Barad has started up a Play-by-Forum game of Bacchanal. Very interesting! I was very excited about this game last year, but the only time I got it to the table, it was a big disappointment. There were a few problems
- I was very excited about the setting. I love Ancient Latin history and have read a lot about it. My fellow players weren’t very interested in the setting and had no real frame of reference for it. Playing with a known frame of reference is very easy, playing without one is incredibly hard.
- We were excited about describing the debauchery, but we started way, way to debauched. This was a big problem when we needed to escalate. And escalate more. And even more! The only place left to go was very; silly or very dark. I tried to go for dark, but people felt uncomfortable (I think), so we ended up with very silly
- The randomisers were really kind of delay effects in the end, avoiding all interesting story bits, and giving us only debauchery. At one point one of the players she declared she was “DONE. DONE WITH ORGIES!” and gave a funny impassioned speech that ended the game.
Not my best game attempt! I haven’t been able to get it to the table ever since. A shame, since I really love the setting, the theme, and the storytelling. A forum game might be perfect, that way you can sink some more thought and time into your scenes and avoid ending up with sex on trampolines.
So yeah, I’m very excited about this!
My character is Aemillia. She is a vestal virgin. Aemillia has broken her holy vow of chastity. She is being hunted by praetor Lucius Ravilla, and she is looking for her secret lover and Lucius’ political enemy, the politician Tiberius Gracchus.
If you know anything about Latin history, you can tell I pretty much ripped a few pages out of Wikipedia. Vestal Virgins indeed had a sacred duty, and breaking their vows (or often even an accusation of it) was enough to have them killed by being buried alive, because it was a sin to spill their blood). Only about 10 were every convicted this way, and most of those deaths are thought to be politican machinations.
Aemilia was at first acquitted by the pontifices, but was retried by the praetor and jurist Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla, and condemned to death. The prosecution offered two Sibylline prophecies in support of the final verdicts. The charges were almost certainly trumped up, and may have been politically motivated.
It didn’t say what the politican motivation was, so I thought it was fun to involve Tiberius Gracchus, who was a very charismatic politician working in the Populares, the policians of the people, whose power opposed the Optimates, the old elite I’m sure Lucius belonged to.
The timings don’t quite line up right, but that’s beyond my history geekiness, I thought it was fun to put some historical inspiration there. Even though it has no impact on the game whatsoever, it might give me some extra inpsiration for the story elements.
All of this is just a very convoluted way of saying that I’m excited to play in this game :)