We are using a re-skinned port of the SPARTACUS board game, with some exceptions and additions.

Turn Time

  • Turns are longer, due to associated role-play. Turns will take one evening, and we will run to six turns.
    • For phases, we will be operating an 8 minute sand-timer.

1) Upkeep – (pg 4) This section will take approximately ten minutes, but can be played as people arrive.

  • Create Gladiator: Players create a Gladiator, which then gets added to the Auction pile.
  • Refresh Cards: Flip Uninjured, Exhausted cards face up.
  • Heal Injuries: Make healing roles for injured Assets.
  • Balance Ledger: Pay Upkeep per ready Gladiators, Earn Return per ready Investments.

2) Intrigue – (pg 5) This turn will end after 5 turns of the glass (40 minutes) – in this round, players negotiate with each other over various Schemes, and role-play.

  • Draw Cards: All players draw 3 cards.
  • Intrigue Turns: Starting with the Host, players take turns playing schemes, Cash in cards, use House Special Rules and Asset Special Abilities.

3) Market – (pg 9) This turn will end after 3 turns of the glass (24 minutes) – in this round, players bid on Gladiators, Investment Contracts, Equipment Training

  • Open Market: Players are free to buy, sell and trade Assets with each other and the Bank.
  • Auction: Deal Cards from the Market Deck face down. Reveal cards and bid.
  • Bid for Hosting: The winning bidder hosts the following Arena Games.

4) Arena – (pg11) This turn will end after 5 turns of the glass (40 minutes) – In this round, players pitch their Gladiators in the Arena

  • Honor to the Host: The Host gains 1 influence.
  • Hosting The Event: The Host Invites 2 (or more) players to the Games.
  • Tribute: Players are paid for any Favour or Champion tokens their Combatants possesses. (Something, Something Fame?)
  • Place Wagers: All players may wager on the outcome of the Games
  • COMBAT! See Pg 14.
  • Victory and Defeat: The victorious Combatant(s) receive a point of Fame, Wagers are settled and the Host exercises the Power of Life and Death.
  • At the end of a fight, if a defeated Gladiator still lives, the Host may declare Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down for them.
    • Paying the Price: If a Host declares Thumbs Down on a Gladiator with Fame, they must pay 2 Gold per Upkeep of that Gladiator. If a Gladiator is a Crowdpleaser (has won 3 fights) the Host must pay 1 Influence as well.
    • A Champion cannot be killed by Thumbs Down.

Approval: Managing the mood of the crowd.

  • Approval is a stat that Benefactor’s have to represent their control over the crowd. In-character this may represent investments in publicity, in paid stooges, or in gifts that will be spread through the crowd.
  • You may buy Approval during the Open Market phase – 3 gold for 1 approval.
  • In addition, any player who does not have a gladiator in the headline fight gains 2 approval tokens at the start of the Arena phase.
  • At any point during the Arena phase, players may place Approval on a gladiator’s betting space and describe what they are doing to influence the crowd. At the end of the fight, if your gladiator still lives, then any Approval they have is added to their Fame – this happens before the host has Power of Life and Death, and affects the amount they will need to pay to slake the mood of the crowd.
  • Approval doesn’t roll over between sessions.

NPC’s, Schemes and Influence.

  • NPC’s have Schemes and Influence that they can use to assist players. At the start of each session, the GM will draw three Scheme cards and place them face up on the table – this is a pool of Schemes that any NPC can perform, if convinced.
    *NPC’s have Influence that they can be convinced to offer to assist Benefactors.


  • Generate Gladiators during the Introduction – each player should create one. These then get shuffled in to the deck for Auction.

Creating gladiators.

  • Stats: Rookie Gladiators (The gladiators you start with) have 15 points worth of stats, which you can assign as you please. For Veteran gladiators, you should roll d10 for each stat.
  • Pluck: Pluck is a stat you can use to upgrade your gladiators after fights. To determine Pluck, you should roll d30 and deduct the total points of stats your gladiator has. After each fight your gladiator takes part in, you may add 2 points from your Pluck to your gladiator’s stats.
  • Fame: Your Gladiator’s Fame is the total of your gladiator’s stats, plus any wins, minues any losses.
    • A gladiator with 40 points of Fame is declared a Champion. Champions cannot be killed by Thumbs Down in the Arena.
    • A gladiator who has won 3 fights is declared a Crowdpleaser. Crowdpleasers cost a point of Influence to kill by Thumbs Down in the Arena.
  • Upkeep: Your Gladiator’s Upkeep is the first digit of their Fame. This is the amount that you pay for them during the Upkeep round.
  • Stunt: Every gladiator has a trick or quirk – roll on the table at the bottom of the page.
  • Name and Species: You can find the list of species here Species

Gladiator Tricks – Roll d30

1) Counter Attack: DEF triples cause one auto-wound to Attacker
2) The Shadow of Death: Add 4 points to both Attack and Defence
3) Initiate: One per match, you may force your opponent to re-roll a dice of your choice.
4) Brutal: When attacking, may re-roll ALL "1"s.
5) Impervious: DEF doubles add one auto-block.
6) Boisterous: Exhaust at any time to refresh one of your uninjured Gladiators or Slaves
7) Tactician: May re-roll initiative (all dice).
8) Rabid: In combat, always goes first. Do not roll Initiative. In a Primus, her team goes first.
9) Merciless: Defeated opponents are auto-decapitated.
10) Doctore: Opposing Gladiator’s Special Ability is negated while in combat with this gladiator.
11) Blood-bond: If one of your gladiators is killed, you may discard this gladiator instead.
12) Hardened: DEF triples block all attacks.
13) Defiant: May not be exhausted or Injured for any reason. Treat an Arena Injury as a Yield.
14) Overrated: Add 10 to FAME when revealed during the Auction.
15) Vengeful: ATK doubles add one auto-wound.
16) Deft: Opponents Weapon Card is negated when fighting this Gladiator.
17) Unstoppable: May always Move up to 3 hexes.
18) Cunning and Treacherous: Exhuast to reduce a Scheme’s Required Influence by 2. May also join opposing Team during a Primus.
19) Ruthless: May be equipped with two melee weapons. May not use Armour. Immune to Doctore rule.
20) Treacherous: May join opposing Team during a Primus. (Reroll if not using Primus Rule.)
21) Agile: When defending, may roll SPD dice instead of DEF dice.
22) Sadistic: After inflicting 3 or more Wounds wih a single attack, recover 1 lost Attribute Dice.
23) Cruel: Defeated opponents are auto-injured.
24) Relentless: When attacking, wins ties.
25) Gambler: When any Combatant, at any time, loses 3 or more dice from an attack, gain 1 Gold.
26) Expensive Tastes: Add 1 Gold to Upkeep.
27) Eagle-Eyed: Add 6 points to Ranged during Auction.
28) Nimble: Add 6 points to Speed during Auction
29) Show-boating: Each Win counts as +2 Fame rather than the usual +1
30) Veteran Advisor: Auction prices for Gladiators and Equipment / Training are reduced by one for this Gladiator’s Benefactor.


Roll d12 to Establish Investment. Roll d4 to establish it’s return.

1. Informant: (Market) – After cards are dealt, exhaust to look at one of the face-down cards.
2. Fixer: (Intrigue) – Exhaust to discard a card and draw another card.
3. Caravan: (Intrigue) – Exhaust to gain 2 Gold
4. Imperial Servant: (Any Phase) – Exhaust to gain 2 gold OR discard to draw 3 Intrigue cards.
5. Vivimancer: Exhaust to add +1 to any failed Healing Roll.
6. Bazaar: (intrigue) Exhaust to gain 4 Gold
7. Imperial Vivimancer: (Upkeep) Exhaust to re-roll anyone’s failed Healing Roll.
8. Spy: (Intrigue) Exhaust to look at one random card in a chosen Benefactor’s hand.
9. Mercenary: Exhaust to force a re-roll of any Guard attempt.
10. Bodyguard: (Intrigue) Exhaust to re-roll one of your failed Guard attempts.
11. Coffeehouse: (Intrigue) Exhaust and pay Bank 1 Gold to draw 1 Intrigue card.
12. Massage parlour: (Any phase) Exhaust to gain 2 Gold OR Discard to Exhaust any 1 gladiator not in the Arena.


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