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The year is 270 AD. The Roman emperor Gothicus is dead of the Plague. The great general Aurelian had been chosen and been made ready to succeed the emperor, which would have been great if he hadn’t died hours before Gothicus, vanquishing barbarians in the Haemus Mountains. Those fool senators in Rome elevated the former emperor’s brother Quintillus to the office, but he has not the skill, influence, or will to do the job well. It is up to you, the high command of the imperial army, to pluck your next leader from your camp in the city of Sirmium.

If this were any other decade, maybe things would not be so urgent. The West seceded and formed the Gallic Kingdom, and the East is under the sway of the merchant empire of Palmyra, forming a wall between you and the warmongering Persians. In the South, the fields of Africa that keep you fed are defenseless, and it is all you can do to hold the North against the barbarian Germans. The cries of usurpers break out on a yearly basis.

If you choose wrong, you might lose even more - even Rome is not safe these days. But if you choose right, then maybe, just maybe...
You might be able to take it all back.

Diadem is a game about a succession crisis in the Roman Empire. It fits on the front and back of a single page, and is about desperation, fear, ambition, and petty squabbling and maneuvering in a time when only unity can save the Empire. Though historical, no prior knowledge of Rome necessary!

It is a GMless game for exactly 5 players. IT can work with 4, but it’s really better with 5. Loosely inspired by Ben Lehman's Amidst Endless Quiet.

Diadem is a sibling project to In The Court Of The Poison King, another historical fiction game about a power struggle in the classical era. They will eventually be collected together with a third game to form the Roman-themed anthology Antiquity.

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Watermarked PDF
Watermarked PDF

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File Last Updated:
June 14, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on June 30, 2019.
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