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Has anyone given thoughts to using marines for Weird War Rome?

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  • Has anyone given thoughts to using marines for Weird War Rome?

    I really like the concept behind WWR, but it seems difficult to have a long campaign arc as part of a legionary force. I'd think you'd get forced to concentrate on a few large battles, and you'd be geographically constrained. However, being part of a marine contingent aboard a Roman naval vessel might help get around these issues. Perhaps the PCs start as legionaries, but after the battle of Cannae they are transfered to a Roman trireme. Or you could run a campaign dealing with suppressing the pirates working out of the Anotolian coast as the PCs cover story, while also conducting raids against malevolent cults during the time frame of Caesar and Pompei. Anyone try a naval focused weird wars campaign? Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of?

  • #2
    I'll note that as part of the normal legions, you'll have a lot of security patrols, interactions with locals (on both sides of the border), interactions with graft and smuggling, settling treaty violations and border disputes, investigating hostile raids, launching reprisal raids, and other excellent adventure hooks. Don't get too focused on the big battles - life is composed of small, personal moments, even when we're talking about the lives of fictional characters.

    I haven't tried a naval-focused campaign.
    Marines were of low regard among the legions, so there will be a lot of disparaging comments from the regulars and even some of the auxiliaries.
    Don't get too focused on the big battles; as with a regular legion, most of their duties will be short duration and generally small interactions. Battling a pirate ship is the sort of minor action that matters greatly to all the combatants but is virtually meaningless to Rome (unless they lose).
    Have care with the civil war aspects - running that kind of story is a real challenge, especially if you want to present both sides fairly. Some groups are going to split and side with different sides of the civil war - it gets really awkward when you have to deal with that, especially if a player is really attached to their character and refuses to consolidate the player group.
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


    • #3
      Thanks for the feedback I hadn't considered that the players might become divided over which side to back in the Roman civil wars.

      I knew that the Roman marines were disparaged by the legionnaires. I'm still favoring an approach that has the PCs play marines assigned to a trireme with the captain acting as their contact to the Twilight Legion. Perhaps the period of the Macedonian Wars could be a good time period. I don't recall their being any actual naval battles, but it shouldn't be hard to justify some raiding along the coasts/islands, escorting diplomatic missions to various city/states and some monster hunting thrown in.


      • #4
        I believe that in the early Republic the marines tended to be legionaries assigned to a ship.


        • #5
          Simon Scarrows Eagles of Rome series had the main characters moving around quite a bit. From wikipedia, "The first book starts in 42 AD. The books cover the experiences of the two soldiers, initially as experienced centurion and new optio, in battles in Germania and the invasion of Britain by Claudius as part of the Legio II Augusta. The 6th book The Eagle's Prophecy has them serving as part of the Imperial Navy east of Italy. The 7th and 8th put them in Rome's eastern provinces as agents of the Emperor's secretary Tiberius Claudius Narcissus. The 9th sees them shipwrecked on the island of Crete, fighting against a full-scale uprising. The 11th is set in Rome with the leads hoping to save the emperor from the shady Liberators. The Blood Crows is set once again in Britannia. The two protagonists are faced with defeating tribal rebels"


          • ValhallaGH
            ValhallaGH commented
            Editing a comment
            Such careers did happen, but they were very rare.
            A legionary usually stayed in a single legion for his entire service period; from the time of Julius Caesar, onward, a legion was often semi-permanently assigned to the same geographic region.

          • ogbendog
            ogbendog commented
            Editing a comment
            yeah, which might not be FFF