Roma Imperious is (obviously) Roman themed fantasy RPG. Roma has strong fantasy elements to it, so if your are looking for a strictly historical Roman RPG this game is not for you.
The basic premis is that instead of the Roman Empire falling Constantine learned magic from Druids who had aided him in an earlier campaign. With the discovery of magic schools(schola magi) were established and new magi were trained. Magic has become essential to the Empires existants. Magic has improved farming, communications, transporting goods & people (the legions), and everyday life in the Empire. While magic has improved most every aspect of Roman life it has also spawned it's own share of monsters, beasts, and tyrants. Some rogue magi summon demons, beasts, and monsters. When left alone monsters to do what they do, they multiply! In some areas of he empire wandering bands of cannibal dwarves,xyclops,giants, and if you are to close the Alkatian border maybe even some Terragena.
Roam uses Hinterwelt's Iridium system which is a skill based system that uses percentile dice for skill resolution and d20 for attacks and stat checks. It also uses a hit location system that (despite what some peple think) does not hinder or slow the flow play.
Magic is handled with three different systems:
Spell Point Magic: Magi are primary and most powerful users of this system, but nearly any character can learn to cast spell magic. When a character uses spell magic he is channeling power from whichever plane the character is schooled in. Casting spell magic takes a toll on the character by draining their spirit points.
Free Form: Priests, Druids, and Shamans are character types that have access to this type of of magic. Instead of channeling magic from the planes as it is done in spell point magic free form magic channels it power from an external source (Gods for example)and through his body. A free form characters body acts as both a capacitor and resistor. To use free form magic the character uses his or her imagination and tells the GM what effect they are trying to get. The GM tells the player if it is possible and if so tells the player what the penalty will be, if any. Then the player rolls their base chance to see if they ge the desired effect and next they make a channeling roll to determine if they had a backlash from channeling. Both rolls should be made @ the same time to speed things up.
Dictated: Monks are the only users of this system which is hybrid of Free form and Spell Point magic. Like Spell Point Magic the effects are fixed and like Free form it requires a roll to use chi. If you make the PIE roll then you can spend Chi to gain the benifit of the discipline you are using.
The magic systems give the players many options and also each system suites the character types they are used for.
Roma is easily the best looking core book that Hinterwelt has published to this date. The cover captures the feel of the game but seems a little cartoonish. Interior art is for the most part well done in B/W with the best piece being the Kuie done by one of the Carmona brothers. The layout is clear and easy to navigate and the pdf has very good book marking.<br><br>
<b>LIKED</b>: Great new spin on Roman History and Fantasy. Quality writting and layout.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: most of the art is high quality but there are few pieces that are not good at all and stand out as such next the Carmona brothers excellent art. There is an error in the map but it is otherwise very nice. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>
[5 of 5 Stars!]