Home > Uncategorized > Rough but useable – Roman Republic Political Competition Game

Rough but useable – Roman Republic Political Competition Game

This is a quick game I threw together to teach about Roman politics and political competition in the Republic. This assumes you’re familiar with those topics. I’m just posting it in case anyone is interested. Also please note that this is not tested and so you should feel free to change any numbers to improve the outcomes.

UPDATE 11/22/19: New record sheet all made to fit on one sheet of paper

Roman Political RnR Game Onesheet

Annotation 2020-01-12 073545.png

Give each student a piece of paper with this record sheet or a replica. (Note: use Roman Political RnR Game Onesheet  for an updated printable pdf)


Overview: The game is all about the cursus honorum and elections and competition for  dignitas. So. Dignitas (dignity/prestige) is the score. Those with the most win.

  1. First, each player rolls 3 standard dice (or use 20 sided if you have them) to determine whether they achieved any distinction as young men in the military and in advocacy. Annotation 2019-11-19 130137.png
  2. Then the basic turn order starts (3 parts to a turn; new year; elections; dignitas)
    1. Cross off the first year on the turn chart (300); that’s the current year. Then cross of one year each turn
    2. Census: Censors choose senators from existing office holders. Senators sit as a group separate from equites (non senators)
    3. Hold Elections:
      1. basic qualifications for election.
        1. The player MAY NOT HAVE BEEN A MAGISTRATE THIS TURN. In other words, no one may hold two offices (the same or different offices) in two consecutive years
        2. Anyone can run for Aedile or Tribune (though once a player has been a praetor they cannot be a tribune subsequently)
        3. Only those of former Aedile rank or higher can run for praetor
        4. Only those of former praetor rank or higher can run for consul
        5. Once a player has won the consulship, they cannot be consul again for 10 years
        6. Only those of former consul rank or higher can run for censor
        7. No one can hold the censorship more than once
    4. Elections are conducted by each of the eligible candidates rolling dice. Highest rollers win the elections. Each person can add to their die score depending on their dignitas.  (Extra rule: let those who are not running for office use their dignitas, if they wish, to add to an ally’s election role)Annotation 2019-11-19 132641.png
    5. Make Magistrates go to a space in the room and stay there for a moment. Reinforce for class the distinctions between equites, senators, and magistrates. Don’t forget to remind them of the assemblies’ critical voting rolls
    6. Consuls of the year roll dice to see if they had a military activity justifying a triumph. On a roll of  > 12 the consul earns a triumph (+1 dignitas)
    7. Calculate increases in dignitas. Each office-holding player gains dignitas as listed on the player sheet and modifies their total dignitas on their sheet

Potential modifications

  • If you don’t have enough players for this to be competitive, give each student 2/3/4 equestrians (1 sheet for each). Or say that any electoral roll under a certain number loses and the offices are assumed to be held by others outside your classroom group.
  • Have cards representing the aristocrats, and have students cut down on paper and just keep track  on a single sheet of paper (without the fancy sheet) their 3 or 4 aristocrats
  • Have office holders roll a die to see if their year in office conferred extra dignitas
  • Allow the censors to demote up to two players back to equestrian status
  • Allow the censors to pick princeps senatus for +3 dignitas from ex-censors
  • Assign different levels of dignitas to different players based on their office holding ancestors, patrician status, and so on.


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. No comments yet.
  1. November 25, 2019 at 5:16 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: