[Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Discuss published campaign worlds that do not have a specific forum here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18300
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

[Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Post by Havard » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:24 pm

Image

What do you guys think of this sourcebook? Some say it is the best in the entire series.

As with most of this series, I feel like the approach of downplaying the AD&D fantasy tropes and shifting the game towards a more historically accurate campaign style was a mistake. I would have liked to go for a more fantastical type of campaign set in a magical version of Ancient Rome. That is just my personal preference though.

I do think there are many interesting aspects of the Roman world that it could be interesting to explore in a game. Gladiator fights. Life among the legions. Exploration of exotic lands beyond the borders of the Empire.

I could see this book working quite well in combination with others in the series such as HR6 Age of Heroes (Ancient Greece) or HR3 The Celts Campaign Sourcebook. For Scandinavia in that era, HR 1 Vikings might be of some use, but since proper Viking ships had not yet been developed untill centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, that culture would be very different. There was contact between the Scandinavian peoples and the people of Rome however and this had significant influence on Iron Age Scandinavia.

As with all of these books, Deities & Demigods or Legends & Lore is a must have supplement.

Green Ronin had a book called Eternal Rome in its Mystic Vistas Series. Steve Jackson Games' Imperial Rome for GURPS is another sourcebook that can be useful for such a campaign.

What sort of campaign would you find interesting placed in Ancient Rome? What do you think about HR5 The Glory of Rome? Are there other game sourcebooks or Dragon/Dungeon articles that could be useful for a campaign like this?

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
Boddynock
Gnomish Ambassador
Posts: 504
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:33 am
Gender: male
Contact:

Re: [Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Post by Boddynock » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:36 pm

I think I'd pair this with Savage Worlds Weird Wars Rome especially if this sourcebook offers some interesting details about the Roman Empire. Weird Wars gives us a brief overview, but is more about the rules and bullet points with a little bit of campaign ideas. So extra ideas from this or GURPS Rome would do wonders.
Check out my blog http://boddynock-te.blogspot.com/

Support your local gnome!

Boddynock Stotch - 17th level Gnome Bard of Far Shore, Isle of Dread - Savage Tide Adventure Path

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3262
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:35 pm

Green Ronin's Testament extends (just barely) into Roman times. Its Egyptian timeline goes up to the death of Cleopatra and its Israelite timeline goes up to the death of Simon Maccabee, so the Roman Republic was just beginning to dominate those parts of the world.

User avatar
Tim Baker
Axe Beak
Posts: 1226
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:51 am
Gender: male
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: [Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Post by Tim Baker » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:43 pm

I haven't read the sourcebook itself, but it's the basis of the current 5e campaign that I'm playing in. The DM is an archeology major, so I don't know how much of what comes across is in the book and how much is his own knowledge, but so far the setting has felt sufficiently like it's set in ancient Rome, rather than a reskinned "generic" D&D setting.
Image My Google+ RPG-related posts. | Image Escalation! fanzine for 13th Age.

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3262
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:14 am

Havard wrote:I would have liked to go for a more fantastical type of campaign set in a magical version of Ancient Rome.
I'm curious; how fantastical are you imagining? The magic level of a standard AD&D game (with clerical healing and resurrection, create food and water spells, flying and fireballs), or somewhere between standard AD&D and what HR5 assumes? Or something like the Empire of Thyatis, so fantastical that it's no longer Earth at all? Not judging: all of those sound like promising avenues.

I suspect that HR5 has a lower magical level because those who want to use standard AD&D classes can just use the standard rules; it's only those who prefer a lower-magic game that need special guidelines.

An extremely fantastical game could get delightfully weird. What if Julius Caesar was resurrected after his assassination? What if he conquered the solar system with spelljammers? What if he ruled for hundreds or thousands of years as an undying lich-lord? What if Hannibal made a pact with the archdevil Moloch and the Romans made a pact with Orcus and Blood War armies devastated Europe? I wouldn't have minded if the HR series had delved more into wild alternate histories.

Dragon Magazine #133 had an article called "The Imperial Gods" detailing gods of the Roman pantheon who didn't appear in Deities & Demigods/Legends & Lore.

User avatar
timemrick
Hekatonkhieres
Posts: 1363
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:33 am
Gender: male
Location: Emirate of Kobara
Contact:

Re: [Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Post by timemrick » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:18 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Green Ronin's Testament extends (just barely) into Roman times. Its Egyptian timeline goes up to the death of Cleopatra and its Israelite timeline goes up to the death of Simon Maccabee, so the Roman Republic was just beginning to dominate those parts of the world.
Green Ronin also produced an Eternal Rome sourcebook in their Mythic Vistas line. I don't know how it compares to the HRef book, as I only own the GR one (and haven't read it in quite some time).
Tim Emrick, Green Ronin Freebooter and Keeper of the Freeport Errata
Time of the Tarrasque: My homebrew Pathfinder campaign (2017-).
Studded Plate: My blog about RPGs and LEGO.
Thastygliax's Vault: My other gaming pages.

agathokles
Red Dragon
Posts: 7005
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 6:42 pm
Gender: male
Location: Milan, Italy
Contact:

Re: [Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Post by agathokles » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:05 pm

Havard wrote: Green Ronin had a book called Eternal Rome in its Mystic Vistas Series. Steve Jackson Games' Imperial Rome for GURPS is another sourcebook that can be useful for such a campaign.

What sort of campaign would you find interesting placed in Ancient Rome? What do you think about HR5 The Glory of Rome? Are there other game sourcebooks or Dragon/Dungeon articles that could be useful for a campaign like this?
There are several books from other RPGs that might be useful:
  • Cthulhu Invictus: Call of Cthulhu in imperial Rome. It has several adventures, and a good campaign, The Legacy of Arrius Lurco, which would probably work well also with AD&D + HR5.
  • Fvlminata: a RPG with an imperial Rome which survives beyond the V century by discovering electricity.
  • A more obscure Italian RPG, Lex Arcana, set in a uchronia where the the Roman empire survives past the V century thanks to its control of magic.

User avatar
ghendar
Cranky Grognard
Posts: 664
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 8:11 pm
Gender: male
Location: Acererak's Rumpus Room

Re: [Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Post by ghendar » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:25 pm

Havard wrote: As with most of this series, I feel like the approach of downplaying the AD&D fantasy tropes and shifting the game towards a more historically accurate campaign style was a mistake. I would have liked to go for a more fantastical type of campaign set in a magical version of Ancient Rome. That is just my personal preference though.
I think that was the point though. I liked the fact that these supplements weren't made like D&D versions of <insert culture>. Of course, there is no reason why people can't add in more fantastical elements.
Fifth registered member, bitches!

If the Unapproachable East was so unapproachable, how did anyone get there?

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18300
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: [Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Post by Havard » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:08 pm

ghendar wrote:
Havard wrote: As with most of this series, I feel like the approach of downplaying the AD&D fantasy tropes and shifting the game towards a more historically accurate campaign style was a mistake. I would have liked to go for a more fantastical type of campaign set in a magical version of Ancient Rome. That is just my personal preference though.
I think that was the point though. I liked the fact that these supplements weren't made like D&D versions of <insert culture>.


Agreed. That was the intention and as such they succeeded. But I think the problem is that this concept undermines some of the strengths of (A)D&D. If you are looking for a realistic historical gaming experience, why not use GURPS or RuneQuest/BRP? I think D&D excells at heroic, cinematic and historical. Presenting the players with a campaign where their character appear nerfed compared to other campaign settings is bound to make some players a bit miffed.

Of course, there is no reason why people can't add in more fantastical elements.
That is very true. And most of these books do adress changing up things depending on the tastes of the group :)

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18300
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: [Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Post by Havard » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:18 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Havard wrote:I would have liked to go for a more fantastical type of campaign set in a magical version of Ancient Rome.
I'm curious; how fantastical are you imagining? The magic level of a standard AD&D game (with clerical healing and resurrection, create food and water spells, flying and fireballs), or somewhere between standard AD&D and what HR5 assumes? Or something like the Empire of Thyatis, so fantastical that it's no longer Earth at all? Not judging: all of those sound like promising avenues.

I guess I was thinking something in between. I would like to allow the players to use all the standard classes without modifications. I would probably keep the group human only, or possibly allow races that are appropriate for the mythology such as Centaurs, Satyrs etc. That doesn't mean high level magic would need to be widely available though. The Ancient World was a brutal one, so no reason why most heroes would be killed long before they reached high levels. Rome itself would likely be a center of the most powerful people though.

I suspect that HR5 has a lower magical level because those who want to use standard AD&D classes can just use the standard rules; it's only those who prefer a lower-magic game that need special guidelines.
True. It is very easy to change in your home games.
An extremely fantastical game could get delightfully weird. What if Julius Caesar was resurrected after his assassination? What if he conquered the solar system with spelljammers? What if he ruled for hundreds or thousands of years as an undying lich-lord? What if Hannibal made a pact with the archdevil Moloch and the Romans made a pact with Orcus and Blood War armies devastated Europe? I wouldn't have minded if the HR series had delved more into wild alternate histories.
I think it would be alot of fun! I actually think that if you set a campaign in a historical era, the campaign might be well served by declaring that it is an alternate history even if you dont go wild with it too. That just gives the players more of a sense of freedom.
Dragon Magazine #133 had an article called "The Imperial Gods" detailing gods of the Roman pantheon who didn't appear in Deities & Demigods/Legends & Lore.
Cool, that sounds like it would be very useful! :)

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
ghendar
Cranky Grognard
Posts: 664
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 8:11 pm
Gender: male
Location: Acererak's Rumpus Room

Re: [Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Post by ghendar » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:18 pm

Havard wrote:Agreed. That was the intention and as such they succeeded. But I think the problem is that this concept undermines some of the strengths of (A)D&D. If you are looking for a realistic historical gaming experience, why not use GURPS or RuneQuest/BRP? I think D&D excells at heroic, cinematic and historical. Presenting the players with a campaign where their character appear nerfed compared to other campaign settings is bound to make some players a bit miffed.
Not being familiar with those other systems, I can't really comment. However, the second part is managed by setting expectations ahead of time. I played in a 3e campaign once in a homebrewed setting that limited player races and player classes. Yes, some players may balk at limiting their choices but we all knew ahead of time what was going on (because our DM told us) and we were cool with trying something different. Was I happy with all the changes? No, but it was worth a shot and it turned out to be fun. That really shouldn't be a problem when friends are getting together to game. I'm not saying it would work with all groups but there's no reason to have a hissy fit because your choices might be a bit limited
Fifth registered member, bitches!

If the Unapproachable East was so unapproachable, how did anyone get there?

User avatar
Blackleaf
Hobgoblin
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:41 pm
Gender: prefer not to say

Re: [Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Post by Blackleaf » Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:41 am

I liked this but would have dug a bestiary as well.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18300
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: [Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Post by Havard » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:55 pm

ghendar wrote:Not being familiar with those other systems, I can't really comment. However, the second part is managed by setting expectations ahead of time. I played in a 3e campaign once in a homebrewed setting that limited player races and player classes. Yes, some players may balk at limiting their choices but we all knew ahead of time what was going on (because our DM told us) and we were cool with trying something different. Was I happy with all the changes? No, but it was worth a shot and it turned out to be fun. That really shouldn't be a problem when friends are getting together to game. I'm not saying it would work with all groups but there's no reason to have a hissy fit because your choices might be a bit limited
Not saying you can't use AD&D (or D&D) to run a gritty historical game, but I think one of the strengths of AD&D is to simulate a magical and epic type of fantasy. So I like to play on those strengths. But it depends on your group and their expectations of course. If everyone is into it, then go for that type of campaign that is detailed in this book. :)

Blackleaf wrote:I liked this but would have dug a bestiary as well.
What sort of monsters would you like to see included in such a bestiary? :)

Should it cover only monsters for HR5 or should it be a single bestiary for all the HR series?

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
Willmark
Goblin
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 10:27 pm
Gender: male

Re: [Fantasy Earth][Href] HR5 The Glory of Rome

Post by Willmark » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:37 pm

It's decent enough. If you pair it with the Dragon articles about "Heroic Britain" you've got a very campaign setting. It was Dragon #251 and 253 off the top of my head.
"Why Johnny Ringo, you look like someone just walked all over your grave".
My Western RPG- Hurled into Eternity

Post Reply

Return to “Other Worlds”