-capture escaped slaves and Gladiators, and any other shady dealings they have a mind to engage in, such as assassination.

         NPCs: Various NPC types are also available for use by Admin participants and the players of nobles and slavers. These can range from chirurgeons to trainers, to hired thugs. Common examples follow, with suggestions on usage. What is possible is limited only by the Seneschals.
         Chirurgeon: Most arenas would have at least one of these on the staff, but few arenas will let their services for free. These can be created using character generation rules, or use a stock set of stats. Nobles and Slavers may also hire these NPCs to look after them and their Gladiators.
         Trainers: A trainer is an NPC with valuable skills to teach. They are most commonly hired by nobles to train their Gladiators in weapon proficiencies. They can be stock trainers, or even retired Gladiators.
         Bodyguards/Thugs: As Gladiators are slaves, they are not always capable of defending themselves, if they are ever attacked outside of the arena sands. Other nobles may attempt to assassinate a rival's Gladiators, and Bodyguards can be used to prevent such attempts.
         Retainers: A nobleman may not always be where the action is, and as such may not be aware of the results of battles, or able to make wagers on them. This is where Retainers come in. A retainer acts as a representative of the noble when they is not there to represent theirselves. The presence of a retainer will allow a noble to act based upon events he or she did not witness personally, due to being elsewhere in the world. A retainer may also be entrusted with a portion of the noble's funds for betting or making purchases in battles or auctions where the noble is not present.
         "Mooks": for lack of a better term. These are low skilled slaves thrown into a battle simply for killcount and gore. They always use stock stats.

         The Arena
         The actual battles are what the game is all about, obviously. However, even the fights aren't that simple. Any bout that a Master of Ceremonies presides over counts, and so the results, be they injurious, fatal, etc. are taken into effect as matters of record. Also, most battles will have a small entry fee for any participants. The entry fees, in addition to a prize set by the MoC are given to the victor(s) of the battle. Also, for every 2 Gladiators in the battle, there are 5 points of Luck hanging in the balance. These are distributed to the survivors, with a minimum of 1 per surviving Gladiator, and the rest of the points divided as the MoC deems appropriate.
         Conditions of battle: All matches have certain things which must be set up before the battle can take place. These conditions set the tone, conditions for victory, and various other details.
         Type: Duels- One-on-one combat.  Melees- Two or more teams of Gladiators fighting against each other. Free-for-alls- Every man for himself Scenarios- discussed in detail later.
         Weapons: The type of weapons allowed, including certain types of matches where the gladiators enter unarmed, and must procure weapons from the arena sands.
         Lethality: To the death- self-explanatory. Open- the lethality is unrestricted, either way. Incapacitation- battle continues until one is unable to continue. First-blood- until blood is drawn; this type of match is common among first-time gladiators.
         Combatants: The number of combatants, including Gladiators, beasts, "mooks", etc.

         Scenario Battles: Like the days of Rome, people love a show. A Scenario may be a "reenactment" of a battle from the past, with teams representing different armies, or even a "Quest" where a band of heros may have to do battle with beasts and mooks in order to retrieve a sacred item. Scenario Battles can get gruesomely bloody, as they are more for entertainment than normal matches, and the philosophy of many is that gore makes it a good show.
         Fame: Gladiators who survive for a long time, and who play to the audience may acquire a fan following. This can be determined with an NPC audience based on impressive kills, and whether or not the Gladiator consistently plays to the audience by grandstanding, or using dramatic timing. Alternately, non-participants observing the battle can vote and award fame points to Gladiators whom they find impressive.

         Outside the Arena:
         Travel time, wounds and recovery, purchasing new slaves, hiring NPCs, buying various equipment, training and improving Gladiators and playing slavers all fall outside of the actual Arena battles. This is the primary domain of the Auction Master and the Mapper/Resource Tracker.
         Auctions: Auctions should be run as roleplaying events, with elements of LARP if the group enjoys this style of play. Stats of the Gladiators, beasts, etc. for sale should never be discussed or shown to prospective buyers until they have made the purchase and had the character handed over to them. All descriptions during the actual Auction should be done as though describing an actual person or beast. Gladiators should always have a minimum bid, as well. Experienced Gladiators can also be sold at Auctions, with the Auction Master handling the exchanges. If the Auction Master wishes, he or she can make several characters to mark on the map who will hold the auctions.
         Travel time: A given entourage will have a Movement rating based on the slowest moving part of that group. This rating will effect how long it takes to get from place to place, and this travel time will determine whether or not a given noble can participate in events in certain locations. Their positions will be marked on a map by the Mapper during every event.
         Wounds and recovery: When a Gladiator is wounded, they will have to recover by the normal rules described in the book. The presence of a caregiver with chirurgery or first aid can reduce these times, of course. Also, the circumstances during the recovery time will also effect the recovery time; It would be unwise to make your prize Gladiator walk for days on a fractured leg if you expect it to heal.
         Hiring NPCs and making purchases: Whenever your character is in a location where the desired goods or personnel are available, you may make the transactions. Any such transactions MUST be logged with and approved by the Resource tracker, or else they are invalid.
         Training/Improving your Gladiators: Improving characters works as it states in the book. However, to improve certain things may require a trainer, such as proficiencies. Also, as there is only one SA, with a max rating of 7, points may be "stockpiled" for improving each Gladiator. These points may only be allocated to the Gladiator's stockpile immediately before a battle that the Gladiator is participating in, and can never be used as Luck again. Also, Insight rules are not used in Gladiators. In addition, any training requiring time may impede, or be impeded by, travel, and may be totally disallowed by certain injuries.
         Playing Slavers: Anyone can create a Gladiator character and give it to the Auction Master, if he wants them. However, those playing slavers get paid for it. In order to do this, however, they must create the character, then play out their capture with either the Auction Master, the Resource Tracker, or a Master of Ceremonies overlooking and running the intended slave/beast. They can do this in groups of slavers, or a single slaver with hired thugs. Like all players, their positions are marked on the map, so they cannot claim to be capturing Hefs while their characters are in Tengoku, for example, nor can they be attempting to sell a Cymry slave in the Seat of Xanar the day after they captured him near Niahll.
         As mentioned before, capturing beasts and slaves are not the only activities available to slavers. If, during the power-plays going on between nobles, a slave escapes, a slaver may be hired to attempt to recover them. They may also be hired as Retainers (hey, it's your money.. trust who you want with it) or to attempt an assassination on a rival's slave.

         The Outer Arena
         Power plays, rivalries, patronage and alliances are all part of the game. It is here that the players get to connive and play at politics in the elite community of the Arena Gentry. A new player in the game might find a patron who will fund their Gladiators fights, and form bitter rivalries over events both inside and outside of the arena. Very few rules are observed here, but those that are are absolute.
         1. All events which may permanently or temporarily effect any other player must be observed and noted by one of the Seneschal (see: Admin roles) participants.
         2. Assassination is not permitted against other player's noble characters, or slaver characters unless the player of that character agrees. This is to prevent the game from losing it's focus- the Arena. Assassination attempts against rival Gladiators is both acceptable and expected, however.
         3. Alliances, either secret or public, and any results of those alliances, must be reported to any appropriate Seneschal participants for tracking purposes.




So, your thoughts? Suggestions?
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Rattlehead
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2002, 07:57:51 PM »

How's about you make this into a PDF for the TROS website? In fact, maybe this could be in the compendium, if you think it fits it....

You can call it:
Of Blood and Gold
Of Blood and Sand (?)
The Lure of Blood (?)

hmmm.... Blood seems to be a common factor here... heh

Brandon
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Grooby!
Nick the Nevermet
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2002, 08:12:16 PM »

"Glory" should be in there somewhere, me thinks

*Desperately tries to not mention monkeys should be in it too*
...*damn*

*ahem* anyway, that would make fun names like "Of blood and glory," or "the Glory of blood"
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2002, 06:45:17 AM »

How about:

The Wager of Blood
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Jaif
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2002, 07:38:09 AM »

You should try to find a copy of Avalon Hill's old game, 'Gladiator'.  If memory serves, there are campaign rules in the back, and you'll get a little hexboad and some stand-up cardboard minis to fiddle with.

-Jeff
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2002, 08:27:03 AM »

Quote from: Jaif
You should try to find a copy of Avalon Hill's old game, 'Gladiator'.  If memory serves, there are campaign rules in the back, and you'll get a little hexboad and some stand-up cardboard minis to fiddle with.


Got my copy along with Circus Maximus. Heh, Gladiator is the only man to man combat game I know that uses plotted movement.

Thinking about that reminds me. We'll have to work up proficiencies for the weapon styles of the arena, like the Retarius. I imagine that there is actually quite a lot someone can do as far as maneuvers with a net and trident and some of the other interesting combinations. I'm going to do some research and come up with a couple of these.

Mike
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2002, 09:36:04 AM »

I imagine making any sort of Proficiency is easily enough done, if one of the existing ones cannot be stretched to fit. Just create a name for the proficiency, figure out which weapons it covers, decide which maneuvers are appropriate, and if any have an additional cost.
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~Lance Allen
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2002, 11:25:15 AM »

A quick look on the net, and I think I can say that we know even less about Roman fighting technique than we do about medieval. This sounds intuitive, but in many things Roman there are often a lot of records, and I was hoping that gladiators was one of them. It is not, alas.

What we do know about is the armor and weapons that they used from pictures. There are four major types of gladiators it would seem.

The Retarius is unusual and I put him in his opwn category, not just because of his unusual weaponry (net and trident), but because they are the lightest armored gladiators (most importantly, no helmet). Apparently they are also considered low class because one of their main tactics is running away. Presumably made necessary by their lack of armor. In any case, he gets polearm, and thrown net, but one wonders if there aren't other maneuvers he should get. Perhaps a "hook" with the swung net?

Next is the Scuttus or more heavily armored gladiators, which includes the Myrmillo, Secutor, and Thracians as well as a few others. These usually carry shields, but the Diamachaerus uses two weapons. Seems like sword and shield for most, and something like case of rapiers for the two weapon guys.

The next class is similar, the Hoplomachus. But even better armored, with a shield and spear. Presumably named for the greek hoplites. This one may need a new style, shield and polarm? Or is that in there, and I'm just forgetting? Might look a lot like sword and shield.

The last is the Provocator, who only fight each other. This because they have full armor on, including breastplates. This actually makes them less well liked, because it is a badge of honor to bare ones chest (as do all other gladiators) on the sands.

Lots of subtypes of each, I'm just hitting the major groups.

The helmets vary in shape but should all have about a 7 rating, being tremendously heavy, all encompassing, well reinforced, and only meant to be worn on the sands (nobody would ever wear such a monstrosity on the battlefield). Call them -3 PER. At least.

Shields, OTOH, range in size from buckler-sized affairs to those huge tower shields the Roman's used. They all wear one arm armored with plate, and the other is padded. The armored one is the left (shield) arm, while the padded one is the right, with the exception of the Retarius which is the opposite. Other than the Retarius they all get greaves and a loincloth with a belt. The hoplites get leggings of differing lengths, amking tthem slightly better armored, and, as mentioned, the Provaocator gets a breastlate in addition to all of this.

Swords vary as well. The gladius is common (latin for sword; gladiator means swordsman), but the Thracian uses a curved sword called a sica. Perhaps a sabre or scimitar?

Anyhow, this all asumes a very Roman atmosphere. If playing in Wyerth you'd use their "modern" weaponry. Are there places in Wyerth where this might happen? One could assume that they still do so in the Empire, or something, and that the ancient traditions still exist. Perhaps.

Anyhow, just some notes. I have a bunch more, if anyone is interested.

Click here for a glossary of terms I found. Interestingly, while the game Gladiator uses the term stable, and I've seen it elsewhere, a group of Gladiators owned by someone is called a Familia. Almost more interesting, trainers are called Doctors, and this may be the origin of the term (doctors of the time were called Medici).

Fun stuff.

Mike
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2002, 01:18:22 PM »

A noteworth question, though, is are we talking:

Real Roman Gladiators
Gladiator, the movie
Dark Sun Gladiators
Fantasy Gladiators
or something else?

Jake,
who wishes he owned a decend gladius or spatha
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