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HR5 The Glory of Rome Campaign Sourcebook (2e)Click to magnify
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HR5 The Glory of Rome Campaign Sourcebook (2e)


"It is heaven's will that my Rome shall be the capital of the world."

One-thousand years of history are woven around the story of Rome. With this AD&D game supplement, PCs can stand fast before a mass of charging Gauls with Julius Caesar, vie for the emperor's attention in the coliseum, bellow oratory in the senate, or dispense the pax romana to the ends of the earth in the name of the emperor Hadrian.

The Glory of Rome describes Roman character kits, magic, equipment, culture, and settings for exciting roleplaying in Earth's past, or in a Roman-style realm in any gaming world.

Experience the grandeur that was Rome!

Product History

HR5: The Glory of Rome Campaign Sourcebook (1993), by David L. Pulver, is the fifth in the Historical Reference series. It was published in November 1993, almost a full year after the previous Historical release.

About the Historicals. The later Historical Reference books generally follow in the footsteps of HR1: Vikings Campaign Sourcebook (1992). They were a brand-new leatherette line that covered brand-new ground for TSR: historical settings. One of their most important elements was a tight integration of systems and settings that was atypical for TSR, though the depth of this integration would vary from book to book and was never as strong as in the first release, Vikings. The Historical line ran for a relatively short time, from 1992 to 1994.

A Double Paired Release? The first two Historical References were paired together so that you could use them adversarially. Similarly, The Glory of Rome was probably intentionally paired with HR3: Celts Campaign Sourcebook (1992). However, it can also (barely) be used together with the ancient Greece-inspired HR6: Age of Heroes (1994), if you wanted to run a very early Roman-era campaign.

Glory of Rome in D&D Much like HR2: Charlemagne's Paladins Campaign Sourcebook (1992), Glory of Rome offers the opportunity for a very "purist" D&D campaign, with fighters, clerics, and thieves being the only classes freely allowed. (A few of the spell-casting classes are also allowed with GM approval.) However, Glory of Rome goes beyond those restrictions to offer up very Rome-specific theming via a variety of kits that allow for the play of gladiators, witches, mystery cultists, and more (though by the 90s many of these ideas had been touched upon for D&D at some time or another - gladiators in Dark Sun and witches in multiple articles in Dragon, for instance).

Glory of Rome focuses particularly on fighters, allowing for a much more "military campaign" style than was common for D&D, and in fact suggests the possible use of Battlesystem (1985+), which TSR was constantly rereleasing in the late 80s and early 90s, to no great success. The resultant military-based campaign would be pretty unique in D&D, whether then or now. 

The idea of a decadent yet highly civilized culture is the other strength of Glory of Rome, and one that could be easily transplanted into many different campaigns. In fact, Basic D&D had offered up a Roman-like empire a few years earlier in Dawn of the Emperors: Thyatis and Alphatia (1989) for the Known World.

Though there's no Roman pantheon in Deities & Demigods (1980), they had already been detailed for AD&D in "The Imperial Gods" in Dragon #133 (May 1988).

Glory of Rome in Other Gaming. One of the earliest historical RPGs, Man, Myth and Magic (1982) by Yaquinto Publications, was originally set in the Roman empire. There was also the inevitable GURPS Rome (1992) supplement, published just a year before this book. Roman roleplaying has become much more popular in recent years, with the Roma Imperious (2004) RPG, the Cthulhu Invictus (2004, 2009) sourcebook for Call of Cthulhu, the Requiem for Rome (2007) sourcebook for Vampire: The Requiem, and the Rome: Life and Death of the Republic (2009) RPG for BRP being just some of the examples.

Future History. "Seeds of Evil" in Dragon #249 (July 1998) describes how to use the Masques of the Red Death (1994) campaign with all seven of the Historical Reference campaign setting books.

About the Creators. David Pulver is a prolific RPG author who prior to 1993 had done most of his work on GURPS. The Glory of Rome was his first major work for TSR (after some contributions to Marvel Super Heroes the previous year).

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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January 13th, 2015
Interesting, but this book is more a rough guideline on the history of Rome with some ideas on gaming with it. A DM will need to make a lot of decisions to bring a setting to life based on this material, including determining what (if any) non-human D& [...]
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File Last Updated:
January 22, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on January 22, 2013.