Alternatus Roma is a campaign set the in Mediterranean during the rule of the Roman Empire. In this universe, the Gods of the Roman pantheon not only exist but influence the lives of people through their Arcani, a mysterious society of devout worshipers endowed with a small portion of their Deity’s power.
Chief among Arcani, and Emperor for life is Gaius Julius Caesar, who after ascending to the throne consolidated power amongst the often feuding patrician families of Rome and asserted his dominance irrevocably. With in-fighting and senate deliberations no longer a stumbling block, Caesar’s legions moved rapidly across the Mediterranean and well into Asia and Africa. Current estimates as to the exact reach of the Roman Empire are a matter of hot debate among proud plebeians.
In spite of Caesar’s seemingly iron clad grip on his empire, there has been a recent rash of rebellions in the northern provinces fuelled by rumors of pagan gods finally answering the pleas of their barbarian subjects.
Characterisation, Magic, and Names
So far as characterisation is concerned I would ideally like to be as accommodating as possible. Players can choose to be a Legionnaire in Caesar’s army, a Gallic rebel, a risen slave, an explorer or merchant from the east, nobly born, plebeian born, or whatever you like really; this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the possible characters in this setting. If you have something more specific in mind that draws more so from well established D&D tropes then there shouldn’t be any problems finding a satisfactory Roman counterpart. Most importantly though, rather than burdening you guys (and myself) with a ton of research into roman social life post-republic, I would instead like to emphasize that this is very much an incomplete world and its final shape will be influenced by the types of characters you create, if not more so by the decisions you make in game. Essentially, you just need to base your characters in something Romanesque then we can fleece it out together.
There is magic in this campaign and if you would like to play an arcane type that’s completely fine by me. A couple things concerning magic in this campaign, however: First, all magic in AR, unlike regular D&D is entirely intuitive, not something that can be acquired through any amount of study; second, magic is a gift from the gods, so whomever your celestial patron happens to be will ultimately affect the type of power you wield. For instance, if you happen to be a follower of Zeus (Jupiter), it’s more likely than not your particular brand of magic will be mostly lightning oriented. If you happen to worship Aphrodite (Venus) then perhaps you will be possessed of some otherworldly charm and influence all but a few are incapable of resisting. Again though, just as above I must emphasize that this is by no means written in stone. The only details I’m resolute on are magic being intuitive and god given. Otherwise I’m completely open to suggestion and/or refinement.
And finally, character names. I won’t be an ass and make you guys adhere to accurate names for the period mostly for reasons of pragmatics. Having everyone’s character’s names end in –us will likely get confusing and boring to look at. After all, there can only be one Maximus Sextus and I don’t care to be the one to arbitrate that debate. So yeah, name your characters whatever you like, just not Maximus Sextus.