The mere premise of Gladium Fantasy (GF) was to create a land rich with magic, lore, culture, and the politics that surround gladiatorial combat as inspired by Starz’s Spartacus series. What didn’t work in my view is how I can make this type of gameplay reasonable in the grand scheme of things. That’s where the Gods of this world come into play. They’re not just invisible aspects of creation championing right and smiting wrong within the acts of heroism; no. These Gods are real, they’re cruel, and without war and continuous sacrifice; a sport was established. Gladiatorial combat is a means to an end.
As a Player, you’ll want to battle, be promoted, and elevate the status of your Ludis or “Battlehouse”. As a Gamemaster, running a game is about the characters and how well they communicate not only with the other fighters in the house or in the arena, but establishing a relationship with their Housemaster or “Dominus/Domina” and their Battle Lord or “Doctore”.
The challenges of running or playing in a GF are not beholden to the idea of just arena based combat. Your character’s race, origin, why you’re here (enslavement or sacrifice), personal goals, flaws, and views all play a major part in your journey. Choices will have to be made from within your Battlehouse that will define who you are; such as alliances, gambling, pulling odd-jobs for your Housemaster, creating a gimmick for your fighter, progressing in local (then eventually regional) tournaments, and buying your freedom.
From a wider perspective, Synthrel is rich with adventure and darkness. It’s mainly comprised of 7 empires, all with their own history and culture. Each has their own type of combat with their own local flavor from the lower to higher class combatants.
GF is about constant progression in status and character building. This is, by in most part, the key element in any great role-playing game. In the midst of creating this world, 10 playable races, 7 inspired empires and a lore than spans its genesis through “The Smite of the Old World” through its 4th Astral Age; Gladium was founded.
This was the basic premise of Gladium Fantasy, but I assure you, the story is much bigger.
Upcoming posts in regards to Gladium Fantasy are (in no particular order):
The Gods & The Old World – The creation of Thorón and the cataclysmic battle that took place on Synthrel.
Races of Synthrel – Descriptions of fantasy races and their current significance in the government and populace.
Synthrel & The 7 Empires – Descriptions of each empire with details regarding treaties, allegiances, and their importance in the council.
Fantasy AGE (Gaming Mechanics) – Describes how best to utilize Green Ronin Publishing’s Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook with Gladium Fantasy in mind.
Gladium Mythos – Ever heard of the Undying Well or the secret order of Scribes? Just a bunch of fluff.
Let me know what you want to read about next!
Thanks and stay tuned.