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Indie pick of GenCon

Started by Clinton R. Nixon, August 06, 2001, 04:03:00 PM

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Jared A. Sorensen


FVLMINATA kinda does present a premise, but not in a clear "This is what the game is about" kinda way.

You get 3 Humor Points (these are good things) if your Humors are imbalanced.

But a character with his Humors IN balance gains 6 Humor Points. The ideal Roman is serious and grave and not given to bouts of extreme emotion.

The problem is, I WANT my guy to be experiencing extreme emotions. I WANT that conflict between "being a good Roman" and "being a human being." FVLMINATA doesn't do anything more about this conflict...and it should, really. But it's still a cool game and damn, iff'n those boys didn't do their homework! Wow. Lotta good stuff in there.

I'm all about Gladiators, natch.
jared a. sorensen /

James Holloway

FVLMINATA is definitely one of those games where the premise is present but has to be inferred. Or premises. Whatever.

For example, the scenario which comes with the book, Mercator Piperis, is all about trying to determine whether this pleb is a good enough Roman to be raised to equestrian status. The characters are assigned to evaluate him, which raises the question "I've been assigned to tell if this guy is a good Roman - am I a good Roman?"

Which, I guess, raises two other possible premises for campaigns:

"people coming from a society without Christianity (or without whatever) would be fundamentally very different" or "people are pretty much the same everywhere."

It would have been nice to see the premise explicitly addressed, but FVLMINATA is definitely old-school in terms of its presentation.

There's a question for you, then - are there games out there which have very clear sets of premises they support, and which may even have been designed with them in mind, but which don't articulate them in the rulebook because that's not what is usually in an RPG book?

Me, I bought the game for kind of different reasons, and I'm recruiting players weirdly.

There's an illustration in there somewhere of a legionary's uniform, including his musket and shield. The shield has a little notch in the right-hand upper corner, where the legionary rests his musket in preparation for firing. When I show people that illustration, if they laugh and go "of course," then I think they'll appreciate the game.

I'd say that's a simulationist priority coming to the fore right there, but in actual fact I think it's just a history-geek priority.

[ This Message was edited by: James Holloway on 2001-08-14 10:46 ]