Republic of Rome PBEM Rules - Version 4 - By Roberto Ullfig

1. The GM handles all die/dice rolls and distributes all cards.

2. All treasuries (Personal and Faction) are open;

   only cards in hand are kept secret.

3. Game Phases:

These are the phases of the game in which players are required to send

the GM their orders. Except where noted, all phases are done by all

players simultaneously and secretly. When the GM receives orders from all

players, the phase ends and the next phase begins (after the GM resolves

all game issues in between the phases).

0. Initial Intrigue Phase

    1. Play Concessions/Statesman

    2. Governor Corruption

    3. Governor Assignment & Term

    4. Faction Leader

[GM Action: Mortality Draw, Generate Revenue]

I. Revenue Distribution Phase

    1. Personal/Faction Treasury Allocation

    2. Contributions to State

    3. Transfers to Other Players

    4. Provincial Forces Builds

II. Forum Phase

    For each Initiative:

    1. Persuasion Attempt

    2. Knights

    3. Faction Leader/Games

    Plus a special round of bidding before the 6th initiative.

    Each player takes his initiative in order as in the original rules.

    Orders in advance are highly recommended especially when Persuasion

    Attempts are not an issue in order to speed this phase.

[GM Action: Population/Curia Rolls]

III. Senate Phase

    For each Proposal:

    1. Votes/Bribes/Vetoes

    HRAO must specify a voting order with each proposal.

[GM Action: Combat Rolls]

IV. Revolution Phase

    1. Revolution Declarations

    2. Play Concessions/Statesman

    3. Governor Corruption (including Grain Concessions)

4. Persuasion Attempts

    If the player wishes to make a Persuasion Attempt he announces to

everyone (this is important so as to speed up diplomatic communication)

which of his senators is  attempting to persuade which other senator

(aligned or unaligned) and how many talents he is initially spending. At

the same time he secretly sends the GM the following information:

1.  the maximum talents he is willing to spend

2.  the minimum Base number he will spend extra talents for

Every other player secretly sends the GM the following information:

1.  the maximum talents he is willing to spend

2.  the senator he is supporting (if he is not directly involved)

3.  the minimum (or maximum) Base number he will spend extra talents for

This should be enough information for the GM to go on and make a

persuasion roll. If the persuader wishes to use a Blackmail or Seduction

card everything is MUCH simpler and this procedure is not necessary.

EXAMPLE: Player A announces that his Cornelius will attempt to persuade

Player Cís Fabius with an initial bribe of 3 Talents. Cornelius has 3

Oratory/20 Influence/10 Talents and Fabius has 9 Loyalty/1 Talent.

Fabiusí value is 17 (9 Loy + 7 Align + 1T); Corneliusí value is 26 (20

Inf + 3 Ora + 3T). At this point the base needed to persuade is 9 (the

best he can do). At the same time that Player A announces his persuasion

attempt he sends a private message to the GM stating that he will spend

at most another 6 Talents if he can get the base to at least 8. Player B

privately tells the GM he is not getting invloved. Player C privately

tells the GM that he will be adding at most 5T from his faction treasury

if he can get the base below 7. Player D tells the GM the he will help

Player C and add at most 5T if he can get the base below 6. Player E

tells the GM he will help Player A and add at most 5T if he can get the

base to at least 7. The GM now figures it all out (extreme example):

1.   Base starts out at 9

2.   player B is not involved

3.   player C adds 3T against to make the Base 6

4.   player D adds 1T against to make the Base 5

5.   player E adds 2T for to make the Base 7

6.   player A adds 1T for to make the Base 8

7.   player B is not involved

8.   player C adds 2T against to make the Base 6

9.   player D adds 1T against to make the Base 5

10.  player E adds 2T for to make the Base 7

11.  player A adds 1T for to make the Base 8

12.  player B is not involved

13.  player C does not add because he has spent all he was willing to


14.  player D adds 3T against to make the Base 5

15.  player E does not add because he must spend more than he was willing

     to spend to get to his 7

16.  player A adds 3T to make the Base 8

17.  player B is not involved

18.  player C has spent all he was willing to

19.  player D has spent all he was willing to

20.  player E is happy with the base where it is

21.  GM makes a persuasion roll of 9 so Fabius stays with Player C and is

     22 talents richer! Player A probably should have stated that he

     would add talents to get at least a 9.

This entire process only requires 1 public message from the persuader and

1 private message from each player (plus any diplomatic discussion before

the private messages are sent).

5. Sixth Initiative Bidding

    All bids for the sixth initiative are sent in at the same time by all

players but are still resolved in HRAO order. Players can specify

conditions for their bids using increments and maximum bids based on

players who bid before them. Here is an example:

Player A has a Senator in Rome with 3 talents

Player B has a Senator in Rome with 2 talents

Player C has a Senator in Rome with 0 talents

Player D has a Senator in Rome with 6 talents

Player E has a Senator in Rome with 5 talents

The following "bids" are sent simultaneously and privately

Player A (HRAO) bids 2 talents

Player B states an increment of 1, max 2

Player C must state increment of 0, max 0

Player D states an increment of 2, max 5

Player E states an increment of 1, max 5

Now it's resolved:

Player A bids 2

Player B increments the current highest bid (i.e. 2) by 1 to 3, but 3 is

above his max of 2 so his bid is only 2.

Player C increments the current highest bid (i.e. 2) by 0 to 2, but 2 is

above his max of 0 so his bid is only 0

Player D increments the current highest bid (i.e. 2) by 2 to 4, 4 is not

above his max so his bid is 4

Player E increments the current highest bid (i.e. 4) by 1 to 5, 5 is not

above his max so his bid is 5 (and he wins the 6th initiative).

Basic Strategies:

The last player in the round (i.e. E) should never need to state an

increment more than 1, because no one bids after him.

A player should never need to state a maximum that is greater than the

largest possible bid by all players after him (in fact I will adjust a

player's maximum down if a player should make this mistake). In the example

above D could have set a max of 6 since he has 6 talents to spend but since

E only has 5 talents to spend, D's maximum would be adjusted automatically

down to 5. If D wanted to GUARANTEE winning the 6th initiative then he

should have stated an increment of +5 and a max of 5. It never makes sense

to state an increment greater than a maximum and the HRAO does not specify

increments and maximums, he just bids a number.

Ties are still resolved in HRAO order of course.

6. Voting

    Voting is done essentially the same as Persuasion Attempts and 6th

Initiative Bidding. All players send in their orders at the same time and

can specify any conditions they like. The conditions can be based on

actions by players who are listed prior to him in the Voting Order

specified by the HRAO. Obviously, the first player in the Voting Order

cannot specify any conditions. Orders are sent to the GM in private.

7. Senate Phase Guidelines

a. The presiding magistrate sends everyone his proposal along with a

Voting Order. Alternatively, he can send this info to the GM who will

then announce it at the appropriate time. If Voting Order is not

specified in the proposal then player order will be used starting with the

player after the Presiding Magistrate. The initiator of the proposal is

assumed to vote for passage of the proposal unless otherwise specified.

b. All orders are sent in simultaneously and secretly after a proposal is

made. Everyone can make conditional bribes dependent on bribes or votes

made by previous players in the Voting order. Players can either vote

(with possible bribes), abstain, or veto (using a tribune).

c. After all orders are received, they are resolved in Voting Order so if

two players order a veto, the second player's is not resolved (he gets to

keep his tribune). Same principle is applied to bribed votes.

d. A player can cancel an order or submit new orders at anytime before

all players have sent in their orders.

e. All senators are assumed to vote (or abstain) the same way, unless

otherwise specified. All senators are assumed to not bribe for votes,

unless otherwise specified.

f. Abstaining senator's votes are not counted when determining a majority.

(i.e. if 5 factions each have 10 votes and one faction abstains, then

the number of votes required for passage is 21 instead of 26).

g. Assassination and Tribune Proposal Timing will be determined on a case

by case basis with an attempt to keep to the original rules as close as


8. Default Orders

    At times players will forget to specify things that they think are

obvious so these are some defaults that the GM will apply at the

appropriate time:

    a. no contributions to state

    b. no transfers to other players

    c. provincial forces built evenly

    d. no money spent to attract a knight

    e. no new faction leader or games

    f. no bribed votes or conditional votes

    g. all senators vote the same way

    h. the initiator of a proposal votes for passage of the proposal

    i. voting order is HRAO order starting with player after HRAO

It is always best to specify as much info as needed for each phase.

If a player has only one possible order for a phase (example: has no

money in his faction treasury during someone else's persuasion attempt)

the GM will consider his order automatically sent in.

9. Trading Guidelines

I.  Private (Secret) Deals:

a.  Trading Cards

Two or more players (three way trades are possible for example) can

exchange Red Cards they hold at any time during the turn. Such trades are

executed SIMULTANEOUSLY so there is no possibilty of deceit. To complete a

trade each player involved sends mail to the GM stating which cards he is

giving to which factions and which cards he expects in return from each

faction. If the GM determines that the trade requests do not match, the

trade is not completed and he notifies the factions involved. If the trade

requests do match then he notifies the factions involved that the trade

was successful and notifies all other players of the trade, though he does

not tell the others what specific cards were traded. Traded cards cannot

be played prior to the next Revolution Phase (this includes cards like

Tribunes which could not be played until the next turn). Cards traded

during the Revolution Phase can be played during that phase. Cards that

have been traded can be traded again in the same turn. [Nothing really new

here; except for maybe three-way trades I believe this works just like it

is intended to in the original game.

b.  Deals/Trades Involving Things Other Than Cards

ANYTHING else in a secret deal is "unenforcable", meaning that if you make

a deal to give another player 5 talents for a card (even if you get the

card during the Revenue phase) you are not REQUIRED to give the other

player the money after you have received the card. This means that all

private deals (except for exchange of red cards) occur SEQUENTIALLY. It is

up to the players involved to determine the order (unless they just want

to trust the other player) of exchange if necessary. If you wanted to give

a player a red card in order to make him nominate one of your senators,

you can either give it to him before the nomination (in which case he can

just keep the card and NOT make the nomination) or afterwards (in which

case you can keep the card and forget the deal). Same goes for transfering

money in exchange for favors and everything else (other than red card


c.  Any exchange or gift of red cards or treasury must go through the GM


II. Open Deals

An Open Deal works like a Secret Deal except that all players are told of

the specifics of the deal and the deal is totally enforceable within the

rules of the game.

10. Combat

The Random Loss Chart will not be used in Combat. Each unit will be

assigned a number and email dice will be rolled to see which units are


The HRAO determines the order that battles will be fought except that

lower-numbered matching wars of a series are always fought first.

Provinces attack wars in random order resolving all of a province's wars

before proceeding with the next province. Matching wars in a series are

still attacked in order of their number.

Example: There are four active wars: Syrian, 2nd & 3rd Macedonian, and

1st Gallic. Illyricum is allied with the 2nd Macedonian War so the first

three wars are attacking Greece while the Gallic war is attacking Gaul.

Randomly determine order of province attacks. Gaul rolls a 7, Greece

rolls a 6; the Gallic War is resolved first. Rolls for Syrian and

Macedonian wars are 6 and 11 respectively, so Greece must attack the wars

in this order: 1. 2nd Macedonian; 2. 3rd Macedonian; 3. Syrian. The

example assumes that none of these wars were stalemated of standoffed by

a Roman force during the current combat phase.

--- Official Notes (gathered from past e-mail messages)

I really think we should play with the Provincial Forces Rule (14.0). I

have written up extensive errata for this and there are one or two

changes in there as well.

We need to decide if we wish to play with the other 2 advanced rules:

Pontifex Maximus and Legion Disbandment.

I have made a few changes to the province attack orders listed on the

war cards. These are mainly historical or pseudo-historical in nature.

The changes are listed on my web page (as well as everything else).

We've also been playing that provinces aren't attacked by wars on the

turn they are created. So, if the Gallic War is defeated, thereby

creating Cisalpine Gaul, the 2nd Punic War (if active) won't attack the

province until the following turn.

Also, unlike my other two games. In this game, players not involved in a

persuasion attempt can only bribe to counter the attempt; they cannot

bribe to aid the persuader. The first way slows down things too much

because of the added scheming and diplomacy.

We have not been playing with time limits or default orders (I dislike

default orders entirely) but if I don't hear from a player who I'm

waiting on, for over a week I'll usually start looking for a

replacement. There have been exceptions of course. The whole point

being, if you're not going to be around (vacation, etc...), tell me.

I hope you all have www access, if not tell me and I can make some

arrangements. All the rules, errata, manifests are on my web page. Note,

that my PBEM rules are fairly different than AH's PBEM rules (and truer

to the original game). Ideally, an uneventful turn could take as little

as 2 weeks to play. Since the extended game _can_ go to 25 turns, that's

at least 1 year of playing at the best speed possible, unless of course

there is an earlier decision (more likely I would think). Game 2 ended

in less than 2 weeks before the senate ever met! HRAO popularity is very

important, especially in the late republic.

I'm ready to start when you are. The game is pretty much "rolled up" on

my end. I used the email dice roller to generate most of the numbers

needed. I shuffled the decks on my PC at home with a program I wrote

(also on my page). Province income also gets generated on my PC with

another program.

I'm sure there are some things I forgot to mention. So, first we need to

decide on the rules, and also choose the faction names. Good luck!

Here is the initial status (your red cards going out shortly). The

"status" is a complete snapshot of the game at the present time. It

holds no info regarding past events. The "history" is a log of all

events. Each turn has its own history file. The "deck status" shows

what's currently in the deck and what has been discarded. All three of

these are on my www page (anyone have any problems accessing it?). [ I

wanted to use <> but html don't like that. ] Don't know how I'm

going to show battle votes yet. There's a section called "report

symbols" that lists all the symbols and the order they should appear in.

We are in:

Initial Intrigue Phase

    1. Play Concessions/Statesman

    2. Governor Corruption

    3. Governor Assignment & Term

    4. Faction Leader 

2 and 3 don't apply of course. All orders for this phase are sent in

simultaneously. After I receive orders from all I'll reveal the

mortality chit, generate revenue (nothing much this turn) and then we'll

move to the next phase which is revenue distribution. Card exchanges or

gifts are done in "real time" and they should go through me (I think I

wrote a section in the rules on this) since I am the only official

source for everyone's cards. Note that you can't make a statesman a

faction leader at the start unless you also have the family card for

that statesman. Oh, my page is best viewed with a fixed-width font so

that the status report lines up all nice and neat and easy to read. Good


Something that should be in the PBEM rules...

The Presiding Magistrate can send me a list of proposals to make to the

senate. _As soon as_ one proposal is over, the next one in queue is

made, so if another player wishes to play a tribune to initiate his own

proposal he must tell me during the current vote or else he may lose his

chance. You can always give me any conditions for any orders. For

example, "I will play this tribune to reserve the floor if the current

proposal passes". Just a warning in how the game is paced.

Assassinations are in real time. I know this may be a disadvantage for

players on the other side of the world but I don't think there's a good

way to structure it otherwise without removing some of the flavor of the


Remember, I must have a voting order for each proposal or I will use the

default which is clockwise order (from top to bottom) starting with the

player _after_ the presiding magistrate. Votes should be sent to me in

secret (though they can be broadcast to all if you like, though such a

public vote is _not_ binding). I will assume your public vote is your

actual vote unless I hear otherwise from you. Voting order is used to

determine things like whose tribune veto gets played first and

conditional votes like "I will bribe 6t if the player before me votes

against". As with all other orders you can specify any conditions for

your votes you like, but you can't specify conditions based on what

players who vote after you (by the voting order) do. Basically, it works

just like the FTF game.

It's best to make your proposals in public (including your voting order)

to speed the vote, but if you want to send me a list of proposals you

probably just want to send me the list in private and make the first

proposal in public. Other default orders for proposals in case you are

not specific enough in what you tell me:

    f. no bribed votes or conditional votes

    g. all senators vote the same way

    h. the initiator of a proposal votes for passage of the proposal

    i. voting order is clockwise order starting with player after

presiding magistrate (a little different from what my rules say).

So, all votes/vetoes are sent to me at the same time by all players in

secret but they are resolved in voting order.

clarification: a Pontifex Maximus may not assign himself a priest but a

senator who already has a priest may be elected as Pontifex Maximus (and

he gets to keep his priest). He can veto any proposal the rules normally

allows him to.

Just to clarify,

Unofficial Errata on my page just refers to the fact that these weren't

written up by Avalon Hill, but we are still playing with these

"unofficial" errata.

We are playing with these errata/rules found on my web page:

PBEM Rules

Official Errata

Unofficial Errata

Governor Revolt Errata

The Senate Phase

Revised Province Attack Orders