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[ERROR] No.43135768 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

What are some good adventure hooks/seeds for a game about a contubernium of roman soldiers?

I'm looking for historical Ancient Rome, but I'm ok with minor supernatural elements

>> No.43136112

"Augustus' Third Legion" was raised by Octavian in the year 43 BC.It saw its first major action at Philippi in 42 BC.

Africa - present day Algeria - was considered to be Rome's most peaceful province in the 1st Century AD. In 17 AD, Tacfarinas, a Numidian of the Musulami tribe, had served as an auxiliary in Rome's army as a youth, but had since rebelled and had come to lead his people.

At the Battle of Thala in 18 AD, the Third Augusta triumphed over Tacfarinas, but he and most of his men were able to escape into the desert. The Romans attempted to carry on a frustrating guerilla war with the African chieftain for three more years until the new governor Junius Blaesus led his army to a decisive victory over Tacfarinas. He also announced an amnesty, and many warriors deserted from the Musulamian warlord.

The year 238 AD was one of the most anarchic in Rome's history, and was one of the most fateful in the history of its Third Augustan Legion. A number of rival emperors had sprung up in revolt against Maximinus Thrax, two of whom had been famously selected by the Senate. Another was Gordianus, the governor of Africa. His son, Gordianus Secundus, raised up an army to back the imperial ambitions of his elderly father.

The new governor of Africa, Capellianus, met the younger Gordian's army in Battle in January of 238. The Governor's army was well-led and excellently armed, however, and the Third Augusta Legion formed its vanguard. The Gordian forces were routed; the son was killed and the father hung himself.
In May of 238, however, the thirteen year-old son of the younger Gordian, also named Gordianus, was hailed Caesa. Gordianus Tertius avenged his father and grandfather by disbanding the Third Augusta Legion. Dishonorably discharged legionaries were veritable outcasts in society; many commited suicide while others joined bandit-gangs or rebel leaders.

>> No.43136166

Horrible things are stirring in the woods over the wall of Londinium. Go deal with it. Good luck, there's Picts.

>> No.43137957


>> No.43138254

A contubernium?

>The Civil War has ended, Augustus reigns as emperor and the Romans know relative peace for the first time
>The Parthians are still leering at Rome's eastern border though
>Augustus is worried, but not worried enough to send an army (he's busy with the Germanians at this time)
>He sends a diplomat (DMPC) to Persepolis, along with a centurion (either the DMPC or the PC party leader) and a contubernium of legionaires (the party)
>These soldiers from all over the empire* depart from Rome by boat, landing in Palestine and moving on by foot from there
>On the way there, they are attacked by various pirates
>After landing in Palestine, they feast on impossible amounts of bread and fish
>They move into Parthian lands where desert raiders fall upon them
>They finally arrive in Persepolis, mission complete!
>However, negotiations between the Roman diplomat (DMPC remember?) and the Parthian representatives aren't going well
>The Parthians are acting much more cocky than their known military power would allow
>The Centurion doesn't feel right about this (assuming he's a DMPC) or is asked to invastigate in secret for the Roman diplomat (assuming the centurion is a PC party leader)
>After some investigation, they discover the Parthians are developing some superweapon (either mundane or supernatural in nature, your choice)
>This superweapon would be enough to wipe Rome off the map, despite Parthia's military inferiority in both quality and quantity
>It is up to one centurion and somewhere between 4 and 8 legionaires to save the empire

*I don't know what system you're using, but you could have different "classes" based on the geographic origins of these soldiers. You could have Roman legionaires, Gallo-Roman auxiliaries, Samnite auxiliaries etc.

>> No.43138502



I've always wondered about these guys. Did Rome have organized spies/scouts throughout it's empire and for how long?

It may not be strictly historical, but a possibly corrupt Roman spook with unclear motives and loyalties could make for an interesting wildcard.

>> No.43138623

Why not one of the Punic Wars? Most of those probably had some great opportunities for adventure, with the Romans not yet near their height and an easy bad guy in the form of their African rival. Maybe you can make up your own reason for those unexplained sacrificed children?

Or perhaps the Celtic or Germanic fronteir. Obvious opportunity to push your way into unexplained, unexplored territory with practices by people you don't understand. Magic, or just superstition? Where the ghosts of those legionnaires in the Teutoburg Forest trying to warn you or harm you? Maybe the rest of your forces were destroyed, and you have to try and live off the land and kill some Gaulish leader for the honor of Rome to remain strong.

A group of legionnaires stationed at some city worshipping the god Mithras have their secret ceremony ambushed by unknown assailants. After many of them get away, they find that the survivors are being hunted down one by one, and that those hunting them down are part of a rival cult who swear that they are using blood magic and ancient rites to hunt them down to the ends of the earth. Now you have to band together with your fellows and find a place to survive, hide, or fight back in the streets of a Roman city (preferably a large, overgrown one to get a cosmopolitan feel, where most of the others seem to be on the frontier).

>> No.43139011

The second Sullan civil war. A ling journey back from the war with Mithridates, and a March on Rome to take it back from the Populares that have reinstated themselves since you have been at war.
Plot hook, the continhes seditious talk amonst the troops, meeting fellow romans and converting them to your cause, and during the march on Rome you coukd have awesome streat fighting and moral dilemmas.

>> No.43139120

Those cunt plebs are rioting again. Stop the riot.

>> No.43139199

It is 367 and the Great Conspiracy in Britain is unfolding. While out on Patrol interacting with the locals, your fort was attacked and sacked by either the Attacotti, the Scotti, the Saxons or the Picts (you can't tell for sure). Now you're stuck in the middle of a disaster, and you need to make your way south to Londonium to avoid getting alternatively murdered, raped, killed, stuffed full of bees and left in the middle of a meadow or other inventive torture (fucking creative barbarians).

How many of the local population can you trust? Can you relieve other forts or manors in the area? Can you find other romans fleeing? Perhaps those fleeing romans you're travelling with are actually deserters from Hadrian's wall, joining the barbarians? Is the roman spy who arrived in your camp last night with news a roman spy for your side or theirs? Which one of the 4-5 ravaging, marauding barbarian tribes will get you first? Can you lure the various tribes into perhaps fighting each other instead of you?

I ran the above in GURPS, 6 sessions. Lots of bickering, talking and terror with the occassional brief splurt of violence. One of the characters had picked "Britianian" as his background, and everyone else spent a lot of time not trusting him because all the other britian-born romans were rebelling... he showed them all by being the last survivor, delivering reports to the relief force of Theodosious. We spent 2 sessions dealing with Creepy Pict Rituals that may or may not have been magical (it wasn't actually, but there was a lot of wondering why they were going through such lengths to murder people ritualistically)

>> No.43139249

Congratulations on your new promotion, lads! Your centurion and 4-8 or so soldiers are now officially recognized Road Wardens of the great Western Empire! It's your job to ride along the roads, protecting travellers, carrying messages from one city to another, and reporting to the local magistrate in the cities you arrive in to see if they're havin trouble with bandits. If they're having trouble with bandits, guess who gets the happy job of hunting them down? YOU DO!

'Course you get a horse and a pension and the fancy seal that allows you to question travellers, so it's not all bad.


A cult is gathering power in Rome. They speak of sharing the spirit and flesh of their saviour, and their rituals call for a sacrament of blood. They aren't proper romans, and this odd foreign faith is beginning to engross the population because their pretensions of knowledge and mercy and a reward in the after-life for a meek life is ambrosia to the masses. Some of the new converts even swear of sexual congress, and others donate all their belongings to charity! Something is rotten in [Roman City of Choice]

Are you a bad enough 3-8 dudes to hunt down the monstrous Christian Cult and expounge them from the land?

>> No.43139357

Following the Battle of Edessa, King of Kings Shapur has captured Emperor Valerian. This is an ignomonious defeat of Rome, and probably one of the worst military disasters in recent memory.

Your squad of 4-8 soldiers are all up for various crimes, but perhaps your strange and varied talents (and ability to speak in the foriegn sassassin tongue without too much of an accent) will prove a boon rather than a curse of the first time in your life.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to travel by foot from the Imperial Senate in Rome to the city of Bishapur in Persia, rescue Emperor Valerian, and bring him back safely before the Empire tears itself apart with imposter Emperors. You'll need a good pair of sandals, because it's a journey through fifteen different countries and a couple of thousand miles. The Sassassinds and their vassals will do everything in their power to stop you, and because of the politically sensitive nature of the misson, if you are captured we will deny all knowledge of your involvement. Agents of the claimants to the throne would love nothing more than for your mission to be a failure, so you likely cannot trust your fellow romans either.

Good luck. This scroll will self destruct in five hundred years, so please throw it into the fire place to speed up the process.

>> No.43139518

>Gordianus Tertius avenged his father and grandfather by disbanding the Third Augusta Legion. Dishonorably discharged legionaries were veritable outcasts in society; many commited suicide while others joined bandit-gangs or rebel leaders.

This is partly why Rome went to shit. Punishing the army for doing their job.

>> No.43139750

The real reason Rome went to shit is the same reason why the Empire supplanted the Republic in the first place: soldiers stopped being loyal to Rome and started becoming loyal to their generals. This is why Caesar crossed the Rubicon, this is why subsequent emperors punished the army for doing its job too well, this is why we had a year with four emperors, this is why it needed the Tetrarchy, this is why we had multiple emperors on both halves of the empire being controlled by their barbarian generals and this is why Odoacer decided that he didn't even need Romulus Augustus as a puppet anymore.

>> No.43140122

I agree there we're far more factors contributing to it than just what I mentioned (latifundia being among the biggest contributors, in my opinion) but I did say it was only part of the reason.

>> No.43140279

With the death of twenty-five million people, the Roman Empire, under her last great emperor, Justinian, was decimated. Before Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that carries bubonic plague, was finished, both the Roman and Persian empires were easy pickings for the armies of Muhammad on their conquering march out of Arabia.

The climax of Justinian's Flea – the summer of 542, when Constantinople witnessed the death of 5,000 of its citizens every day.

Given the state of medical ignorance in late antiquity - many turned in desperation to magic amulets and saints' relics, while the Alexandrian physician Paul of Aegina insisted that butter was best for buboes - it is surprising that Justinian survived Justinian's plague (as it became known) when it first swept through Constantinople. It is fortunate that he did, for his achievements included the lasting memorial of the Hagia Sophia and the Corpus Juris Civilis or Code of Civil Law, the founding document of legal theory.

The emperor began life as a peasant from the Balkan hill-town of Tauresium, although the astonishing social mobility of the times is perhaps even better exemplified by his wife Theodora, a bearkeeper's daughter and prostitute-turned-"racy comedienne", who once lamented the fact that "Nature had constructed her so that she could only have sex via three orifices".

>> No.43140621

Nuff said

>> No.43140766

The year is 50 BC. All of Gaul has been conquered by Rome.
Well, almost all...

>> No.43140874

I what you did there

>> No.43141560

The year is 579, and the ambitions of the new Augustus, Tiberius II Constantine, seem endless. He has opened the Empire's coffers and is funding military expeditions in every direction, taking on Persians and Visigoths and Berbers with equal fervor. But trying on top of all of this to renew the long-dormant Imperial rule of Gaul may prove to be the ultimate mistake.

Fearing inevitable reconquest, the Frankish leaders have sent word across the English Channel to long-dormant Britain, asking for the aid of a mysterious ally. Reports name him a military genius and a peerless warrior despite being a boy of only 15 years. Rumors surround him, speaking of wizards and faeries and dragons, of magic swords and the gift of immortality. Regardless of the superstitious rubbish, all can agree on one thing: since he was crowned, he has faced more than a dozen major battles in his homeland, and he has never lost.

The Emperor fears this Artorious and his elites, the so-called "Knights," Kaius, Beduerus and Gualguanus. He believes the tales of magic weapons and superhuman powers that they supposedly command. Thus, he has called upon you and you men, the best of the best the Legions have to offer, with a simple mission: infiltrate behind enemy lines in Gaul, find the Knights and their King, and eliminate them.

Time is short before the Britons march for Rome. Tall tales of the mystical aside, if his reputation for warfare is even half true, with Rome's armies spread as thin as they are, The Undefeated King could make the world's greatest civilization bow before him. You are Rome's last line of defense.

>> No.43142770

OP here.

I'm liking almost all of these, thanks a lot guys!

>> No.43142797


This sounds awesome. Do you have any session reports? I'd love to read them.

>> No.43144747

Glad you're liking them. Any idea what the players really want to do or play as?

>> No.43145337

Try reading the book serious about the Legion of Videssos by Harry Turtledove. Its basically a historical roman unit is fighting Gauls when their Centurion fights a druid with a Druid blade he captured earlier in the campaign. They cross swords, and the Druid +Romans are transported to a low-magical realm that's at roughly the same level of technology.

So they do the Roman thing and become mercenaries for an Empire under siege from Steppe nomads, rival countries, etc. Its a pretty good read.

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