WW: Rome Tribunal


Is it just me or the Rome tribunal book from WW is quite weak or below ?

I saw infernal plots everywhere, OK maybe some of it makes sense based on the asumption that the Magic aura is weakening there, but yet !

What so you think about it and did you use it in your games ?

I used it to support our last saga. It ran for over three years I seem to remember, before we moved on to the Stonehenge Tribunal.

Personally, I love it. Not perhaps for all the infernal plots (as actually I don't think they're that overwhelming) but for the feel of magic slipping away and the magi forced into conflict over resources and... well, just about anything. It fits my image of medieval Italy; all broken into protectionist city states and fearing the actions of your neighbours.

And that's the approach I took. We were based in Verona and had constant jip from the covenant in Milan.

It was also nicely political of course. As a covenant, we were unofficial with no voting rights and little prospect of getting them. But the covenant had the choice to become involved in a push, with others, to fight for their rights, or to work the system and enjoy their nebulous status. We had sympathetic covenants on both sides of the argument.

The other thing it does of course is bring in echoes of the rennaissance and romeo and juliet and inform the players about rivalries between mundane families. Being based in Verona, I was able to present a few families, work on their antagonistic relationships, and draw the covenant into mundane conflict. This gave us one of the best murder mystery stories I've ever run, and it was all character-based. It all came from the backdrop of rivalries between families, the fluid moral basis for decisions, jealousy, and ambition.

So I think the main message with this book is take what works for you and leave everything that doesn't. A certain covenant, for instance, wasn't Infernal in my take. They may have skirted close to the wind, but they were not knowingly corrupt. I didn't need it, it would have changed what we were doing if it had been discovered, so I dropped it.

At least one shows support for it :O)

Presented that way, it has some merits.

Thanks for sharing,

Well it predated the use of the internet for hard-historical research for Ars Tribunal books. It's not bad for what it is...but if Atlas did it again, it would be an awful lot better than the previous version because:

  • the technology to research is better.
  • the technology to co-ordinate an authorial team is far better
  • the authors work in teams now, and Shannon (?) was on his own. It really is harder to keep the consistent quality of work up on your own.
  • the authorial group has a lot more experience than that one author had at that stage.
  • the themes that were thrilling then (demons, darkness, failure of magic, Satanic pope) do not read so well now, and would be replaced, as so read better to a current audience.
  • the tools for modelling creatures, covenants and mundane organisations are in place.

So, it's weak by a modern standard, but that's because of a process of tool building of which Iberia and Rome were a part.

Rome and Iberia were awesome for what they were. Compared to our current standards, they are not as well researched and planned out as Guardians of the Forest or Lion and the Lilly. Iberia was written by one guy, Peter Hentges, the guy who invented House Flambeau. The drama and saga he put into that book still captures my imagination to this day. As the story goes, the WW editor is the one who added in all the infernal references and such. The ArM FAQ states that he disavows anything to do with a certain craft skill posessed by Regelare :smiling_imp:

You also have to remember it was the 90's and (what at the time was) a small gaming company. The 90's were weird. All the people who now write for the game were in high school or college. The game we have now is built upon the shoulders of those who came before, by the kids who were fans of the game despite all of its flaws.

There's one thing I regret about Guardians of the forest, we dont have the covenants description as per the covenants book. They would have been a nice bonus to be able to download them from the AG web site as samples or ready to use settings.


I was just about to post my standard spiel about my old saga(s) in the Tribunal of Rome and then realised I'd already done it. In March!

I have to say, if the line ever went back to Rome, as a Tribunal book, I'd throw my hat into the ring for that one.


And that's really too bad, because Craft Sex Toys would come into its own in AM5, especially for a Merinita maga with Folk Magic....



Well, it is not the exactly but ROP:I has a nice reference to the girl and her cute ability :laughing: I laughed mightily when I read the character. Cross references are always funny, like the chamber pots in ROP:M.


One which page was it? I may have missed it.

IIRC it is after the section on False Powers. Will check the page number tonight. Isn't the TOC of ROP:I somehwere? I was unable to find it....


Page 125, RoP-Infernal, Chapter 12 - Black Magic
Releganta of Flambeau, False Maga

Read her list of Abilities :slight_smile:

I spot it now, thanks :slight_smile:

Indeed she would fit perfectly in one of my story arcs, I know some of my players would happily endure her. :smiley: