Author Topic: The Republic Reborn  (Read 205669 times)

Polycarp

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The Republic Reborn
« on: January 23, 2012, 06:16:14 AM »
IC: The Romans
“Is there anything in history more notorious than the wantonness and pride of the Romans?  A race unaccustomed to peace, familiar with tumult; a race to this very day fierce and intractable; who will never submit except when they have no power to resist.”

- Saint Bernard of Clairvoux, On Consideration

The Republic Reborn


In the middle of the 12th century, an age of great change and conflict in Europe, the people of Rome grew tired of the Papacy’s domination over their ancient city.  They rebelled, and in 1144 the Commune of Rome was declared.  They aspired to put the fate of their city back in the hands of the Senate and People of Rome, Senatus Populusque Romanus, and in this task they enjoyed some modest success.  The medieval Senate persevered through both victory and defeat for nearly half a century before its independence was ended.

This is a cooperative forum game, beginning in the Summer of 1152, that explores the possibility of the Commune’s survival under a new and more radically independent Senate.  Players will control characters belonging to an influential Roman family, and through them guide the course of a proud city surrounded by rivals and enemies in an age of Crusades, Emperors, and the growing power of the Italian communes.

How to Join

I am currently accepting new players, so if you're interested, PM me and give me an idea of what kind of character you'd want to play!

The spoiler below has original joining information, which may be helpful but is not completely accurate for people joining the game now.

Joining Information
Everyone is welcome to join as a player.  All you need to do is write up a character and post in this thread.  Though remaining in the game is encouraged, it is not necessary that this game be a long term commitment; because the players represent members of a Senate, not an adventuring party, the game can still move ahead while players are absent or after players bow out of the game.

Make your character following the format below.  Just fill in the blanks as explained.  If your character dies or is otherwise removed from power, you may either make an entirely new character or make a relative of your previous character.  If you do the latter, you will keep some attributes of the old character; if your previous character died in poverty or disgrace, this may not be a good idea.

Character Form
Name: Any appropriate Italian name will do.  You will need to pick a family name as well.  This site is a good resource.
Age: Insert age here.  It should be between 30 and 60.
Class: Here you must put either “Noble” or “Citizen.”  At this point, only a few dozen of the petty nobility (essentially, knights) remain in favor in the city.  Nobles typically draw their wealth from agricultural estates on the outskirts of the city, while citizen-senators are usually wealthy merchants or particularly prosperous artisans.

The following stats are also part of your character description:

Influence: This statistic indicates the character’s pull in the Senate and among the upper classes of Roman society.  If it gets low enough, the character may be expelled from the Senate.  This starts at 6 for Nobles and 5 for Citizens.
Popularity: This statistic indicates how beloved (or despised) the character is by the Roman Mob, the famously unruly and violent horde of middle and lower-class citizens.  If it gets low enough, the character may be run out of town or worse.  This starts at 5 for everyone.
Orthodoxy: This indicates how close this character’s perceived beliefs are to official church doctrine.  Promoting heretical or unorthodox views (that is, views different from the Pope’s) or performing sacrilegious acts may lower this.  A character with low Orthodoxy may be popular with some, but will be perceived by most as a heretic and could be excommunicated; on the flip side, a very orthodox character will be unpopular among more anti-clerical elements of society.  This starts between 2 and 8 for everyone; you may choose any number in that range, but be forewarned that having low Orthodoxy is generally more negative than positive.

Notes: You can add a short blurb about your character here.  You might talk about their origins, or how they got their fortune (if a merchant), or tell us that they’re just a puppet controlled by their uncle/wife/mother-in-law, or that they took part in the recent crusade (if a noble), or anything else you care to explain to us.  I may use this background in future events, but don’t worry – I won’t penalize you for making a character with quirks and flaws.  While this is in a sense a "strategy game," it is also a roleplaying game, and characters with real interests, goals, and peculiarities are great!

If you have any questions about building a character, I am happy to respond here or on IRC.
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How the Game is Played

This game proceeds in turns, each of which is equivalent to one season in game (thus, there are 4 turns in a game year).  Turns will take at least a week in real time; the deadline for turns is flexible and will change based on players’ needs and availability.  At the end of each turn, I will post an “update” that will inform you of the outcome of your ventures and the current events from the world around you.

Play is conducted by posts like so:

IC box text (Green) indicates what your character says; speeches can be directed to the senatores consiliarii (just your fellow players), the entire senate (the players plus all NPC senators), or to the public at large (i.e. a speech in a major public square).  Letters that you write to PCs and NPCs should also be in an IC box, as well as any other prose you decide to write for us (totally optional, but encouraged if you’re feeling creative!).  Note that letters to people outside Latium may take a full turn or more before a response is returned.

OOC box text (Red) indicates what your character does.  This can be almost anything you can think of, from building a new familial tower-house, to distributing money to the poor, to spying on an enemy (player or NPC), or raising a private militia.  If you want to do something that absolutely must be kept secret from other players (e.g. trying to assassinate them), you can send me a PM, but everything else should be posted in an OOC box.  Please post only one OOC box per turn, with all your action orders.

Regular text (like this) covers general out of character comments, as well as clarifications on how the game works and questions about the game world.

On Metagaming: If a letter isn't addressed to your character, your character doesn't know about it, period.  I have a very high opinion of the people on the CBG and I trust them not to abuse the forum format to metagame.  That said, we can't always help ourselves, and I realize it may be necessary to conduct some business by PM - this is fine, but whenever something can be in the thread, it should be in the thread.  Most things you do won't be secret anyway - rumors are the fastest moving thing in medieval Rome, and any business you conduct that's not heavily concealed is probably going to get out.

Wealth and Spending

When you write your OOC orders, you may specify how you want to use any amount of wealth you possess (or "WP," Wealth Points).  You can spend WP on almost anything.  It can be used to contribute to an ongoing project, maintain soldiers and mercenaries, or pay fines and bribes.

Private “armies” usually require a payment of 1 WP per 100 men each season, assuming they are armed and equipped as masnada or urban militia.  Better-equipped men will cost more, and more poorly equipped men may cost less.  Mercenaries aren’t paid in this manner; instead, they accept a fixed payment in exchange for their services for a single campaign.  If the campaign is especially long or difficult, or there is little plunder to be had, they may seek to renegotiate their contracts.

By spending WP on enterprises, you can increase your income.

Enterprise System
Enterprises are the source of any character’s wealth, whether commoner or nobleman.  An enterprise is a building, complex, or plot of land that generates wealth, either through manufacturing, harvesting raw materials, or trade.  The primary goal of all enterprises is to produce wealth, though some enterprises also have special mechanical bonuses - for example, nobles can raise small numbers of levied farmers from croplands, while bakeries can give you a popularity boost if a famine strikes.  Because RR is a roleplaying game more than a game of mechanics, enterprises may also affect your situation in unique, non-mechanical ways; special events, interesting contacts, and various rumors may be linked to certain industries.

Starting Enterprises

Though many enterprises are described as buildings, they have significant differences from structures like estates and castles.

  • Enterprises must be purchased with one lump sum.  You cannot start an enterprise until you are capable of paying the entire listed cost.
  • Most enterprises take just one season to start functioning.
  • Enterprises cannot be expanded or upgraded.  If you wish to invest more in a certain industry, you must build another enterprise.  In most cases it is perfectly acceptable to have multiple enterprises of the same kind.

If you already have an enterprise of one type, building another of the same type is usually as easy as paying the cost and waiting a season.  New enterprises, however, often require expertise, technical knowledge, rare goods, or skilled workers that you lack.  Depending on the enterprise, starting a new one may take more time and potentially more money than the normal cost indicates; some enterprises may even require you to investigate foreign lands, barter for trade secrets with other players, or hire specialized artisans abroad.

When you wish to start a new enterprise that you have no experience with, you should indicate this in your orders, and I will typically respond in an inquest with what steps you might take to achieve your goal.

Some enterprises are simple and common enough that they can be set up immediately even if you don’t own another enterprise of the same kind already.

Economies

Some enterprises are part of a process involving other enterprises – this can be referred to collectively as an economy.  An example is the Wheat Economy, which consists of three enterprises: Croplands (where wheat is grown), the Grist Mill (where wheat is made into flour), and the Bakery (where flour is baked into bread).

In general, enterprises benefit when you own other enterprises in that economy.  Some enterprises are actually rather worthless without others; some only benefit slightly from owning other enterprises.  Though owning a whole economy is nice, it’s not mandatory to make a profit, and it may not be possible for all players.  It’s perfectly feasible, for instance, to own a Bakery without a Grist Mill – it just means you purchase your flour from other mills, rather than baking your own.

When you pursue an economy, remember that you’re putting all your eggs in one basket – if one link of the chain fails in a certain year, all the other enterprises in that economy are likely to suffer as well.  Players may prefer to hedge their bets and diversify.

Note that in general, an enterprise can only serve a certain number of other enterprises in an economy line.  One Grist Mill, for instance, can only benefit from two Croplands at most; if you have more Croplands than that, you may wish to build more Grist Mills.  Unless otherwise noted, the maximum number of enterprises that can provide a bonus to another is one.

Types of Enterprises

Urban enterprises must generally be built in Rome itself, though in some cases they may be located just outside the walls or in another town or city.  These enterprises usually require labor only available in the city and cater to urban markets.  Nobles risk losing influence if they own more than one of these.

Rural enterprises must generally be built outside Rome.  Most of these are agricultural in nature, though not all are actual farms – some, like Grist Mills, are buildings that are generally only useful in the countryside.  Nobles may possess these freely.

Agricultural enterprises are fields, pastures, orchards, and other enterprises which involve agriculture or pastoralism.  Agricultural enterprises usually have no cost – land cannot be constructed, it must be bought, leased, or otherwise acquired.  Agricultural enterprises can often be transformed into other agricultural enterprises with a small payment, though not all locations are suitable for all kinds of agriculture.  Non-noble characters can potentially own these without penalty, but they may find acquiring them to be difficult.

Manufacturing enterprises convert some raw material into a good.  Most enterprises are manufacturing enterprises, though the “goods” vary from tools to flour to dyed cloth.

Hospitality enterprises are part of Rome’s service industry, catering primarily to pilgrims.  They tend to have their income concentrated in the Spring and are highly dependent on the success of the yearly pilgrimage season.

Mercantile enterprises do not create goods, but specialize in buying and selling them, sometimes with very distant clients.  Mercantile enterprises also include those in which money itself is a good, like counting houses which skirt around Church usury laws to gain profits from lending.

Volatility

Not all income is created equal.  Some economies make considerable income but are quite volatile, meaning that they are subject to frequent difficulties or mishaps.  These mishaps vary considerably – a sheep pasture might be affected by disease or drought, while a vineyard might be plagued by blight or ruined by a cold winter.  In general, the more profitable an economy is, the more uncertain it is – wheat may not be a high-value good, but it is always in demand, and a limited supply will only make the price go higher.
   
Volatility is a property of economies rather than enterprises, because all the enterprises in a single economy depend on one another.  Nothing can really “go wrong” with a Grist Mill, but if a catastrophic wheat blight decimates the crop, it won’t have much wheat to grind and won’t make as much profit.  The following is a list of current economies by volatility; also listed are individual enterprises that are not part of a larger economy.

Very Low:
Wheat Economy (Croplands, Grist Mill, Bakery)
Fish Economy (Salinae, Fishery)
Lumber Mill*

Low:
Oil Economy (Orchard, Oil Mill)
Wine Economy (Vineyard, Wine Press)
Hospitium*

Medium:
Linen Economy (Flax Field, Weaving Hall, Dyeworks)
Goldsmiths’ Workshop

High:
Woolen Economy (Pasture, Fulling Mill, Weaving Hall, Dyeworks)
Apothecarial Economy (Orchard, Storehouse, Spetiarium)
Perfume Economy (Orchard, Perfumery)
Sculptors’ Workshop
Storehouse
Counting House

*These economies/enterprises have special volatility conditions; read their description for more.

Remember that enterprises are physically present – they are real things, like a building or a plot of land.  As a result, they can be pillaged, burned down, burgled, or anything else that could happen to a building or plot of land.  Enterprises generally cannot be fortified or included within fortifications like a castle or estate, though a tower house – if it is sufficiently tall – may be able to provide security to nearby enterprises in case of riot or invasion.

The Market

Common goods, particularly bread, oil, and wine, are always in demand; even if every player owned a Bakery (or several), the demand for bread is so universal that it would have no negative effects.  Some enterprises, however – particularly those creating or dealing with rare or luxury goods – will suffer if too many people are in the same game.  Volatility may increase as inventory gluts become common, or the price may drop, lowering income across the board.

These kind of events are usually not a surprise, and players will typically be warned when they try to start a new enterprise in a market that already seems saturated.  Still, you may wish to build the enterprise anyway – perhaps you can push other people out of the market, whether they be PCs or NPCs.

Rome’s policies can also influence the market – opening your ports and markets to foreign lands often brings profits, but it can likewise bring cheap imports that undercut local enterprises.

Advice

  • Economy lines are profitable, but putting all your eggs in one basket can be risky.
  • Consider when you’re getting your income.  Depending on your situation, having all your income arrive in a single season may not be a good idea.
  • Loans carry a price, but using a loan to jump-start an enterprise can sometimes be worth the cost.
  • Coming up with whole new enterprises – or even whole economy lines – is definitely a possibility.  Ask about an idea in your orders, and I’ll let you know if there’s a way to pursue it.
  • Weigh the unique bonuses of enterprises.  Some, like Croplands and Bakeries, offer special perks that may be worth having even if other enterprises have a higher base income.

Enterprises
Cropland (Rural, Agricultural)
Most agricultural land is given over to the production of wheat and rye.  Most croplands operate on the three-field system, in which parcels of land alternate between cereals, legumes (peas, beans, etc.), and laying fallow.  While grain is not a terribly profitable good, it is always in demand.
Cost: You may pay 1 WP to turn another Agricultural enterprise into Cropland.
Income: +1 during Summer.
Bonus: If you are a noble, for every Cropland you own, you may muster 25 Rural Levies from this enterprise at no cost.  If these levies are active at the end of summer, however, this enterprise will not produce income.  If these men are suffer grievous casualties, you may be unable to muster more men from this enterprise for a period of time.

Pasture (Rural, Agricultural)
Sheep and goats are the most common stock animals of Latium – sheep are raised primarily for wool, while goats provide dairy and meat.  Pastures are usually located in hilly areas or rocky ground where farming would not be profitable.  Animal husbandry requires far fewer workers than cropland does.
Cost: You may pay 2 WP to turn another Agricultural enterprise into a Pasture.
Income: +1 during Spring.

Orchard (Rural, Agricultural)
Latium is just about on the northern edge of Italy’s best fruit and olive producing region.  Orchards are located on favorable hills and tended by hired laborers.  Olives form part of the basic Roman diet, while citrus fruit is used medicinally or to flavor other dishes – the variety of orange grown in Italy is bitter and unsuitable for eating by itself.
Cost: You may pay 3 WP to turn another Agricultural enterprise into an Orchard.  You must choose either Olives or Citrus.
Income: +1 during Autumn (Olives) or +1 during Winter (Citrus).

Flax Field (Rural, Agricultural)
Flax is a flowering plant grown chiefly for its fibers, which are spun into make linen.  After the flax is harvested, it must be dried, retted, broken, scotched, and heckled before it can be spun.  Flax production is hard, manual work performed by peasants.  Though flax seeds are eaten and sold, they are not a major part of the local diet.  Flax seed oil (linseed oil) is also used in painting and woodworking.
Cost: You may pay 2 WP to turn another Agricultural enterprise into a Flax Field.  
Income: +1 during Spring.

Vineyard (Rural, Agricultural)
Wine is the beverage of choice for all Romans, rich and poor alike (though the former enjoy much better wine than the latter).  Vineyards are usually located in inland hill regions and tended by hired agricultural laborers.
Cost: You may pay 3 WP to turn another Agricultural enterprise into a Vineyard.
Income: +1 during Autumn.

Grist Mill (Rural, Manufacturing)
Peasants depend on local grist mills to turn their grain into flour.  Villages may have their own animal-powered mills, but most lords build water-powered mills on local streams to handle large quantities of grain quickly.  The miller keeps a portion of every peasant’s flour for himself as his wage, and sends another portion to the owner of the mill, providing modest but reliable profits.
Cost: 12
Income: +1 during Summer; additional +1 in Summer with Croplands (maximum 2).

Wine Press (Rural, Manufacturing)
The process of grape pressing – formerly done by treading on the grapes, the way some peasants still do it – was vastly improved in speed and quality by the invention of the “basket press,” a barrel-like apparatus with a descending weight often driven by a crank-turned screw.  In addition to making and selling his own wine, a press owner can also charge fees to peasants who are willing to pay to have their grapes processed.
Cost: 12
Income: +2 during Autumn; additional +1 in Autumn with a Vineyard (maximum 2).

Oil Mill (Rural, Manufacturing)
Olive oil is a staple of the Roman diet, but olives must be crushed and pressed to produce it.  An oil mill consists of two kinds of machines: the mill itself, which is usually a stone basin with a vertical millstone pulled in circles by a donkey, and the press, which is very much like a basket press for wine.
Cost: 12
Income: +2 during Autumn; additional +1 in Autumn with an Olive Orchard (maximum 2).

Lumber Yard (Rural, Manufacturing)
The shipbuilding trade requires massive amounts of timber.  Hauling that timber and cutting it into boards is long, backbreaking work, which hasn’t really changed since the fall of the ancient Romans.  The work is done by hand – axes are used to split logs into planks, and the planks are finished with adzes, chisels, saws, rasps, and draw knives.  Large-scale carpentry is very labor-intensive, but fortunately the workers aren’t paid as much as woodcarvers and other more skilled craftsmen.
Cost: 10
Income: +2 during Winter
Bonus: This enterprise is intended to reduce the cost/upkeep of ships.  As ship prices have not yet been codified, this has not yet been detailed, but it will be.
Note: Lumber mills have low volatility in peacetime, but in times of naval war they tend to do either very well or very poorly; war at sea can greatly increase the demand for ships, but if the port is blockaded, seized, or destroyed, this enterprise may yield nothing at all.

Fulling Mill (Rural, Manufacturing)
“Fulling” is the process of scouring and thickening woolen cloth.  Traditionally, this process is done by hand by soaking the cloth in stale urine or kneading it with “fuller’s earth,” stretching the cloth on hooks, and physically beating it with hammers before a final rinse.  The fulling mill automates this process by using a water-powered trip hammer to beat the cloth.
Cost: 4
Income: +1 during Spring with a Weaving Hall that weaves wool.

Bakery (Urban, Manufacturing)
Rome consumes an enormous amount of bread – it makes up most of the average Roman’s diet.  Peasants in the contado usually bake their own, but the teeming masses of Rome’s lower class depend on large, multi-oven bakeries run by professional bakers.  These bakeries are fairly large buildings – usually made of brick to avoid fires – packed with clay-brick bread ovens.
Cost: 16
Income: +2 during Winter; additional +1 during Summer with a Grist Mill (maximum 2).
Bonus: During a famine, the price of bread rises dramatically, and you will have the option to either gain bonus income or distribute cheap bread for a possible Popularity boost.  The more bakeries you have, the larger and more likely this boost is.

Weaving Hall (Urban, Manufacturing)
Peasant women typically spin and weave clothes for their families themselves, but urban Romans seldom have this “privilege.”  Weaving halls are large-scale workshops where wool is scoured, spun, and woven into broadcloth to be sold to tailors and cloth merchants (or where flax is processed into linen in a somewhat similar manner).
Cost: 20.  You must choose either Wool or Linen.
Income: +2 during Winter; additional +2 in Spring with a Pasture or Flax Field (maximum 2).

Dyeworks (Urban, Manufacturing)
Fabric is worth much more when colored.  Dyers use all manner of plants, berries, and minerals to give fabric the kind of bright colors that nobles and peasants alike prefer.  Dye will quickly wash out of fabric, however, unless it is fixed with a “mordant” – the best by far is alum, but various metals and even stale urine are used when that rare mineral is unavailable.  Dyeing is a particularly vile occupation, creating a great deal of noxious fumes and toxic wastewater, and dyers’ workshops tend to be located in slums along the Tiber for this reason.
Cost: 14.
Income: +1 during Summer; additional +1 in Summer with a Weaving Hall (maximum 2); additional +1 in Summer if you have a source of Alum.

Spetiarium (Urban, Manufacturing)
Spetiarius is usually translated as “apothecary,” but the medieval spetiarius is an eclectic mixture of druggist, spice trader, and candyman.  Spices and rare fruits were not just culinary treats, but were believed to have various medicinal properties that aided digestion, prevented disease, boosted the libido, and increased general health.  The spetiarium is a place where sundries like cinnamon, cassia, pepper, sugar (considered a spice), incense, citrus, and various plant extracts are made into syrups, unguents, confections, electuaries, and essences.
Cost: 8
Income: +1 in Summer with each of the following: Orchard (citrus), Storehouse (sugar), Storehouse (spices).

Perfumery (Urban, Manufacturing)
The Saracens invented the process of distilling.  With their techniques, flowers, fruits, and herbs can be concentrated in large pot stills into concentrated oils and fragrant waters.  Though unknown to most of Christendom, these fine scents are increasingly popular among the upper classes and are said to have healthful properties as well.
Cost: 12
Income: +2 during Spring with a Citrus Orchard (maximum 2).

Hospitium (Urban, Hospitality)
Rome’s many pilgrims always need somewhere to stay, and that place is the Hospitium.  These structures take all sizes and shapes and serve all manner of clients.  Hospitia are guaranteed profit-makers – but only when the pilgrims come!
Cost: 10
Income: +3 during Spring.
Note: Hospitia themselves are not very volatile, but this does not take into account extraordinary events (like war, or a Papal interdict) that can completely ruin the hospitality economy.  Hospitia offer a lot of profit for a great price without relying on other enterprises, but anyone in this business needs to pay special attention to the pilgrimage.

Storehouse (Urban, Mercantile)
Inventory is required for trade, and inventory must be stored and protected.  A storehouse is a spacious building (often re-purposed from an old ruin) that securely stores goods awaiting maritime transport.  (When you build a storehouse, you must specify a certain type of trade you are engaging in, and clear this with me.  You may have multiple storehouses engaging in the same type of trade.)
Cost: 12
Income: +1 during Spring, Summer, and Autumn.
Note: You can build a storehouse for pretty much anything as long as it’s traded in Rome; the profits are all equal for purposes of this enterprise, though your choice of good may matter for other reasons.  How many enterprises of this kind the market will bear depends both on the demand and the port itself – busier ports will give more opportunities for trade.

Counting House (Urban, Mercantile)
Christians are forbidden to loan money for interest – but then again, they’re forbidden from killing too, and look how popular that is.  At the counting house, money is put to work making more money through investments and loans.  To lend money, you need to have money, and the counting house requires you to have some savings for it to function.
Cost: 12
Income: +1 in every season as long as you have at least 2 WP saved.  This savings limit is cumulative with that from other counting houses you own.
Note: A character owning a Counting House may experience lower Orthodoxy; the more you own, the greater the problem will be.

Fishery (Rural, Manufacturing)
Anchovies, mullet, mackerel, bass, carp, eel – the Tiber and the nearby waters of the Mediterranean are rich with all kinds of fish.  Though fish is not a particularly important staple food during most of the year, the Church has made it an essential industry with its prohibition on the eating of meat at certain times, particularly Lent.  Fish, being exempt from this ban, are critical to a well-rounded diet that is also in keeping with ritual observance.  The fishery is not any single building but a complex of piers, sheds, drying-barns, carpentry and net-weaving workshops, and other assorted structures that make the catching and processing of fish possible.
Cost: 14
Income: +1 during Winter and Spring; additional +1 during Winter with Salinae.
Note: Fisheries must, obviously, be built where there is water and fish.  Though their volatility is very low, it should be remembered that anything near water has a higher chance of being damaged by flooding.

Salinae (Rural, Manufacturing)
Salt is critically important for the preservation of food.  Salinae are shallow artificial pools dug near saline ponds and marshes; the brackish water is allowed to flood into the pools and is evaporated in the sun, leaving only salt behind.  The process requires few tools and its sole raw material, salt water, is plentiful, though it does require a large number of low-wage laborers to dig the salinae and collect the salt, a fair number of whom fall pretty to the ague while working so close to the unhealthy marshes.
Cost: 6
Income: +1 during Summer.
Note: Salinae can only be built in brackish marshlands.

Goldsmiths’ Workshop (Urban, Manufacturing)
“Goldsmith” is somewhat of a misnomer – most goldsmiths in Christian Europe work only occasionally with gold, and primarily with silver and bronze.  Goldsmiths are highly skilled and well-paid artisans who make all manner of items from precious metals, from cutlery and candlesticks to ecclesiastical instruments like censers, ciboria, aspergilla, and chalices.  Though wealthy merchants aspiring to high society are an increasing part of their clientele, the Church is still a goldsmith’s best customer.  Gold and silver, being foreign imports, can be subject to price fluctuations, but at least precious metals will always be in fashion.
Cost: 22
Income: +1 during every season.
Bonus: If you own at least one goldsmiths’ workshop, the amounts of saved WP required to increase the opulence level of your primary estate by 1 and 2 levels are reduced to 6 and 12, respectively, instead of 10 and 20.

Sculptors’ Workshop (Urban, Manufacturing)
Scluptors are the best of the stonemasons, men with a steady hand, a good knowledge of the properties of stone, and a keen eye for detail.  The ancient practice of making large, freestanding stone sculptures has died out; modern sculptors make reliefs and engravings.  Most of their work is ecclesiastical, decorating the capitals of columns, tympanums above church doors, facades, grotesques and gargoyles, and even tombs.  Rome, with its hundreds of churches, chapels, and basilicas, is an ideal place for a sculptor to work.  Though secular lords sometimes commission sculpture as well, the sculptor is generally even more dependent on the Church than the goldsmith.
Cost: 18
Income: +1during Spring, Summer, and Winter
Bonus: If you own at least one Sculptor’s Workshop, you receive a discount on building, renovating, or repairing churches, abbeys, and other ecclesiastical structures equal to 1 WP for every 5 WP spent (rounded down, but minimum 1 WP).
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You can also improve your prestige and safeguard your family and your savings by improving your estate (and even building multiple estates).

Construction
Estates

An estate is any senatorial residence or fortification.  There are no limits to the number of estates a senator can build, but one is always considered a primary estate – where your character’s primary residence and “base of operations” is.

You can move your primary estate, even regularly – many nobles move their primary estate to a secondary villa in the Alban Hills during the summer, for instance.  Your savings are located wherever your primary estate is; if it is destroyed or overrun, you will lose some or all your saved wealth.  In addition, your family is assumed to be here as well, and unless you have orders to the contrary –moving them to a country villa for a season, for instance – they may be in danger if the estate falls.  Moving your primary estate is free and requires no large amount of time, though it’s not always possible to do it instantly – if you get an Inter-update Event about a riot approaching your palazzo, it’s a little late to be talking about relocating.

Any estate, primary or not, is defined by two characteristics – security and opulence.  By default, a character’s villa has zero in both scores.  This doesn’t mean it’s completely indefensible or that it’s an impoverished hovel, but it is no more secure and no more impressive than the home of any other prosperous citizen.

Security is the measure of how strong an estate is as a fortification.  Security ranks make an estate progressively more difficult to attack; at low levels, security serves mostly to deter poorly-armed looters, while at higher levels even well-armed and trained forces will take heavy casualties trying to take it (if they are successful at all).

If an estate consists of a tower attached to a villa/palazzo (most do, unless built to be freestanding), at security levels 3 and higher you can move saved wealth into the attached tower if the (fortified) palazzo is overrun.  You can move up to 4 WP in this way at 3rd level, and 4 more for each level above that.  With enough spending, you can essentially protect your hoard from anything but an army with siege weapons.

Level 0: The estate has no notable defensive precautions, save perhaps a modest courtyard wall.
Level 1: The estate is somewhat “hardened” against intrusion – a thicker and higher wall around the compound, a first floor with no windows or just slits, stone construction that’s resistant to fire, a reinforced gate, and so on.
Level 2: The estate is as fortified as it can be while still retaining a “normal” interior.  The walls are tuff block faced with brickwork, often recycled from old ruins.  Its windows are small, albeit still functional, and it has arrow loops on most or all floors.  The roof is accessible and has an embattled parapet.  The estate has one or more courtyard walls which may have their own arrow loops or watch posts.
Level 3: A security level of 3 or higher represents the presence of a true torre, either attached to a palazzo or freestanding.  This tower, around 20-30 meters high, is a true defensive structure with an embattled parapet, arrow loops, and often a raised door only accessible by stair or ramp.  The inside is usually not meant for long-term habitation, but it provides refuge for a senator, his family, and his guards.  It has a small armory with slings, bows, and so on.
Level 4: The torre is taller and stronger, potentially 30-40 meters in height.  It offers a commanding view of the surrounding neighborhood, and has barracks and supplies for long-term defense.  Only trained and well-armed soldiers have any chance against it, and even they may find storming it extremely costly.
Level 5: A torre up to 40-50 meters in height.  A tower of this size and strength is essentially impregnable to anything but siege weaponry.  Such a fortification often has its own siege weapons as well – small catapults on the roof can be used against enemies, or even other nearby towers!
Level 6+: At this point, adding more to a torre mostly just adds storage and barracks space, as well as additional height.  Assume about 10 meters per additional level.  Truly high towers may largely be just for bragging rights, but they also increase the range of a tower’s missiles; a really high tower can project power over many blocks, potentially even a whole district.

Opulence is the measure of how sumptuous and rich an estate is.  Opulence advertises your status to everyone who visits, displaying your power and wealth.  Opulence levels put visiting NPCs in a better mood, and holding regular social events with important guests at an opulent palazzo can increase your Influence.  Some NPCs who are used to excellent accommodations may actually be insulted by attending a function at an estate they deem not opulent enough for their status.

Because a character’s saved wealth is usually saved in the form of precious goods – silver tableware, precious tapestries, golden candlesticks, and so on – saved wealth also increases the opulence of your primary estate by one level if you have at least 10 WP saved, and by two levels if you have more than 20 WP saved.  More WP than this has no effect, since stuffing treasures into a modest city villa can only improve it so far – then it’s just awkward and garish.

If your saved WP less than 3, your estate is actually considered one level of opulence lower than the structure itself.  Poverty isn’t sexy.

Level 0: The estate is functional, but “quaint” at best, befitting a moderately prosperous merchant with austere taste or a rustic cattani unconcerned with luxury.
Level 1: The estate is roomier and nicer than most, with good plaster walls and wide arcades.  A prosperous Roman merchant would be pleased to live here.
Level 2: The estate is a true palazzo at this level.  Tall, arched arcades separate the multi-story, whitewashed residence from a nice garden decorated with ancient statuary.  Inside, there are some architectural flourishes and possibly some frescoes.
Level 3: The palazzo is up to the standards of Rome’s best equites.  The palazzo has many tall dining rooms with ceilings of imported wood, each with its own grand fireplace; the archways are tall and elegant, and there are decorative flourishes on all the columns.  It may even have glass windows.  The gardens have rare and curious plants and choice statuary (some of which may be custom, and not merely pulled from the ruins).
Level 4: This palazzo is among the most impressive of Rome.  There are frescoes and painted patterns on every wall and fine detailing on every column, banister, arcade, and mantel.  The furniture is all imported, and the roof is brightly colored tiles over lead sheeting.  The garden is a delightful paradise, filled with fruit trees, well-manicured hedges, and possibly even a working fountain.  Such a palazzo is like its own village, with a small army of servants (and their own residence, separate from the main estate) and often with its own chapel (and its own family priest).
Level 5: This truly opulent palazzo can be compared only with the palaces of the Cardinals; it is everything that a level 4 is but bigger, grander, and more expensive.
Level 6+: This is Papal palace level.  A peasant witnessing it might think he was in heaven (as if you’d let peasants in here!).  There’s a real risk of actually losing Orthodoxy at this level – not only does the Pope hate competition, but everyone will start to compare you with some perfumed Saracen prince.

Costs

Each level of security or opulence costs 5 WP.  Damage to an estate can reduce its security and/or opulence, and you may have to pay to repair it (the price depends on the damage, but it always less than building a new one from scratch).

Construction on an estate takes 1 season for each level (of anything) plus 2 additional seasons.  Thus, building a 15 WP structure would take 5 seasons; building that same structure in three discrete increments of 5 WP would take 9 seasons.  This “surcharge” in time reflects the fact that it’s easier to build a whole structure from the ground up than repeatedly renovate a structure, which generally requires partial deconstruction as well.  On the other hand, a building is largely useless before it’s complete, and you may not want to wait in your 0-security estate for years while your massive 6-level torre is slowly funded and constructed.

Castles

Castles, both small (a rocca) and large (a real castello) can be built in the country in a similar manner to an estate.  Like an estate, castles can have both security and opulence scores, though a castle in the contado will probably not benefit as much from opulence as a palazzo in the city (there are fewer people to see it, and it’s just not in as “happening” a neighborhood).  Unlike a tower house, however, castles generally grow outward rather than upward, adding curtain walls and defensive towers instead of additional height.

It should be noted that castles, unlike towers, may be considered “unauthorized” by the sovereign – in our case, the Pope – and building them will cause friction with the Curia unless your character is a papal vassal (that is, a nobleman) and has been granted a license to crenellate.  Small castles in Rome’s immediate neighborhood may simply be ignored or overlooked, but the larger a fortification is the more likely it is to be noticed, particularly if it sits on an important strategic point.

A castle can’t be built at a security level lower than 3.  In general, a castle lower than security level 5 is just a keep; it may have a small perimeter wall, but not a true curtain wall with battlements and towers.  Generally only castles at security level 6 and higher are considered real castelli, as opposed to a rocca, though these terms are somewhat flexible in their common usage.
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It’s possible, of course, to accumulate WP by saving it rather than spending it, though there is a certain risk to this.

There are no banks in 12th century Italy, and there isn’t enough free currency to hoard coinage like some kind of Roman dragon.  When nobles and merchants save up wealth, it usually means buying precious assets – usually metal items like silver tableware and gold jewelry, but occasionally oriental tapestries and so on – that can later be sold if it becomes necessary.  This means that if your estate is sacked or burned down, you will lose most or all of your saved wealth.  Fortified estates and tower-houses, of course, are less vulnerable to this, but it’s always a possibility.

How the Senate Works

Each PC is a Senator and member of the senatores consiliarii, also called the “lesser council,” which is a group of influential senators vested with executive powers who have closed door meetings apart from the senate at large (the “greater council”).  In this way it’s sort of like the difference between the UN Security Council and the General Assembly.  There are currently 100 members of the new Senate, most of whom are NPCs, but the senatores consiliarii is made up only of PCs.  The senatores consiliarii debate matters of policy and guide the ship of state in the direction they see fit.

The Senate elects two Consuls every Autumn.  One Consul is in charge of internal affairs (everything inside the city, including taxation, defense, and public works) while the other is in charge of external affairs (everything outside the city, including war and diplomacy).  Any PC can stand for Consular election.  Elections are determined by a vote, but how much your vote is worth depends on your PC’s Influence stat.

Though Consuls have the ultimate civic power, you can still do things privately even without Consular authority.  You can build your own fortifications, make speeches, raise private militias, feud with one another, send messages to NPCs – anything you want so long as it’s not “official business” of the city.

A Consul cannot be formally recalled, but he may be overthrown (even violently) if he takes actions against that clearly defy the will of the senatores consiliarii and the wider Senate.  Be wary, for the Romans are a wrathful people, and the fate of Caesar could easily be yours.

It should be noted that because wealth is the only requirement for Equestrian rank, and all player characters are relatively quite wealthy, all player characters are assumed to be equites as well.

Final Notes

  • Put everything you do in your OOC orders.
  • If you have a spending limit for a project, note it; if you aren't sure how to tackle a big project, make a request in your orders ("find out how many WP it would cost to...")
  • Orders may benefit from adding IC material, like speeches; though giving a speech isn't guaranteed to make a positive difference, adding IC material will seldom make things worse.
  • Put in as many details as you think you need in your orders.  Though I don't encourage you to be needlessly wordy, I will never penalize you for too much detail or too many suggestions.  If your idea to cut costs or raise your influence doesn't work, it just doesn't work - move on, try something else next time.
  • Seek allies when possible.  This is a cooperative game and you'll benefit from getting others in on your plans, whether it's PCs or NPCs.  If you do favors for people or groups, they'll be inclined to help you with your goals later.  That said, don't be afraid to have a rival - factions and competing interests can make the senate more interesting.
  • Think laterally.  I try to reward creativity as long as it doesn't become anachronistic or fantastic.  As I've said, I will consider any order you make.  Put yourself in your character's place and consider how he would approach a goal.
  • As GM I reserve the right to veto anachronistic things, like naming your character Vin Diesel or attempting to invent the internal combustion engine in the 12th century.
  • This is an alternative history game, with an emphasis on alternative.  You should not count on all events unfolding how they did historically, because you may be surprised.
  • While sending me a note if you are going to be absent is courteous, it is not strictly necessary.  As I said, the game can continue as long as there is some bare minimum number of players.  If you do inform me of a temporary absence, however, you may be pleasantly surprised – perhaps your character has gone on pilgrimage, and will return with a bonus!
  • Finally, have fun.  I hope you'll enjoy playing a medieval Roman and I’ll do my best to help you enjoy it.  I will consider any suggestions you come up with to make the game better.

And a final word of advice, from another GM running a similar game about nations:
Quote
And here's the most important part--we're working together, not against each other. Now, I'll frequently decide that "working together" means me throwing a nasty NPC horde at you, or some thoroughly unfortunate internal event, and you'll maybe occasionally decide "working together" means invading your fellow players or otherwise perpetrating dishonorable deeds (tsk tsk)--and that's well and good. The point is that this isn't like the adversarial court system, where each side throws the best they've got out there and let's the conflict sort out whose right. Rather, give some and take some. You don't always have to be the best ruler for your nation. Sometimes losing gives your experience some flavor. In summary, you don't just decide which way to trim the sails and crank the wheel, you also get to choose which way the ship sails (and I'll keep changing the way the wind blows to keep things surprising!).
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 12:05:40 AM by Polycarp »
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Polycarp

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 06:16:45 AM »
The City of Rome
Summer of 1159
Current level of rage: Frothing! [5]
Society
Population: 29,280
  • Equites: 420 [Citizens and nobles of households wealthy enough to bring a warhorse to the militia muster]
  • Popolo Grasso: 8,460 [Citizens of households wealthy enough to provide for a pedes (infantryman) or balistarius (crossbowman) in the militia muster]
  • Popolo Minuto: 20,000 [Non-citizen subjects without political power]
  • Ebreo: 400 [Jews, exempt from military service]

This Season’s Top 5 Popular Issues
1. “We demand bread!”
2. “Barbarossa is coming… will he be a tyrant or a liberator?”
3. “Good riddance to the prefect – Rome shall be free!”
4. “The Arnoldists endanger us all when they seize churches like this...”
5. “Niccolo Capocci is a loose cannon catapult.”

Economy

Commune of Rome
Treasury: 4 WP

Income: 2 WP
  • Duty, Patrician Pierleone: 1 WP
  • Rent, Colosseum: 2 WP (Spring Only)
  • Papal Stipend: 1 WP

Expenditures: 1 WP
  • Upkeep, Senatorial Palatini (50): 1 WP
  • Mint Fee: 1 WP (Spring Only)

The economy of Rome is based on religious tourism and the local export of lime and marble.  Various trades are practiced in the city, and it serves as a marketplace for the peasants of the Roman contado.

Politics

Our Consuls this year are Vittorio Manzinni and Roberto Basile.

The Senate of Rome is led by these men, our esteemed senatores consiliarii:
Vittorio Manzinni
Player: Light Dragon
Age: 65
Class: Citizen

Influence: 6
Popularity: 7
Orthodoxy: 7

1092-xx. The half-Sicilian, half-Roman glass and lumber merchant Manzinni is renowned for his unorthodox practice of importing glassware, woolen fabrics, linens and roots from the Fatimids (ongoing) and lumber importation from the Levant during the reign of his crusading commander Baldwin II (1118-1131), until his ships mysteriously mutinied during Falk's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulk,_King_of_Jerusalem regency--he blames Melisande rather than Falk for those circumstances.

At one time, when trade was running well, he was good friends with his cousin-in-law Roger II of Sicily, for better or worse as far as politics in Rome are concerned.

He is bitter, having seen his fortunes decline after the subsequent ascendancy of Falk, Melisende, and Baldwin III in Jerusalem. His major trade routes are quite controversial. He knows and everyone else knows that he is only in the Senate as a nod to their attempts to do honor to his in-law Roger of Sicily. Although he donates large amounts of gold to refurbish Churches in Rome, he is persona non grata with the Popes and is suspected of being a heretic. Despite his fears of being accused of heresy, he has his mansion decorated with Egyptian and Baghdadian arts and he covertly smokes hashish with dusky Sicilian ladies in his gardens at night.
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Roberto Basile
Player: TheMeanestGuest
Age: 45
Class: Citizen

Influence: 6
Popularity: 6
Orthodoxy: 6

The son of a common fisherman, Roberto was born in Amalfi in 1112. He does not speak of his earliest years, and will mention Amalfi only as it concerns his own contribution to the investiture of the city by sea as a companion of George of Antioch. Coming to captain his own ship in service to Roger of Sicily, Roberto accumulated a substantial fortune interdicting Saracen vessels off the coast of Tunisia. Eventually tiring of life at sea, Roberto settled in the city of Rome in 1141, marrying the daughter of a local merchant. Since then he has mostly put his efforts towards the cultivation of his renowned sweet eating oranges. Initially taking up his senatorial duties with some reluctance, he has come to relish his involvement in politics as of late. Those who knew him in his days as ship's captain would recognize an all too familiar twinkle in his eye.
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Hugo de Vinti
Player: Magnus Pym
Age: 47
Class: Citizen

Influence: 7
Popularity: 6
Orthodoxy: 5

Born in 1110 to a wealthy marble merchant of Siena and a sophisticated Roman woman, herself the daughter of a notorious marble trader, he was raised in the marble business. Of an artistic mind, he learned and mastered the art of sculpting. His first commission was for the Siena branch of the family and was a total success, earning him notoriety in the sculpting community there, but also in Sicily, where his skills were in great demand during the construction boom.

Hugo is known to sometimes host great parties at his family estate, in which he exposes his work; marble sculptures, paintings and more. He also uses such opportunities to allow good friends to show off their talents, such as winemakers and chefs, but also dancers, musicians and such entertainers. His guests are select; senators, notable equites, important public officers and foreigners.

His interest in the politics of Rome is newfound, but he and his fellow Romans demand good governance, and only within the tight circle of the senatores consiliarii can one provide concrete results.

Though, for all his qualities, Hugo definitely is a controversial character. He has taken an ex-Muslim (since converted to Christianity), Sophia Al-Fayez of Tripoli, as his wife, which sometimes springs rumours about his own beliefs. Also, it has been rumoured that he indulges in nights of debauchery, inviting the prettiest of Rome to participate in orgies on foreign sofas and carpets while eating grapes picked from golden bowls.
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Arrigus Sismondii
Player: Nomadic
Age: 35
Class: Citizen

Influence: 5
Popularity: 6
Orthodoxy: 7

Born 1121 to merchants, Arrigus inherited into his father's estate which included a small yet healthy winemaking business. Proving himself a shrewd businessman the young merchant, through much effort and not a small amount of maneuvering, has turned it into a thriving concern. At the height of his rise to wealth however the recent conflicts dealt a sharp blow to the local industry. Forced to scale back his ambitions for the present, Arrigus set his mind to obtaining a position within the senate. Despite the weakening of his wealth the merchant still maintains a quite healthy influence within Rome and has managed to find himself a seat amongst the senatores consiliarii themselves.
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Barzalomeus Borsarius
Player: Elven Doritos
Age: 34
Class: Citizen

Influence: 4
Popularity: 7
Orthodoxy: 4

Barzalomeus' grandfather and namesake was a Roman purse-maker whose crafts were of such fine quality they were sought throughout Italy. His father, Bernardus Borsarius, broke family tradition; through good fortune and friendships, Bernardus became a merchant of Byzantine spices. Bernardus' enemies claimed he was a thief and moneylender as well, though nothing ever came of these libelous remarks. Barzalomeus subsequently followed in his father's footsteps, amassing a modest fortune from the spice trade. Unlike his father, Barzalomeus has a strong sense of personal order and justice--many say that this is a conscious ploy to distance himself from the stained reputation of his father, a reputation that lingers to this day.

Barzalomeus is a bachelor whose modest lifestyle and spartan home have drawn attention. When asked about his politics, he is known to reply "Catonian", with little elaboration. He has two young brothers, both of whom work in some capacity for Barzalomeus, and an elder brother who is widely known to be an imbecile. His principle agenda in the Senate is to restore order and justice to Rome, through whatever means necessary.
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Transmarina de Morroccho
Player: Superbright
Age: 34
Class: Noble

Influence: 6
Popularity: 5
Orthodoxy: 6

Born in 1125 to Iohannes de Corvaria, the eldest son of an old Roman family whose father Piero had won much acclaim fighting the servants of Apollyon during the First Crusade, Transmarina de Morroccho has always been cleverer than she knew what to do with. She learned to read with Greek texts her grandfather had brought back as trophies and her father had the wisdom to foster this intelligence rather than try to snuff it out, going so far as to contract a Spanish monk to give her the sort basic scholastic education normally reserved for boys. For most men, such a learned and willful young woman would have to bring quite a hefty dowry before they would consider marrying her, but Barzalomeus de Morroccho was not most men. He was the scion of another storied noble family heavily invested in the fishing trade, whose natural charisma and dusky good looks were matched only by his complete lack of wit or ambition. The two proved to be eminently compatible, with Transmarina managing the family estates, handling correspondence, and writing down speeches for her husband to deliver. For his part, Barzalomeus blessed her with four healthy children: Giannis (age 17), Clara (age 14), Piero (age 12), and Orlandina (age 10).
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(Currently Inactive Players)
Fortis Calafatus
Player: Llum
Age: 49
Class: Noble

Influence: 4
Popularity: 8
Orthodoxy: 6

Born 1108, son of Calafatus de Spino a minor noble who served as a mounted soldier in the First Crusade. De Spino lost part of his left hand in the Siege of Jerusalem, when he returned to Rome he retired to his country estates to raise horses and teach his sons to ride. Here Fortis learned the trade of knighthood and a fierce piety. When the Second Crusade was called Fortis was quick to answer the call and rode with his fellow Crusaders for four years.
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Romolo Vannetti
Player: Turin
Age: 49
Class: Citizen

Influence: 5
Popularity: 5
Orthodoxy: 5

Romolo was born to a poor farmer in the Campagna Romana, near Formello. Being the fourth son, he was not needed at the farm as badly as his brothers, allowing him to learn a trade in his spare time. At 15, he left the farm for Rome and became an apprentice goldsmith full-time.

He displayed some aptitude, and around the age of 25 he struck out on his own. He quickly developed a reputation as a talented artisan. A few years later, Pope Innocent II commissioned him for some ornaments for the Papal palaces, and his name was definitively established. Over the next twenty years, he became Rome's leading goldsmith. He now oversees a smithee with ten apprentices, and occasionally dabbles in trading rare metals and moneylending. This has also ingratiated him with some of Rome's most prominent families. As a result of this, he has been able to take up a place among Rome's ruling class in the Senate.

Two of Romolo's brothers still run the family farm. Another is a Cistercian monk. One of his sisters is married to a merchant/sailor in Pisa. Romolo himself got married soon after he started his business. He has three sons: Buonganni, aged 18, Simone, aged 17, and Pierus, aged 14. Buonganni has been raised to be a goldsmith. Simone has been groomed for the cloth. Pierus also spends a lot of time at the smithee, and Romolo is teaching him about Rome's politics as well. Romolo also has a daughter, Julia, 15 years of age.
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Domenico DeRosa
Player: Elemental_Elf
Age: 59
Class: Noble

Influence: 6
Popularity: 4
Orthodoxy: 4

According to family history, the DeRosa family were originally a minor noble family from northern Castile. The Family grew to prominence during the early Reconquista, amassed great wealth via the spoils of war. Daughter of the family's patriarch, Camila DeRosa, was shamed and forced into exile by her father for secretly taking a Moor as her husband (the records do not list a name for this man). Camila and her Moorish Husband decided to travel to the Italian Peninsula, with the hope of using what little wealth they were able to sneak on their person to gain fame and fortune. Camila and her husband convinced a distant cousin, one Niccolo DeRosa, to take them to Genoa.  About midway between Barcelona and Genoa, the ship was attacked by Muslim Pirates. A furious battle was had, which saw the merchants soundly defeat the pirates, however, Camila's Husband was slain during the assault. Captain Niccolo DeRosa, who was an old widower, took pity on Camila and married her once they reached Genoa. The two had nine daughters and two sons.

The younger of the two sons, one Domenico DeRosa, moved to Rome to continue his family's mercantile ventures. Over the course of seven years, Domenico DeRosa gained fame and fortune in and around Rome for his cool headed nature and his business acumen. While in Rome, he met a beautiful woman by the name of Rosaria Lando. The Lando family was of noble birth but had become quite impoverished, Rosaria's grandfather gambled away his family's fortune. After a two-year courtship, Rosaria's father - Giuseppe - consented to a marriage but only in exchange for a very large dowry. Shortly after their marriage, Rosaria's father died. Acting quickly, Domenico quietly hired an assassin to kill Rosaria's only remaining living relative, and thus heir to her father's noble title - Giovanni Zorzi. The Assassin was accurate and subtle, making the murder appear to be nothing more than a hunting accident. Domenico then bribed every official and noble necessary to ensure he would be named signore.

Over the years Domenico has strengthened his position within Rome's nobility but is still shunned by many of the more conservative Nobles for his foreign Castilian blood. The darkest family secret - that being that they are related to a woman who married outside of the Christian faith - has largely been kept a secret. However, a noble, named Larenzo Pitti, caught wind of the secret and blackmailed Domenico out of a year's worth of profits prior to the marriage. Though Larenzo has remained quiet, there is no telling if he will ever let the secret slip. Needless to say, Domenico keeps a close eye on what Larenzo Pitti.

Domenico and Rosaria have had a total of ten children, nine of whom made it past their first year. His two oldest sons, Roberto and Diego, went on crusade - both died before reaching Jerusalem. His third oldest son, Leonardo, has shown himself to be a competent fighter, poet and businessman. Domenico is quite protective of Leonardo, especially after the deaths of Roberto and Diego. Two of his daughters, Isabella and Elena, are married while a third, Catarina, is currently seeking a suitor. His second eldest daughter, Serafina, is now twenty-two years old and was married to Giovanni Morosini, who was a wealthy merchant. He spent his fortune to purchase a ship that he used to ferry Crusaders to the Holy Land. Egyptian Pirates caught sight of his ship near Crete and, after a battle, slaughtered everyone on board and took the ship as their own. Word of the tragedy only reached poor Serafina, after a Genoese captain recaptured the ship and realized who it originally belonged to. Domenico's three remaining children - Grazia, Alberto and Giacomo - have not yet reached the age of ten.

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Bernardo Simone di Fontane
Player: Stargate525
Age: 36
Class: Citizen

Influence: 5
Popularity: 5
Orthodoxy: 5

Born to a wealthy family outside of Rome, near Tre Fontane. A canny merchant and patron of the arts, he had little to do with the crusade besides selling weapons to the nobility who were going out to fight. He has little love for the papacy, but mostly takes issue with secular disagreements; his doctrine is lax but sound.
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Costa Oliveri
Player: Sarisa
Age: 38
Class: Noble

Influence: 6
Popularity: 5
Orthodoxy: 6

Born in 1116 Costa is the youngest of 3 brothers. The oldest died on the walls of Jerusalem and the middle child, Galus was bought a position in the Church by their father; Galus is still in service to the church. Costa took over the family estate after his father died. Much of the family fortune is depleted, having funded the First Crusade and buying the position for Galus.

Costa is first and foremost a businessman, and is very good with the average citizen. He is known as the "Friend". (Amici?) He struggles with loyalty to the people of Rome, and loyalty to his older brother.

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We have the following treaties and formal agreements with others:

Agreement with Giordano Pierleoni, 1153
Parties: The Senate of Rome and Giordano Pierleoni
This agreement ended the standoff between the Pierleoni family and the Senate of Rome that overthrew him as Patrician in 1152.

  • The Senate will confirm Giordano Pierleone's title as Patrician.
  • The duties of the Patrician shall be to administer the Leonine City and the Castle of St. Angelo as Castellan, enforcing the laws of the Senate and People of Rome and assisting in their defense within that domain.
  • Patrician Pierleone shall be acknowledged by the Senate as Magistrate of Trastevere, with sole judicial authority and the right to half of all fines levied in the execution of Roman law therein.
  • Patrician Pierleone will be confirmed as a Citizen of Rome, but formally forswears any ambition to Senatorial office for so long as he holds his title of Patrician.
  • Patrician Pierleone will withdraw all his forces from Trastevere and all the streets of Rome outside the Leonine City.
  • Patrician Pierleone will surrender the Theater of Marcellus to the Senate.
  • Patrician Pierleone will relinquish his family house on the Tiber Island to his brother Ruggero.
  • Patrician Pierleone will pledge his loyalty to the Senate, and pay an annual duty of [1 Wealth] to the Senate for his privileges and honors.
  • The Senate shall enact a general pardon for Patrician Pierleone, his armsmen, and his family, that none may be later prosecuted or fined for any deeds prior to the date of this agreement.
  • Patrician Pierleone is excused from any duty to follow orders from or place himself under the command of Fortis Calafatus in whatever Senatorial position he may find himself in, Consular or otherwise.
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Treaty with the Abbey of Farfa, 1154
Parties: The Senate of Rome and Abbot Anselm II
This treaty ended the Reatini-Farfan War, which Rome joined on the side of their ally Rieti.

  • The city of Civitavecchia shall be returned to the Abbey of Farfa.
  • The Abbey shall guarantee perpetual, free, and unfettered access to Roman travelers and on the roads between Rome and Rieti and Civitavecchia - that is, the Via Salaria and the Via Aurelia.
  • The Abbey shall furthermore allow the passage of Roman troops on the Via Salaria between Rome and Rieti.
  • The Abbey of Farfa shall pay the Roman Senate an indemnity of [4 WP] in silver.
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Treaty of Campus Neronius, 1155
Parties: The Senate of Rome and Pope Adrian IV
This treaty ended the exile of the Pope from Rome, which began when Pope Eugene III fled the city in 1146.

  • His Holiness shall recognize the legality and legitimacy of the Senate of Rome and pledge not to interfere in their appointments or civil affairs which fall within their jurisdiction.
  • His Holiness shall recognize the Roman Militia as necessary for the defense of the city, but the Senate of Rome shall not levy men from outside the city nor make war against any Papal vassal or subject.
  • The Senate of Rome shall acknowledge the primacy of the canon law of the Holy Church over civil law in all matters under ecclesiastical jurisdiction, including the civil matters of marriage, inheritance, legitimacy, and contract, and the criminal matters of heresy, apostasy, adultery, murder, usury, and any theft or alienation of ecclesiastical property.  In addition, the Senate and its courts shall forswear any jurisdiction over any criminal or civil matter involving a priest, monk, or other ecclesiastic.
  • The Senate of Rome shall accept the Curia’s nomination of a Prefect, who shall exercise the judicial powers of the Church as the representative of the Papal Curia, and who shall possess sole authority over the collection of tithes, tolls on travelers and pilgrims, and the collection of all revenues from ecclesiastical rents and estates.
  • The Senate of Rome shall allow the return of all noblemen who fled or were expelled from the city during their rule and see to the return of any property seized from them.
  • The Senate of Rome shall return the Lateran Palace to the Papal Curia and pay restitution of [8W] as compensation for its plunder.
  • All men with membership in the Senate of Rome or the order of Equites who hold a fief or title of nobility shall present themselves as penitents before His Holiness for their disobedience to their liege, and shall each be fined [2W].
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Law on the Selection of Senators, 1156
Parties: The Senate of Rome
This law established the method of replacing senators and established quotas for senatorial equites.

  • The number of equestris seats is fixed at twenty-two.
  • Each senator may select his own successor, provided the successor is a Roman citizen of good repute.
  • No seat held by an eques may be willed to a common citizen, nor vice versa.
  • If a senator selects a successor not of his own family, the successor must be approved by the unanimous consent of the senatorial equites.
  • A senator may be expelled from the Senate by a two-thirds vote; both Consuls must be present and preside over such a vote.
  • If a senator should be expelled from the Senate, his replacement shall be selected by the senators of his own class (i.e. equites or non-equites).
  • It is illegal for a senator to sell his succession rights for goods, land, or title, or have any business dealings with his selected successor, unless the successor is a member of his own family.
  • These laws cannot be amended save by a majority of both the equites and common citizen senators present.
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Maps

Map of Rome


Medieval Rome is divided into fourteen regiones (regions).  This division originated unofficially several centuries ago, but was formalized by the Commune in 1144.  The borders of these regions are somewhat vague in actual practice, particularly where they border uninhabited areas of the city.  The Romans themselves do not number the regions; the numbers on this map are only for your convenience.

I. Montium et Biberatice: Also known simply as "Montium" (mountain), this is Rome's largest but probably least populated district.  The valleys between the hills are used for grazing land, while the hills themselves have vineyards and plenty of ruins used for quarrying.  The only notable populated area is the Colosseum, which is rented out to various tradesmen and laborers for housing and workshops.
II. Trivii et Vie Late: This region takes its name from three ancient streets that meet at the long, straight road the ancients called the Via Lata.  The region used to be more inhabited in centuries past, as the main output of the Aqua Virgo used to be here (no repair work ever extended the water all the way to the original endpoint of the aqueduct near the Pantheon).  The aqueduct has virtually ceased functioning now, causing most of the inhabitants to move closer to the river.
III. Columne et S. Marie in Aquiro: This region is named for the church of Santa Maria in Aquiro and a massive spiral column of the ancients depicting Roman soldiers and their conquests.  The column has a platform atop it that used to hold a statue of some Roman Emperor.  Climbing nearly 100 foot column is a popular activity for particularly daring young Roman men.
IV. Campi Martis et S. Laurentii in Lucina: This region is named for the northern part of the Field of Mars which it covers, as well as the minor basilica of San Lorenzo in Lucina.  Though it is prone to flooding, it is the region furthest upriver and thus has the least polluted water, and for that reason it is considered more "upscale" than the other regions of the Campus Martius.
V. Pontis et Scorteclariorum: Named for its bridges, the "Pontis" might be considered the tourist district of Rome.  By the Tiber and at the confluence of several major streets, this region is filled to the brim with pilgrims during the spring and is choked with shops, taverns, and inns.  Though infernally crowded, the region is a prosperous one and a prestigious place to live if you can afford a house along one of the major streets.
VI. S. Eustachii et Vinea Teudemarii: This region is centered around Sant'Eustachio (the church of Saint Eustace).  The church is a diaconia, a place where alms are given to the poor and sickly, and the surrounding region is one of Rome's slums.  Most of the inhabitants are menial laborers who work in the fields outside the city when harvest comes.
VII. Arenule et Caccabariorum: "Arenule" refers to the soft sand of the Tiber found in this region.  Indeed, the ground is marshy, constantly flooding, and Rome's leading region for malaria.  As might be expected, it's not a very fashionable district, but land certainly is cheap.
VIII. Parionis et S. Laurentii in Damaso: The name of this region comes from Parietone ("big wall"), referring to a very large wall that stands as a remnant of some unknown structure, and the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Damaso, a Roman martyr and one of Rome's patron saints.  The region is extremely heavily populated and its narrow streets run in a great chaotic maze that has confounded many thousands of visiting pilgrims over the years.  Though not a particularly low-class neighborhood, it it still avoided by the well-to-do because of how easy it is to wander into some blind alley and get mugged.
IX. Pinee et S. Marci: This region used to be called Pina, referring to a massive bronze pine cone that sits here.  It used to be the center of a fountain, but no water has run through it in hundreds of years.  In a city full of churches, this region is known for having a particularly large amount, including the Basilica of St. Mark, the Basilica of St. Mary above Minerva, and the Rotunda - also known as the Pantheon - which is dedicated to St. Mary and all the martyrs.  It is a fairly well-off district owing to its pilgrimage attractions and its central location.
X. S. Angeli in Foro Piscium: The name "Saint Angelo in the Fish Market" refers to both the name of a local church and to the fact that this is where the city's fishermen live and work.  The region includes the Theater of Marcellus and used to be called Regione Marcello.  The part of the region beyond the immediate shore of the Tiber is home to many of Rome's craftsmen, particularly its metalsmiths.  Situated between the Forum and Trastevere, St. Angeli is the heart of Rome's industry, such as it is.
XI. Ripe et Marmorate: This region is what passes for Rome's port district.  The Tiber is hardly navigable these days, but when shallow-draft boats do venture up the river, they dock here.  Most of the residents of this district are low-class tradesmen.  Tanners and butchers live here because they can throw their rotten offal and noxious chemicals (tanners use a lot of lye and urine in their work) into the water downstream from the rest of the city.  The region has a reputation as a tough neighborhood.
XII. Campitelli et S. Adriani: This region is named for the church of Santa Maria in Campitelli and the church of St. Adriano - or Saint Hadrian - better known as the Curia Julia and the city's new Senate house.  The region includes what's left of the Forum as well as the Capitoline and Palatine hills, but is fairly thinly populated.
XIII. Trastevere: Trastevere is home to all of Rome's Jews, but most of the region's population is not Jewish.  The region's streets are winding and narrow, the result of a chaotic history of building and rebuilding.  Separated from the rest of the city by the Tiber, Trastevere is considered to have its own culture, some say even its own dialect.  The trades of the region's Christians vary, but the Jews are concentrated almost entirely in tanning and dyeing, the latter trade being almost entirely monopolized by the Jews of Rome.  The Jews have their own section of the region, centered around their single synagogue.  Two of Rome's oldest churches are located here, the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere and the church of Santa Cecilia.
XIV: Insula Tiberina: The Tiber Island is not large, but fairly well populated by merchants and various auxiliaries and friends of the Pierleoni, whose family tower house is located here.  The largest building is the Basilica of St. Bartholomew, built by Emperor Otto III at the end of the 10th century.

Civitas Leonina: The Leonine City is named for Pope Leo IV, who ordered the building of the Leonine Wall to protect the Basilica of Saint Peter from Saracen raids in the 9th century.  It is usually not considered a proper part of Rome, and was not included in the original organization of Rome's communal districts.  Pope Leo brought a number of Corsican families to populate the heavily fortified mini-city, and their descendants still live here.  Though they have mingled and intermarried with Romans for centuries, one can still occasionally hear the Corsican tongue spoken in the Leonine City.  The Corsico-Roman inhabitants are very loyal to the Pierleoni and are well-represented among the Patrician's guards.

Black Line: The Aurelian Walls.  These walls were constructed in the 3rd century and are still Rome’s main defensive line nine centuries later.  In the 6th century tremendous damage was done to them by the Goths, who tried to make the city indefensible.  Some work has been done since then, but the walls are still in a terrible state of disrepair.
Dark Blue Line: The Leonine Wall.  This wall was constructed by Pope Leo IV after Saracens sacked St. Peter’s Basilica in the 9th century.  The Castle of St. Angelo was built upon the aging edifice of Hadrian’s Tomb at this time as well.  These comparatively modern walls are in a good state of repair.
Light Blue Line: Aqua Virgo.  When Rome was sacked by the Goths in the 6th century, they destroyed all the aqueducts leading into the city.  Though it does not currently function, the Aqua Virgo was partially repaired in the 8th century and is the only aqueduct of Rome not completely in ruins.
Brown Areas: Hills.  The original seven hills of Rome are marked.

Major Buildings:
  • The Lateran Palace is the official residence of the Pope, though he is not residing there currently.
  • The Basilica Heleniana is a recently reconstructed church that holds several extremely valuable relics.
  • The Baths have been dry since the sack of the 6th century, and are being slowly picked apart for their marble.
  • The Basilica of St. Mary Major is one of the most important Roman churches.
  • The Palazzo Colonna is the ancestral fortified palace of the influential Colonna family.
  • The Colosseum is largely intact, but the area space has been converted into a cemetery and the building is rented out for housing and workshops.
  • The Curia Julia is the old hall of the ancient Senate, and now houses the current one as well.
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Map of Latium


The Campagna Romana is the region around Rome, formed from the lower Tiber river valley.  Most farming here is done along the river, although the river floods often and malaria is a severe problem in the region.  The only real resources of note are the tidal salt pans near the Tiber’s mouth, where the villagers of Gregoriopolis collect salt and sell it in Rome and Tusculum.  The Alban Hills are a raised area around Lake Albano, traditionally one of the favored summer spots of wealthy Romans and the domain of the Counts of Tusculum since the 10th century, who have built many castles there.

Tuscia is a thinly populated region, used mostly for sheep and horse herding; it is Latium’s main source of horses.  The region is dominated by the Frangipani castle of Tolfa in the hills east of Civitavecchia.  That city is Latium’s only real commercial port; it is a fief of the Abbey of Farfa, but is also within Pisa’s sphere of influence.

Falisca is a prosperous region of Latium that owes much to its strategic position between Rome and Pelusium, the “link” between Latium and the rest of the Papal States.  Viterbo and Sutri also lie on the Via Francigena, the ancient route of pilgrims to Rome, and profit from the Roman pilgrimage.  This area is somewhat hilly and is known for olive and grape cultivation.  Most of the Faliscan cities are independent communes.

Sabina is the mountainous region northeast of Latium, which falls partly within the Duchy of Spoleto.  Rieti is the only urban center here, and has traditionally been friendly with Rome in opposition to the Faliscan cities.  It sits astride the ancient Via Salarium, a route through the mountains to the Adriatic.  Grapes and olives are grown here as well, but the peasants of this rugged region are more isolated and less prosperous than the Faliscans.

Marsica is a very mountainous region around Lake Fucino.  The whole region was ruled by the hereditary Counts of Marsi until it was conquered by the Normans.  The land around the lake is very fertile but also plagued by malaria.  In the mountains, most of the inhabitants are transhumant shepherds.

The Latina Valley surrounds the Sacco River and the confluence of that river with the Liri.  The region has been a stronghold of the Papacy, and most of the cities are Papal rectorates rather than free communes (save Ferentino).  The nobility of Latium, mostly pro-papal families, control extensive estates and fortifications here.

The Pontine Marshes are mostly uninhabited.
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Map of Italy


The Papal States include Latium, the Pentapolis, Romagna, and the city of Benevento, but the nobles and cities of Romagna and the Pentapolis are effectively independent of Papal rule.
Ancona claims allegiance to the Byzantine Empire, but is not a proper province of the Empire and is effectively independent.
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A Simple Trade Map
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A Rough Map of Europe
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Military

Roman Units
Though Rome has had a militia for centuries, they were seldom trusted by the Pope, who still relies primarily on noble knights from the Roman Campagna.  Most of Rome’s nobility have been expelled from the city, and those that remain are almost entirely the petty nobility who are unable to raise many armed retainers for service.  Currently, the Roman militia is formed from the following:


Contadini
These are conscripted peasants from the contado (countryside), untrained and uneager.  On campaign, they are most often used as "military laborers," foraging for food and firewood, erecting camps, and building fortifications so "proper" soldiers don't have to.  They also function as guastatori, "ravagers," who despoil the enemy's countryside in the army's wake.  In a pitched battle, they are of limited use - their weapons are largely improvised, including scythes, flails, bill-hooks, sickles, hoes, and clubs, enough to scare off other peasants while plundering villages and farms but fairly useless against professional soldiers.  Some of these contadini bring their hunting bows to war and can function as mediocre archers in battles and skirmishes.


Pedites
Artisans and merchants make up the backbone of the 12th century communal army.  They serve the city as pedites (footmen) of superior quality.  Though not professionals, they typically have some limited training, are better equipped than peasant levies, and are motivated by civic pride instead of mere feudal duty.  Their middle-class status allows them to afford a certain amount of personal equipment, including a metal helmet, a wooden kite shield, and the lanzalonga, a 3-meter spear useful against both infantry and cavalry.  Though the spear is their primary weapon, many carry daggers, maces, or falchions as well.  The wealthiest of the militiamen may also have a mail shirt and/or a true sword, and sometimes serve as "officers" directing groups of fellow pedites.


Balistarii
Archery is not held in high esteem in the Latin tradition of war.  Bows are normally used for long-range bombardment to harass or provoke the enemy, not to cause significant casualties.  Archery is seldom decisive, and as a result the business is left to the poorest and lowliest men of an army, who can afford no better.  The crossbow, a wooden self-bow mounted on a stock and spanned by foot, fulfills a different role – while it cannot be used for arcing bombardments, its superior accuracy and modest increase in power at close or medium range make it better suited for direct shooting.  Though most popular as a siege weapon, useful for defending and attacking fortifications, it has slowly been adopted for use in the field and at sea by Italy’s communes.  Aside from a crossbow and bolts, a balistarius is required to provide a metal helmet and a sidearm, typically a dagger, hatchet, or short sword.  A wool coat is the best body armor he is likely to have.


Milites Pro Commune (Equites)
Ever distrustful of the noble classes, Italian communes typically could not rely on the landed aristocracy for their cavalry.  Instead, they took advantage of the wealth of the rising non-noble mercantile class, the wealthiest of whom could afford to serve as or provide for a mounted and armored cavalryman.  These milites pro commune (knights of the city) are not professionals like knights, nor equipped to quite the same standard, but they are decent medium cavalrymen who tend to be more disciplined and less headstrong than true knights.  They wear a mail shirt or hauberk with a coif and metal helmet, and usually arm themselves with lance, shield, and a sword, mace, or falchion.  In Rome, these men are called equites, and they are not exclusively non-noble, joined by a number of petty noblemen who have their sympathies with the Senate.


Turba Romanae
Throughout history, the Romans have been notorious for mob violence.  In ancient times, patricians and consuls often feared their wrath; in the middle ages, bloodthirsty Roman rioters forced Popes to sneak out of their palaces and Emperors to flee their coronations.  Roman mobs are mostly composed of farm and urban laborers, men who are technically "free" but have no reliable income and own no land, and are easily stirred to bloody action by fiery demagogues or shadowy paymasters.  When roused, they take to the streets with clubs, hatchets, slings, daggers, torches, and their furious anger.  They may not be soldiers, but they are filled with rage and there are an awful lot of them.


Masnada
Politics can be a bloody sport.  Those who practice it frequently have a need for trustworthy men with sharp eyes, tight lips, and sharp steel.  Masnada – the term comes from the Arabic masnad, meaning “support” or “prop” – is usually used by 12th century Italians to refer to a lord’s knightly retinue or bodyguards, but in Rome it is now more broadly applied to the armed retainers of important men regardless of noble status.  The typical Roman masnada is a coterie of militia veterans, streetwise laborers, family friends, and others whose loyalty is bought by the personal patronage of a Senator or Eques.  These men form small private armies that function like a cross between urban militia and a street gang.  They are excellent men to have in a street skirmish, palazzo raid, or Roman riot, but are not ideally equipped or trained for a proper field battle.


Palatini
Though urban militia may be superior to most feudal infantry, some senators have seen a need for a heavier, more professional force to complement Rome’s citizen-soldiers.  Since few Romans can afford actual armor, Roman leaders have addressed this need by raising their own privately funded and trained soldiers from the ranks of the popolo minuto, for non-citizens can be held in a senator’s service without having to worry about being called up for militia duty themselves.  These men are equipped to the standards of the richest urban pedites, clad in mail (or occasionally scale armor) and bearing the latest military fashions – flat-topped kite shields, Norman-style helmets, arming swords, and the lanzalonga (“long lance,” a spear of 3 meters or longer).  The existence of these lower-class private armies is a cause for some concern amongst the citizenry, as their loyalty lies to individual men rather than the Commune – the Romans have taken to calling them palatini (meaning “palace troops,” after the palazzi of their senatorial commanders).
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Unit Library

Turba
This mob might not be Roman angry, but they are angry all the same.  Though full-scale peasant rebellions were not common in 12th century Italy, ordinary people did take up arms in defense of their city or in opposition to tyrants.  These men are peasants or city folk who are desperate enough to fight with whatever tools and makeshift weapons are at hand.  Within their cities or atop their walls they can be of value, but in the field they may be worse than useless.


Pedites Rustici
In rural territories under aristocratic or ecclesiastical rule, the main infantry component of a feudal army is the peasant-infantryman.  These men are fairly prosperous free peasants, village artisans, and small-town craftsmen who muster at the command of their lord with a spear, shield, and any other protection they can manufacture.  These men serve the same basic function as an urban militia, but their equipment is of a poorer quality and they are motivated only by feudal obligation, not civic pride.  Though they have their uses, they tend to be ignored by the aristocracy and are frequently relegated to non-combat duties.


Stipendarii Sancti Petri
Most mercenary footmen in Italy are low-born freemen who are drawn to a life of campaigning as an alternative to poverty.  Papal mercenaries are generally cut from the same cloth, but soldiers in the Pope’s employ may also view their service as spiritual, a way to “crusade” by fighting the Pope’s enemies without leaving their own country.  They are equipped in a standard fashion for Italian line infantry, with spear, kite shield, and helmet.  Their faith may make them more motivated and reliable than other mercenaries, but they are still mercenaries, not fanatics.


Milites Sancti Petri
Cavalrymen in the service of the Pope come from a variety of backgrounds.  The majority are usually Papal vassals, signores and their retainers serving their ecclesiastical liege just as any other prince.  Others are mercenaries hired from the coffers of the Papal Curia, or Italian noblemen who, having failed to join previous crusades, hope to fulfill their spiritual obligations by slaying the enemies of God closer to home.  Though an eclectic band, they are all members of the military elite of knighthood or the servants thereof, fighting on warhorses with the usual panoply of lance, sword, shield, helmet, and mail hauberk.


Zafones
Zafones are irregular light infantrymen hailing from rustic villages in the mountains of central Italy.  They are peasants, but enjoy substantial independence thanks to their isolated location.  Many young men of the region seek relief from poverty through occasional mercenary work, serving local lords and communes with the coin to hire them.  Though they are poorly armed, relying chiefly on slings and javelins, they are tougher and braver than most peasant levies and can offer good service as ambushers, guastatori, and skirmishers.


Milites Italiae
Outside the great cities of northern and central Italy, the contado is controlled by noblemen of Frankish and Lombard extraction who fight in the traditional manner of the European aristocracy.  Though their family origins and allegiances vary from place to place and the fashions of their dress and armor may differ, they are all knights – a warrior elite, riding heavy horses into battle, wearing mail hauberks, coifs, and iron helms, and bearing swords, lances, and shields.  Groups of "knights" include not only the noblemen themselves, but "sergeants" (from the Latin servient, a servant) - sons, retainers, lesser vassals, and even mercenaries - who accompany their master into battle and are armed in a similar manner (though not always as heavily armored).  They are excellent warriors, many of whom have trained in the warrior arts since childhood, though they can be difficult to control.  Their terrifying charge can win battles on its own.


Milites Imperii
The secular princes of Germany often possess large allodial fiefs and owe no feudal military service.  Though their retinues of knights are impressive, they are often difficult for even a strong emperor to muster and control, and their lords may be less than loyal.  Accordingly, the emperors often rely instead on ecclesiastics – abbots and bishops whose own non-allodial estates were expected to field troops – and the ministeriales, “serf-knights” who hold noble rank and often control large (albeit non-heritable) estates, but are technically unfree.  Whether ecclesiastical, feudal, or “ministerial,” German knights fight in the usual fashion, as armored heavy cavalry with lance and sword, though German knights were specifically noted for being steadfast fighters even when on foot.


Brabantini
Though mercenary infantry can be found all over Europe, the Low Countries (and in particular the County of Brabant) are so well known for such men that “brabantini” has become an Italian term for mercenaries in general.  Many of them are indeed Flemish or Brabançon freemen, veterans of the civic militias of rich cities of Flanders, or younger sons of poor knights.  They are basically "robbers for hire," paid to ravage and destroy an enemy's lands, but can also stand in a battle-line.  Brabantini are better armed than common brigands thanks to the pay they get from their employers and the salvaged weaponry they strip from the dead.  They typically have mail, a helmet, a sword, and other weapons depending on their country of origin (the Flemings in particular favor unusually long spears).  Their greatest weapon may be their fierce reputation; wild tales of the brabantini burning villages, plundering monasteries, and ravishing nuns have spread all over Christendom.


Psiloi
Psiloi are the skirmishing troops of a Greek provincial army, the lighter counterpart to the skoutatoi.  Composite bows are their most common armament, but they may also carry slings or javelins.  Their job is to screen the advance of the heavy infantry and support cavalry on the flanks as necessary.  They are minimally equipped for close combat and have no real armor apart from an iron helmet.  Psiloi are drawn from both “native” garrison forces and colonies of other ethnicities within the empire (typically Armenians, Bulgarians, Serbs, or Vlachs) and are better trained and armed than the peasant levies of Latin armies, though their courage and loyalty are sometimes dubious.


Skoutatoi
Though the central army of the Greek Empire in the 12th century is largely made up of mercenaries and foreign troops, “native” soldiers still form the nucleus of its provincial armies.  Skoutatoi are part-time soldiers levied from the militias and watchmen of the native Greek population.  They are armed with a kite shield (skouton), sword, and lance, and armored with an iron helmet and some degree of body armor; most soldiers wear lamellar corselets, leather armor, or quilted cloth, while the men in the front ranks of the infantry formation may be more heavily equipped with lamellar over mail hauberks.  Skoutatoi are not particularly skilled or eager soldiers but their equipment gives them an advantage over the usual levy infantry.


Latinikon
Since before the days of the Crusades, the Greek army has hired “Latins” – a blanket term for all western Christians – to fight in its armies.  Greek Emperors have realized the effectiveness of western knights, particularly those of the Franks (also called keltoi, “Celts”), and have induced many Latins to settle within the Empire and serve as paid professional soldiers in the same manner as other permanent foreign units like the skythikon and the varangoi.  The latinikon form the majority of the Empire’s heavy cavalry and are employed in every major campaign.  They are indistinguishable in almost every way from western knights, differing only in their slightly more Greek-influenced equipment.


Skythikon
The Greek Empire has long relied on nomadic barbarian tribes for their light cavalry.  Steppe nomads are practically born to the saddle and bow and can outride, outshoot, and outmaneuver Greek and Latin cavalry.  The warriors of the Emperor’s skythikon (named for the Scythians, a nomadic people of ancient Roman times) are drawn from Turkic peoples like the Pechenegs, Uzes, and Cumans.  Though they are paid professional soldiers, “mercenaries” does not describe them well; like the legendary Varangian Guard, they are foreigners in the permanent employ of the state, often living in colonies within the Empire, and are more loyal than mere temporary mercenaries.  These troops are excellent and very versatile fighters, relying chiefly on the Asiatic composite bow but equally skilled in the javelin, lance, and saber.  While skirmishing is their favored tactic, they are not averse to a sudden charge into the fray when an opportunity presents itself.  They are often partially armored in mail or lamellar, affording them some protection but not as much as Latin knights or heavier Greek cavalrymen.


Milites Normanni
The Norman knight exploded onto the European scene in the 11th century, making his mark from England to the Holy Land and becoming the very model of the aristocratic cavalryman in western Christendom.  The Kingdom of Sicily was wrested from the Greeks and Lombards by Norman knights, a testament to their ferocity and skill at arms, and under the Norman kings of Sicily they remain the most superb heavy cavalry in Italy.  Norman knights are armored in coiffed mail hauberks and iron helmets, and carry kite shields, lances, axes, and swords into battle.  They are a battle-hardened elite; if they have any weakness at all, it is their pride.


Pedites Saraceni
The Norman kings of Sicily gained control of a large Muslim population when they conquered the island, and saw fit to preserve their communities, customs, language, and even their religion.  They soon found the "Saracens" to be their best troops – far more skilled at arms than Lombard peasants or Greek urbanites, and much more reliable than the prideful and disloyal Norman barons.  By the reign of Roger II, professional Saracen infantrymen had become the largest and most important element of the royal Sicilian army.  They are capable in melee combat, armed with straight-bladed Andalusian swords and protected by mail, scale corselets, or quilted cotton armor, but the area in which they truly excel is archery.  Unlike most Latin archers who are merely levied peasants meant to annoy the enemy, these Saracens are disciplined and highly skilled bowmen who can deliver rapid, accurate, and devastating volleys at tremendous range with their powerful composite bows.  Though many Popes have fumed at the Sicilian use of “infidel” troops, the Norman kings have resisted any attempts to convert them – Muslims, after all, couldn’t care less if their king is excommunicated.
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Acknowledgement
These unit pictures are modified versions of graphics created by Fairline, Tanelorn, Catfish, Curt Sibling, and other artists of the Civ2 Scenario League.
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« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 04:50:38 PM by Polycarp »
The Clockwork Jungle (wiki | thread)
"The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way." - Marcus Aurelius

Polycarp

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
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History and Background

Previous Updates


Notable People

Noblemen
Aimeric de Savelli:* Head of the Savelli family.  Killed in the Battle of the Laurels in 1158.
Antonio Demetri della Suburra:* Head of the Demetri family.  Nephew of Anastasius IV.  Returned to Rome in 1155 after the Treaty of Campus Neronius.
Cencio Pierleone: Nephew and rumored heir of Giordano Pierleone.  Currently a clerk for the Papal Chamberlain, Boso Breakspeare.
Giordano Pierleone: Head of the Pierleoni family.  Patrician of Rome and ruler of the Leonine City, as well as magistrate of Trastevere.
Gionata Tusculani: Head of the Tusculani family and Count of Tusculum, jointly with his younger brother Raino.
Gisulf de Ausonia:* A minor Lombard nobleman who attacked the son of Senator Basile and his new bride.  Outlawed by Prefect Colonna; current whereabouts unknown.
Leo Frangipane: Eldest son and heir of Oddone Frangipane, Lord of Tolfa.
Martino de Corso:* Signore of Formello.
Niccolo Capocci:* Signore of Monte Ritondo and Castrum Nomentum, until they were destroyed.  Currently rebuilding them.
Oddone Colonna: Head of the Colonna family.  Signore of Palestrina, Castrum Colonna, and other estates.
Oddone Frangipane: Head of the Frangipani family.  Signore of Tolfa, Castrum Monticellorum, Torre Astura, and other castles throughout Latium.
Pietro II Colonna: Previous head of the Colonna family, Prefect of Rome, and Signore of Palestrina, Castrum Colonna, and other estates.  Died of the Roman Fever in 1157.
Pietro Latro:* Vicarius of Civitavecchia, which he rules in the name of Farfa Abbey.
Raino Tusculani: Count of Tusculum, jointly with his older brother Gionata.
Ruggero Pierleone: Younger brother of Giordano Pierleone.  Owner of the Pierleoni family tower house on Tiber Island.
Tolomeo II Tusculani: Previous Count of Tusculum.  Went bankrupt.  Died in 1153, and succeeded by his sons Gionata and Raino.

Ecclesiastics
Adrian IV: The current Pope, and the first English Pope!
Anastasius IV: Pope from 1153 to 1154.  Born Corrado Demetri della Suburra, of the Roman noble family of Demetri.
Rusticus:* Current abbot of Farfa.  Appointed by the Emperor to succeed Abbot Anselm II, who had fought with Rome and Rieti.
Arnold of Brescia: A Brescian monk with strange and possibly heretical views on apostolic poverty and holy sacraments with a large following in Rome among the popolo minuto, especially women, and the lesser clergy.  Currently excommunicated.
Eugenius III: Pope from 1145 to 1153.  Born Bernardo da Pisa of the Pisan noble family of Paganelli.  Also called Eugene.
Wetzel: A fanatical Arnoldist preacher, originally from Bavaria.  Said to be a former monk.

Foreigners
Alexios Axouch: Protostrator of the Greek Empire (second-in-command of the imperial army).  His father was a Turk.
Bulgarus: A Bolognese legal scholar who supports the legal concept of ius strictum (Roman law strictly applied).
Damianus Truffa:* Rector of Rieti, and co-ruler of the city along with Rieti's bishop.
Friedrich von Hohenstaufen: Emperor of the Romans, King of the Germans, King of Italy, and famed destroyer of cities.  More commonly called Frederick, and more formally called Fredericus.  Recently the Italians have taken to calling him Barbarossa, "red beard."
Ildebrando Ferrante:* Camerarius (Chamberlain) of Perugia, chief among Perugia’s consuls.
Kosmas Bariotes:* An Apulian Greek and high official (sebastos) in the Greek Empire.  Formerly the Greek ambassador to the Papal Curia.
Martinus Gosia: A Bolognese legal scholar who supports the legal concept of aequitas (equity).
Roger II de Hauteville: Former Norman King of Sicily and infamous warmonger.
Rogerius Placentia: A Piacentini legal scholar who studied in Bologna under Martinus Gosia. More colloquially known as Roger of Piacenza.  Currently in Rome.
William de Hauteville: Current Norman King of Sicily, and the only living son of Roger II.  Formerly excommunicated.

*Anyone with an asterisk by their name is a fictional person invented for this game.  Even fictional persons, however, may be members of real historical dynasties that really controlled the territory they do in this game at this time.  Note that just because a character in this game is a real historical person does not mean their life or actions will unfold the same way as they did historically - this is, after all, alternative history.

Landed Titles

Signore: A lord; a noble land-holder.  The term comes from the Frankish seigneur (from the Latin senior, "elder") which was introduced to Italy by the Normans.  This is the lowest and most widespread title of nobility in Italy and the Papal States.  Minor signori of the countryside are sometimes called cattani.  Signori may also be referred to as "barons;" in Italy, the titles are generally interchangeable.
Count: A feudal lord ranking above a common signore.  The title is a very old one, originating from the Latin comes ("companion").  Some counts are basically signori with an honorary title, while some are powerful landowners who rule whole provinces.
Margrave: From the German markgraf, meaning "March-count."  Marches are usually territories presently or formerly on the borders of the Empire.
Duke: A high title of nobility.  The only current Duke in Italy is the Duke of Spoleto.  The term comes from the Latin dux, meaning "leader."  The title "Doge" (of Venice) comes from the same root.
Vicarius: A layman who administers a church-owned estate.  Though vicarius is not a title of nobility, some vicarii are quite independent and have managed to have their office made hereditary within their family; in this case, the vicarius is a signore in all but name.  The term means "deputy" in Latin and is the origin of the word "vicar."
Rector: A rector is a governor of a province or city within the Papal States.  Rectors are generally ecclesiastics like bishops or cardinals (the Rector of Rieti is an exception).

The Great Families of Rome
Tusculani

The hereditary Counts of Tusculum claim descent from the Julii and Octavii families of ancient Rome, and have been an institution in Roman politics since the early 10th century.  The Tusculani count numerous Consuls of Rome in their history, and no fewer than seven of their line have been elected Pope since 931.  In their 10th century heyday, they practically owned Rome and the Papacy together, but have been declining in influence since then, and the house is rumored to be deeply in debt.  Though the Tusculani have been largely hostile to the Popes in this century, the previous Count sheltered Pope Eugene III when he fled Rome.  The Countship is currently shared between the two brothers Gionata and Raino, sons of the late Count Tolomeo (Ptolemy) II.

Pierleoni

The Pierleoni are newcomers to the Roman political scene, having bought their way into Roman politics only a few decades ago with a fortune made in usury by their progenitor, "Benedictus Christianus," who was a converted Jew.  His son Pier Leoni ("Peter Leo"), the founder of the dynasty, was a strong supporter of the Papacy.  One of his sons was elected Pope, but he was diplomatically ostracized by Innocent II, an allegedly illegitimate candidate thrust forward by the Frangipani.  Giordano, another of Pier’s sons and the present head of the family, joined the new Commune of Rome and was its leader until driven out by the recent revolution.

Frangipani

The Frangipani (“bread-breakers”) take their name from one of their ancestors in the 11th century who distributed bread to the city of Rome to save it from a famine.  They control numerous estates in the Campagna as well as the fortress of Tolfa west of Lake Bracciano.  They have always been strong supporters of the Popes and bitter foes of the upstart Pierleoni clan.  They are perhaps the strongest of the current great Roman houses, both in terms of estates and armed men.  The current head of the family is Oddone Frangipane.

Colonna

The Colonna family is a recent branch of the Tusculani who take their name from the Columna Castle in the Alban Hills near Tusculum.  They control the city of Palestrina and its environs, as well as owing a grand fortified palazzo in Rome.  They have generally been allied with the Tusculani for their short history, but have not yet displayed any open hostility to the Commune.  The current head of the family is Oddone Colonna, son of the late prefect Pietro II Colonna and a cousin of the current Counts of Tusculum.
[close]
The Story of the Founding of the Commune
Reading this is encouraged, but not mandatory for play.  Really, don't be scared away by all the names, most of these people are dead by 1152.

The Early Days

Since the time of Charlemagne, the land of Latium has been ruled by the Pope, the foremost leader of Latin Christendom.  The Pope’s control over the “Papal States,” however, has never been more than nominal.  The cities and nobles of the States usually handle their own affairs with little interference.

In past centuries the Pope was often not even master of the city of Rome itself.  Powerful Roman noble families competed with one another to select the Pope and control the city, with aristocratic patriarchs styling themselves as “Patrician” or “Consul” in a pale imitation of the glory of the ancients.  While some Popes distinguished themselves as leaders, they were more often captives of the Roman political scene, beholden to whichever family had secured their election and doomed if that family should fall from grace.

This system of familial domination began to die out in the 10th century, when the Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great annexed the former Kingdom of Italy.  From this point on, it was in the interest of the Emperors that they, not the turbulent Roman aristocracy, should exert the most influence over the Holy Church.  Yet it was difficult for German Emperors to control a city so far away, and the Roman clergy resented the Imperial demand to approve any Papal candidate.

In the late 11th century, the papacy at last began to assert itself.  The Imperial privilege of approving new popes was rejected and a College of Cardinals established for that purpose instead.  The Pope and the Emperor feuded over control of ecclesiastical appointments, or investitures, resulting in great unrest in both Italy and Germany.  Rome itself was sacked by the Normans in 1085.  Only in 1122 was the controversy over investiture was finally settled by the Concordat of Worms.

The Pierleoni and the Frangipani

At this time the master of Rome was indisputably Pier Leone, who held the title of Consul from around 1108 and was a firm papal ally.  Though he belonged to no family of importance, his father Leo had been a Jewish convert to Christianity who had amassed a great fortune from usury, and Pier Leone used this fortune to make himself the most powerful of Roman citizens.  He oversaw an Imperial coronation and fought for the Popes numerous times, including against the Frangipani, an old and prestigious Roman clan.  He died in 1128, “a man without an equal, immeasurably rich in money and children.”

When Pope Honorious II died two years later, the papal chancellor – himself a member of the Frangipani family – quickly selelected a man named Gregorio to the papacy, taking the name Innocent II.  The rest of the cardinals decried this as illegitimate, and chose instead the second son of Pier Leone, named Pietro, who took the name Anacletus II.  The Pierleoni and Frangipani families have remained bitter enemies ever since.  Innocent only triumphed when Anacletus II died in 1138, and he returned to Rome to take up his reign.

The people of Rome, however, were growing restive.  In a time of growing wealth and prosperity in northern Italy, many cities enjoyed the independence of republican communes, while Rome’s burghers were shut out of government entirely.  The Papal Prefect, the Pope’s chief magistrate, held all power in the city.  The offices of his administration were filled largely by monks and priests.  As Innocent was on his deathbed in 1143, the people of Rome rebelled against him and established a senate, consisting of 56 members, which quickly usurped most of Innocent’s temporal power in Rome.  He died before the end of the year.

Innocent was succeeded by Celestine II, another ally of the Frangipani, but he lived for only a year afterward and could not truly regain control of Rome.  After him came Lucius II, who fared no better – he warred with Sicily over a territorial dispute but was eventually forced to surrender.  Taking this opportunity, the Senate of Rome chased out the Papal Prefect and formally established the Commune of Rome.  To serve as Patrician, the new leader of this Commune, they chose none other than Giordano Pierleone, another son of Pier Leoni and a younger brother of Anacletus II.

Lucius retreated to a fortress on the Capitoline hill and called for his Frangipani allies, but they were defeated by the Senate’s communal militia.  Mortally wounded by a stone hurled during the battle, Pope Lucius II passed away in February 1145.

Eugene’s Treaty

The College of Cardinals now chose a Pisan monk as the new Pope Eugene III.  The Senate, however, blocked his consecration, and insisted that he could only take up office if he renounced all civic power and recognized the Senate.  He refused, and fled from Rome with his cardinals.  The Senators then banished all the nobles who had supported Lucius and Eugene, including the Frangipani, and the people seized their property and looted their estates.

Though exiled, Eugene used money and influence to gain the support of Rome’s neighbors and old enemies, the cities of Viterbo and Tivoli.  Facing such odds, the Senate proposed negotiations.  A treaty was signed between the Pope and the Commune; the office of Patrician would be abolished, the Pope would return, and the Papal Prefect would be reinstated, but the Pope would recognize the Senate and its civil authority and pay the Senators a generous sum.

The animosity between the Senate and the Pope did not cease, however.  The treaty lasted only a few months before Eugene, fearing another revolt, fled the city in the Spring of 1146.  The Senators again chased his supporters and cardinals out, and re-established Giordano Pierleone as Patrician of Rome.

The Monk, the Pope, and the King

Arnold of Brescia was an outspoken and controversial monk who the Church tried to silence for teaching false doctrines.  After wandering in Italy and France, he arrived in Rome in 1148 to spread his ideas once more.  Arnold declared that the Pope and his Curia were debauched and corrupt, and that they should give up all property and temporal power.  He called for the re-creation of the Roman government of ancient times to rule Rome, with the Pope acting only as a spiritual leader.  Already take by anti-clerical fever, the Romans received him warmly, and he urged the Senate to rebuild the city and restore the glory of Rome as an independent republic.  Even an excommunication failed to dissuade him, and his followers continued to grow.

In 1149, Pope Eugene III attempted to take Rome by force, joined by the Count of Tusculum, the city of Tivoli, the forces of the Frangipani, and a detachment of Norman mercenaries.  Despite being outnumbered, the Romans managed to defeat the Papal army.  Another accord was finally reached between Eugene and the Senate, but the Romans refused to hand over Arnold and Eugene never felt safe enough to enter the city.

Both the Senate and the Pope requested that the German King, Conrad III, come and intervene on their behalf, with both sides offering to crown him as Holy Roman Emperor.  Having recently returned from the disastrous Second Crusade, Conrad prepared an expedition, but died in 1152 before it could get underway.  The throne of Germany and the title of King of the Romans passed to his thirty year old nephew Frederick I.

The Senate and Pope renewed their pleas, and at last enticed the King to make the journey to Rome.  A rumor spread, however, that Frederick had entered into negotiations with the Pope and shunned the Senate, giving them only the ominous reply that when he arrived, he would “reward the loyal and punish the rebellious.”

When this rumor reached the Roman mob, rioting spread through the city.  Arnold and his followers took to the streets, demanding that the agreement with Pope Eugene be torn up and that a new, democratic Senate modeled on the ancient republic should be proclaimed to rule an independent Rome…

The Point of Departure

At this point we depart from the timeline and begin our new story.  In actual history, the Arnoldists and other “democrats” were quickly overthrown by the moderates in the Senate, the Pope resumed his rule at the Lateran Palace, the Papal Prefect was re-established, and the banished Frangipani and other nobles were allowed to return.  The new Emperor received his imperial crown in Rome in 1155 despite Roman riots.

In our new timeline, however, the mob roused by Arnold succeeds in breaking up the more moderate Senate.  A new Senate is formed from more “patriotic” burghers and petty nobles, and Patrician Giordano and the rest of the Pierleoni flee to their strongholds within the city.  Will this new republic succumb to the wrath of both Empire and Papacy, or can it restore the glories that once belonged to the greatest of all cities?
[close]
« Last Edit: September 07, 2014, 05:33:14 AM by Polycarp »
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Llum

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2012, 06:11:01 PM »
Name: Fortis Calafatus
Age: 44
Class: Noble

Influence: 6
Popularity: 5
Wealth: 5
Orthodoxy: 7

Notes: Born 1108, son of Calafatus de Spino a minor noble who served as a mounted soldier in the First Crusade. De Spino lost part of his left hand in the Siege of Jerusalem, when he returned to Rome he retired to his country estates to raise horses and teach his sons to ride. Here Fortis learned the trade of knighthood and a fierce piety. When the Second Crusade was called Fortis was quick to answer the call and rode with his fellow Crusaders for four years.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 06:18:48 PM by Llum »

Mason

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 07:20:04 PM »
Name: Costa Oliveri
Age: 36
Class: Noble

Influence: 6
Popularity: 5
Wealth: 5
Orthodoxy: 6

Notes: Born in 1116 Costa is the youngest of 3 brothers. The oldest died on the walls of Jerusalem and the middle child, Galus was bought a position in the Church by their father; Galus is still in service to the church. Costa took over the family estate after his father died. Much of the family fortune is depleted, having funded the First Crusade and buying the position for Galus.

Costa is first and foremost a businessman, and is very good with the average citizen. He is known as the "Friend". (Amici?) He struggles with loyalty to the people of Rome, and loyalty to his older brother.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 07:23:52 PM by Sarisa »

Stargate525

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2012, 07:24:16 PM »
Awesome to see you start one of these up again!

Name: Bernardo Simone di Fontane
Age: 33
Class: Citizen

Influence: 5
Popularity: 5
Wealth: 6
Orthodoxy: 4

Notes: Born to a wealthy family outside of Rome, near Tre Fontane. A canny merchant and patron of the arts, he had little to do with the crusade besides selling weapons to the nobility who were going out to fight. He has little love for the papacy, but mostly takes issue with secular disagreements; his doctrine is lax but sound.
My Setting: Dilandri, The World of Five
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LD

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 08:27:12 PM »
Was the population really so low in 1152? I recall it declined from its near 1 million before its period of constant sacking; but I did not think it declined hat much(!) Shouldn't the population be more around 200,000?

I'm still unclear how resources are divided among the players and balanced; that is, whether the GM simulates things ahead of time and we react or if we create the conflict.

I can't commit to doing much, but I'm willing to give this a try for however long it goes. Sadly these games seem to peter out rather fast. I hope to enjoy it while it lasts :)

OOC
Vittorio Manzinni
Age: 60
Class: Citizen

Influence: 5
Popularity: 5
Wealth: 6
Orthodoxy: 4

Notes: 1092-xx. The half-Sicilian, half-Roman glass and lumber merchant Manzinni is renowned for his unorthodox practice of importing glassware, woolen fabrics, linens and roots from the Fatimids (ongoing) and lumber importation from the Levant during the reign of his crusading commander Baldwin II (1118-1131), until his ships mysteriously mutinied during Falk's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulk,_King_of_Jerusalem regency--he blames Melisande rather than Falk for those circumstances.

At one time, when trade was running well, he was good friends with his cousin-in-law Roger II of Sicily, for better or worse as far as politics in Rome are concerned.

He is bitter, having seen his fortunes decline after the subsequent ascendancy of Falk, Melisende, and Baldwin III in Jerusalem. His major trade routes are quite controversial. He knows and everyone else knows that he is only in the Senate as a nod to their attempts to do honor to his in-law Roger of Sicily. Although he donates large amounts of gold to refurbish Churches in Rome, he is persona non grata with the Popes and is suspected of being a heretic. Despite his fears of being accused of heresy, he has his mansion decorated with Egyptian and Baghdadian arts and he covertly smokes hashish with dusky Sicilian ladies in his gardens at night.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 08:36:48 PM by Light Dragon »

Polycarp

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2012, 10:28:30 PM »
Quote from: Light Dragon
Was the population really so low in 1152? I recall it declined from its near 1 million before its period of constant sacking; but I did not think it declined hat much(!) Shouldn't the population be more around 200,000?
I've never seen an estimate of Rome's population in the Middle Ages that exceeded 50,000 - and that's for the whole span of the era, not the 12th century in particular.  With foreign grain imports ended and all the aqueducts cut, there was no infrastructure to support the city's earlier population, and after the Empire's fall most of the people that remained left for more secure settlements in the hills.  The Plague of Justinian, incessant wars in Italy, and constant coastal raids by Saracens reduced the population even further.  That said, even at 30,000 Rome was among the largest cities in western Europe at the time, though dwarfed by Constantinople and many cities in the Muslim world.

Quote
I'm still unclear how resources are divided among the players and balanced; that is, whether the GM simulates things ahead of time and we react or if we create the conflict.
Regarding resources, there is a division between the resources of the players and the resources of the city.  A character's Wealth is only the resources of their own estate and/or business; this is not related to the economy of the city, though one could potentially influence the other.  At this point there is no "public" income or treasury, so anything that costs money will have to be paid for out of the pockets of Senators.

Regarding conflict, I would encourage players to make this a proactive game.  Ideally your characters will have goals and agendas that your actions will be based on.  Though "power" is pretty much everyone's goal, your specific idea to gain it might be to rebuild Rome's port city, reconcile the Senate with the Papacy, spread Arnoldist ideas throughout the land, conquer Latium for the glory of Rome, or even get so popular and influential as to have the citizens acclaim you as "Emperor."  Some of these goals, obviously, will involve more conflict with other players than other goals.  I encourage inter-player conflict; you are politicians, not adventurers, so having opponents within the Senate is perfectly sensible.

That said, there are challenges and events that I will throw at you and you will have to react to.  Some of these are long term challenges, like the Emperor's coming intervention in Italy; some of them are more immediate, like the fact that hostile nobles and Papal forces still control part of the city.  The list of "This Season’s Top 5 Popular Issues" above will give you an idea as to what people are concerned about and what events might be coming to a head soon (that list will change each turn).  Resolving these popular issues favorably is a good way to increase your Popularity and Influence, but remember that what the people want is not necessarily the same thing as what's in the city's best interest.

Quote
I can't commit to doing much, but I'm willing to give this a try for however long it goes. Sadly these games seem to peter out rather fast. I hope to enjoy it while it lasts :)

We all know plenty of games, whether forum, IRC, or IRL, that fold up and end before we'd like them to.  It happens often, and it often happens unexpectedly.  I can't control what may happen in the future, but I will say that my current intention is to run this as long as I have the players to do so, and I likewise hope that everyone participating will enjoy the game.

Regarding the game start, I think we'll formally begin on Wednesday if there are no objections.  I'll post a few letters and notices, then you'll be free to respond, discuss, and form plans before the update, which we'll tentatively schedule for a week from tomorrow.  New players are welcome to join at any time, whether before or after this formal start.

Consular elections are in the Autumn - that is, next turn.  For this one first turn, the interim Consuls are Fortis Calafatus as Consul for external affairs and Costa Oliveri as Consul for internal affairs (simply because Llum and Sarisa posted first :) ).
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LD

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2012, 12:06:57 AM »
>>Regarding conflict, I would encourage players to make this a proactive game.  Ideally your characters will have goals and agendas that your actions will be based on.  Though "power" is pretty much everyone's goal, your specific idea to gain it might be to rebuild Rome's port city, reconcile the Senate with the Papacy, spread Arnoldist ideas throughout the land, conquer Latium for the glory of Rome, or even get so popular and influential as to have the citizens acclaim you as "Emperor."  Some of these goals, obviously, will involve more conflict with other players than other goals.  I encourage inter-player conflict; you are politicians, not adventurers, so having opponents within the Senate is perfectly sensible.

I like this, but do we just decide willy-nilly our opinions on these things? Would it be useful for us to either:

a. Answer a checklist survey of our opinions on certain issues and how they might help us in our quest for relevance? (This may be a poor idea because it would allow the other players to plot against us?)

b. Know ahead of time what goals might serve our personal interests (told by Polycarp?)

Without actual quantification of relative values of things, it's hard to plan... I don't necessarily advocate for firm numbers since those don't exist in the world at the time, but I'm finding it hard to see exactly what certain actions I can take and exactly what options are available. It may be more simple to see things once the game begins, but the options seem pretty unlimited.

Stargate525

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2012, 12:14:07 AM »
Quote from: Light Dragon
Without actual quantification of relative values of things, it's hard to plan... I don't necessarily advocate for firm numbers since those don't exist in the world at the time, but I'm finding it hard to see exactly what certain actions I can take and exactly what options are available. It may be more simple to see things once the game begins, but the options seem pretty unlimited.
If it's anything like Poly's last (awesome) game, that's kinda the idea. I won't mind saying that I have the long-term goal of having all of the Mediterranean back to singing 'Rome, Rome uber alles.' 
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Polycarp

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2012, 02:48:54 AM »
Quote from: Light Dragon
Without actual quantification of relative values of things, it's hard to plan... I don't necessarily advocate for firm numbers since those don't exist in the world at the time, but I'm finding it hard to see exactly what certain actions I can take and exactly what options are available. It may be more simple to see things once the game begins, but the options seem pretty unlimited.

They are unlimited in the sense that I will consider any order you give me; they are not unlimited in the sense that some orders may be beyond your means, ability, or technology to accomplish.  Let me give you some examples of how an order might be made.

Building Things
My character, Senator Vin Diesel, would feel much safer operating from a fortified base of power.  I want to construct a tower-house, a fortified residence which I'll call the "Palazzo Diesel."  The most straightforward way to do this would be to simply put it in my orders.
OOC
Orders for Summer 1152
- Build the Palazzo Diesel, a fortified residence for Vin Diesel and his family, on Quirinal Hill. {you might add a map here to show me just where you want it}.
This is an acceptable way to give orders, but it leaves some things open - for instance, what if money's tight?  You'd want to know how much you were spending.  One way to do that is to give me some kind of limit, like so.
OOC
Orders for Summer 1152
- Spend no more than 1 Wealth building the Palazzo Diesel, a fortified residence for Vin Diesel and his family, on Quirinal Hill.
This is a better alternative because it lets me know just how far you're willing to go to do something.  It also sets up a comparison; someone who spends 2 Wealth on their fortified palace will probably have a more secure and/or opulent one than you.

You can go further, though, by making attempts to cheapen things.  For instance,
OOC
Orders for Summer 1152
- Spend no more than 1 Wealth building the Palazzo Diesel, a fortified residence for Vin Diesel and his family, on Quirinal Hill.  Tear down some of the nearby Baths of Diocletian for the marble, and Vin will ride around the city with his family's armsmen to forcibly "recruit" as many commoners as we can find to work on it.  Tell them it's their civic duty!
Here you've presented ways to try and pay less for your project, so it's possible I might make it cost nothing at all!  On the other hand, those commoners you rounded up for forced labor might not appreciate it very much and your popularity could drop (or you might even start a riot, particularly if the level of Rage in the city is high).  There are many other possibilities - ask for a loan from a PC or the Jews, or do as Pope Leo did and use prisoners of war to build your walls and palaces.

Some projects are larger or might take longer than a tower-house, however, and then you might wish to ask somebody about it.  Perhaps you'd like to repair the Aurelian walls around Trastevere; you have no idea how much that would cost.  You could simply put a limit on it as before ("I'll spend no more than X"), or alternately you could put something in your orders like this:
OOC
Orders for Summer 1152
- Consult the city's builders and architects on the price and time involved to repair the walls of Trastevere.
If you did this, I would post a response with next turn's update.  If it's an extremely trivial question I might just answer you right away; not everything needs a whole turn to accomplish.  Of course, an individual Senator probably wouldn't do this (though he could take it upon himself if he wished); it's more likely to be something you'd suggest in an IC speech to recommend to the Consul for interior affairs.
IC: In the Senate chambers
Consul da Vinci, I fear greatly for the safety of our city as long as our defenses in Trastevere are allowed to remain in such a state of decay and neglect.  Let us see what repairs would cost us and set about undertaking this project immediately.
Then the Consul might put that request in his orders.  He could try and lower the price in similar ways, but since it's a public task perhaps he could try a public speech to rally volunteers for the project.
IC: Consul da Vinci Makes a Public Speech at the Pantheon
Friends, romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!  The walls of Trastavere... {blah blah, not going to write this out right now}
Whether that speech worked or not would depend largely on the Consul's Popularity, but if it was an entertaining or particularly good speech I might give you a bonus for it, just like a GM giving experience awards for RP.
[close]

Killing Fools
Vin Diesel has been bothered by those uppity Papal supporters in the eastern quarter of the city.  Let's liberate the Lateran Palace!  In the city of Rome, most intra-city violence is accomplished by stirring up a riot.  At the most basic level, you could just put it in orders.
OOC
Orders for Summer 1152
- Raise a mob of as many angry citizens as I can to go attack the Lateran Palace.
The outcome of mob violence is pretty random; having high Popularity helps a lot, though.  A word to the wise - it's dangerous to try and raise a mob against someone who's more popular than you, because they might turn things around on you!  Vin Diesel might help his chances by giving an IC speech, like any roleplaying character.
IC: Vin Diesel rabblerouses on Caelian Hill
"Here are the reasons why we need to get those bastards... (etc, etc)"
If Vin's not very popular, he might try to smooth things along with a cash incentive.  Why not, it works for building, right?  So after he gives his speech, he puts this in his orders:
OOC
Orders for Summer 1152
- Raise a mob of as many angry citizens as I can to go attack the Lateran Palace.  Offer them money to join the violence; spend no more than 1 Wealth in this way.
Money might well make up for low Popularity - or, combined with high Popularity, make for a huge turnout.  But then, perhaps mob violence is a bad idea - if it gets out of hand, there's a chance they might loot the Lateran Palace, and then Vin Diesel might lose Orthodoxy as the story spreads that an angry mob he raised destroyed the ancient palace of the Popes.  It might be wiser to go to the Senate and request that the Consul for internal affairs (since it's in the city, after all) call up the militia for an actual organized attack.  This is more likely to succeed and less likely to backfire than raising an angry mob, but on the other hand if the Senate does it, Vin Diesel won't get to take the credit for it, and might miss out on a Popularity gain (for successfully addressing Popular Issue #4, “Death to the Papal loyalists!”) or a Wealth gain (perhaps some treasures can be looted from the palace without destroying everything...).
[close]

I hope that's been of some value.  Remember:
  • Put everything you do in your OOC orders.
  • If you have a spending limit for a project, note it; if you aren't sure how to tackle a big project, make a request in your orders ("find out how much it would cost to...")
  • Orders may benefit from adding IC material, like speeches; though giving a speech isn't guaranteed to make a positive difference, adding IC material will never make things worse.
  • Put in as many details as you think you need in your orders.  Though I don't encourage you to be needlessly wordy, I will never penalize you for too much detail or too many suggestions.  If your idea to cut costs or raise your influence doesn't work, it just doesn't work - move on, try something else next time.
  • Seek allies when possible.  This is a cooperative game and you'll benefit from getting others in on your plans, whether it's PCs or NPCs.  If you do favors for people or groups, they'll be inclined to help you with your goals later.
  • Think laterally.  I try to reward creativity as long as it doesn't become anachronistic or fantastic.  As I've said, I will consider any order you make.  Put yourself in your character's place and consider how he would approach a goal.

In my experience with World at Dawn, the previous forum game similar to this, I observed another important rule - when in doubt, write a letter. I can't speak for other PCs, of course, but a great way to get yourself involved and find plot hooks is to just start talking.  Have Vittorio send a note to King Roger telling him about the dire situation you're in, or write the Republic of Pisa and ask them if they'd give you aid or resources in exchange for trading rights or other favors.  Write another PC and tell him you'll give him your vote for Consul if he does this little favor for you.  Send a letter to the Colonna family holed up in their estates and see if they'll negotiate.  Look at the list of important popular issues, pick one that has your character's interest, and write to someone who's involved in that issue.  Anyone you write to in Latium will generally respond in the same turn, and I don't mind answering lots of IC mail, so there's no reason not to do it.

Regarding metagaming - if a letter isn't addressed to your character, your character doesn't know about it, period.  I have a very high opinion of the people on the CBG and I trust them not to abuse the forum format to metagame.  That said, we can't always help ourselves, and I realize it may be necessary to conduct some business by PM - this is fine, but whenever something can be in the thread, it should be in the thread.  Most things you do won't be secret anyway - rumors are the fastest moving thing in medieval Rome, and any business you conduct that's not heavily concealed is probably going to get out.

I'll end this with the same quote I started the World at Dawn with, pulled from another game like this run by another GM (this particular game was about nations rather than people):
Quote
And here's the most important part--we're working together, not against each other. Now, I'll frequently decide that "working together" means me throwing a nasty NPC horde at you, or some thoroughly unfortunate internal event, and you'll maybe occasionally decide "working together" means invading your fellow players or otherwise perpetrating dishonorable deeds (tsk tsk)--and that's well and good. The point is that this isn't like the adversarial court system, where each side throws the best they've got out there and let's the conflict sort out whose right. Rather, give some and take some. You don't always have to be the best ruler for your nation. Sometimes losing gives your experience some flavor. In summary, you don't just decide which way to trim the sails and crank the wheel, you also get to choose which way the ship sails (and I'll keep changing the way the wind blows to keep things surprising!).
The Clockwork Jungle (wiki | thread)
"The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way." - Marcus Aurelius

LD

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2012, 06:06:10 PM »
Ok. That explanation helps. It seems that the game is set up like the NSDM, National Security Decisionmaking game. The most useful thing you stated (after the involved blow by blow example of play) is that we are working together.

>>The point is that this isn't like the adversarial court system, where each side throws the best they've got out there and let's the conflict sort out whose right.

I did not understand that originally and that makes me more comfortable with how things are being laid out by you.

Thank you.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 06:07:58 PM by Light Dragon »

Polycarp

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2012, 11:04:52 PM »
Yes, I really should have stated that in the first post like I did in World at Dawn... but I'm glad I was able to clarify things for you!

I'm working on a better version of a map of Italy.  When it's done, or at least done enough, I'll post it and we'll have our official start.  That may be today or tomorrow.
The Clockwork Jungle (wiki | thread)
"The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way." - Marcus Aurelius

Polycarp

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2012, 04:07:00 AM »
The new Italy map is up and looking spiffy though photobucket resized it a bit - I'll try and work on that later fixed.  The borders on the Latium and Italy maps don't quite match up, but that shouldn't matter right now and it will be fixed in the next update.  With that accomplished, we are ready to begin... the current deadline for orders is Thursday, February 2nd.  If you need more time beyond this deadline, send me a PM.

Edit: Just added a short description of the four major Roman families in the History and Background section (Frangipani, Tusculani, Pierleoni, Colonna).

IC: Arnold of Brescia preaches to a great crowd
Faithful flock of the Lord, those of you who fear God, rejoice, for in His wisdom He has empowered us to chase the false Pope and his thieving, lecherous, gluttonous officers from this holy city, as Christ chased the moneychangers from His Father’s temple!  Let Rome rule Rome, and let the humble do the Lord’s work, for no sacrament has power when given by a priest with rings on his fingers and gold in his coffers!  Men of God must seek the Kingdom of God, not rule the Kingdom of Men and enrich themselves from it.  Did not the Lord say, render under Caesar what is Caesar’s?  Then let us cease to give the wealth of Rome to false clergymen!  Let us not stop at a mere deposition of the insolent Eugene and the creation of a Roman Senate, but let there be a Roman Caesar as well!

An unruly mob of poor Romans, men and women alike, cries out in support of the monk…

IC: A Letter to the Senate
Abandon this madness at once!  All men of Rome know that I have served its people with my life, and yet I and other patriotic Senators have been thrown out for speaking the obvious – that we are in no position to bargain with the Pope, with no allies of our own and these rumors that King Frederick will take his side.  You have gone too far, and will surely pay for it.  Control these mobs, allow my family and the other exiled nobles to return and reclaim their property, and I will do my best to negotiate with the Pope for some settlement that will save all our hides.

- Patrician Giordano Pierleoni

IC: A Letter to the Senate
Honored Senators,

I am writing you to assure you that my people have no part in the occupation of our community in Trastevere by the Pierleoni and their men.  Though the Pope has long been our kindly protector and we hope that he will soon be reconciled to you, we bear no ill will to the Senate and people of Rome.  We fear violence will come to our doorstep soon, and we hope that when it does the great Roman Senate will remember that we are faithfully observing the neutrality required of us.

- Shabbathai ben Moses, leader of the congregation of the Jews of Rome

IC: A messenger approaches the Consuls
I bear a message from my master, Oddone Frangipane, Lord of Tolfa:

“So I have heard the tide has turned against the poor Patrician, and he is out of favor with his very own Senate?  How quickly things change in our fair city!  My family and the Senate have never been close, as you know, but perhaps we may work out a deal.  See that Giordano Pierleoni is delivered to me, and I will withhold military support to the Pope and his forces.  Not one man nor beast from all of my family’s fiefs will aid Eugene if you do this favor for me.

Naturally, I will deny proposing any of this if you should be so unkind as to tell others of my very modest and sensible offer.”

This messenger destroys this message after reading it aloud to the Consuls.

Note: Speeches, like Arnold's, are "heard" by all PCs, as are letters to "the Senate."  Letters to the Senate can be replied to by any Senator, though it may be wise to discuss your answer before sending off different and potentially conflicting responses.  Letters to the Consuls are known only to whoever is Consul at the time, though they may choose to share the information with the other senatores consiliarii (the PCs).
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 07:14:28 AM by Polycarp »
The Clockwork Jungle (wiki | thread)
"The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way." - Marcus Aurelius

TheMeanestGuest

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Re: The Republic Reborn [Forum Game]
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2012, 08:21:00 PM »
Name: Roberto Basile
Age: 40
Class: Citizen

Influence: 5
Popularity: 5
Wealth: 6
Orthodoxy: 5

The son of a common fisherman, Roberto was born in Amalfi in 1112. He does not speak of his earliest years, and will mention Amalfi only as it concerns his own contribution to the investiture of the city by sea as a companion of George of Antioch. Coming to captain his own ship in service to Roger of Sicily, Roberto accumulated a substantial fortune interdicting Saracen vessels off the coast of Tunisia. Eventually tiring of life at sea, Roberto settled in the city of Rome in 1141, marrying the daughter of a local merchant. Since then he has mostly put his efforts towards the cultivation of his renowned sweet eating oranges. Initially taking up his senatorial duties with some reluctance, he has come to relish his involvement in politics as of late. Those who knew him in his days as ship's captain would recognize an all too familiar twinkle in his eye.
Let the scholar be dragged by the hook.