I've been working on my own set of rules for a simple Gladiator game. I wanted something that was easy and intuitive to play but offered enough options for creative tactical play. It was not simply necessary for the combatants to just knock seven bells out of each other, there had to be some drama and surprises as well. While the 'sport' itself was brutal and barbaric is was still a spectator sport and therefore had to be interesting and exciting to watch and this should be reflected in the game-play.
I found a lot of simple rules systems online but in the end I decided I wanted to try my hand at designing something from scratch. Judging from the constant banging headache I get every time I work on it this decision may have been a mistake. But I have started so I'm going to finish it, even if the design process is slow and painful!
|Gladiators depicted in the Zliten mosaic (public domain)|
I'm still battling it out with the first draft and am beginning to realise just how hard it is to come up with something original. What I have so far is a very basic turn based set of rules. Its largely an I-Go-U-Go set-up but I'm building in some surprises and dramatic elements by utilising a card deck as part of the game-play. The idea is to have a really simple set of rules that provides a framework on which to hang all these card based special actions.
I haven't yet reached a stage where I can playtest the rules (I still have a basic set of action cards to design), but I'm hoping to have a working first draft within a couple of weeks. I expect that as a rules writing n00b I will end up with a system that will be far from original and full of wholes, but its proving to be an interesting experience none-the-less. In fact the only thing I'm happy with at this stage is its working name Sanguinem et Gloria (Latin for Blood and Glory) although I expect someone will now tell me that name has already been used!
I'll keep you informed about my progress (or lack thereof) over the coming weeks and of course feedback and ideas are always welcome.