Roma Imperious by Hinterwelt Enterprises is an alternate history fantasy campaign setting running on the Iridium System. It is set in an alternate history of ancient Rome where the Empire never fell but rather embraced the practice of magic and survived.
In real history, Constantine won a decisive battle under the sign of the cross and so legalized Christianity, embracing it politically if not personally and causing the religion to grow in power and popularity. After his death, the Empire collapsed due to plague, barbarian invasion, and a number of other factors. In Roma Imperious history, Constantine won a decisive battle using magic, and it was made legal and encouraged throughout the Empire for its usefulness, creating a whole new social class, the magi.
The world is set approximately 400 years after Constantine?s victory, and the empire still stands strong thanks to its use of magic. Many other factions exist over the rest of the Eastern Hemisphere, which is nicely mapped out early on. There?s the Jade Empire of the Far East, the Skandian Kingdoms of the Far North, kingdoms in Africa, India, and North Asia, as well as barbarian tribes that are sort of part of Roma but also somewhat autonomous, like the druids, from whom Constantine got his magic. Everyone has their own brand of magic in this world.
Roma Imperious also gives the reader an in-depth look at the politics and economics of the Empire, from the general structures to the specific NPCs that run them. More than a handful of new Iridium classes are offered, and more can be made easily due to the flexibility of the Iridium System. The setting also contains rules for era- and setting-specific items, as well as some pretty sweet monsters pulled from the pages of world mythology.
The setting is remarkably complete. A large chunk of the book is dedicated to fleshing out just the setting. The writing can be amateurish at times and there are more than a few typos, but these are easily forgiven as one gets sucked into the mythology being weaved.
After the setting is laid out, the Iridium Core System rules are given. Now, theses can also be downloaded as a standalone supplement, but they?re here for convenience. Here, as everywhere, the Iridium System offers flexibility at the expense of complication. Iridium allows you to do almost anything you can think of and it is also more realistic than most rulesets, but only if you can down the complications and the often vague or disorganized nature of the rules.
<b>LIKED</b>: Awesome, well-developed setting built from an interesting premise. Very thorough with politics, social structure, history, timelines, and specific bios. The fiction draws you into its world and makes you want to play. Generally good art. Nice long lists of classes, skills, and spells.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: The writing comes of as just plain weak at parts, with strange wording and awkward phrasing, as well as many punctuation problems. The Iridium System is almost as obtuse as it is flexible. The sheer length of this setting may put some off. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>