Ludi Societatis: rules & workings
Absolute speed
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Each player in the circus "works for" a member. Members themselves can never be charioteers for rather obvious reasons: if a member would die or have a severe accident during the circus, it would give some problems. Also, it would amount to roleplaying, which is not the main aim of the Societas Via Romana. Next to naming your player, you also name the chariot. If it is Latin or Greek, make sure it is correct. The Ædiles have the right to correct any mistakes, but of course players will be informed of this.

Players can divide a total of 30 points over five statistics: speed, acceleration, turning circle, force and armour. The former three statistic make up a total number which is rather important. Let's make a concrete example.

Charioteer: Gaius Modalis
Chariot: Modestas
Factio: Praesina
Speed: 6
Acceleration: 6
Turning circle: 6
Force: 6
Armour: 6

Absolute speed

The first important relation is that between acceleration and speed. The higher your acceleration, the faster your chariot will reach its top speed (in this case, 6). A race has five laps, each divided into two seperate halves, which gives us ten half laps. Given that the acceleration rate is 6, the number of half laps to reach the top speed is four (if the acceleration was 2, it would take eight half laps, and so on…). Before this top speed is reached, the chariot starts at speed 1 and then moves up until 6 is reached.

In case the top speed would be reached before the required number of acceleration laps has been reached, the speed will remain one under the top speed until the required number of laps has been driven. The speed of all half laps is tallied up to get the "absolute speed". In this case that number would be 46.

Turning circle

Now where does turning circle come in? Right here. The higher your turning circle, the higher your absolute speed will be. A turning circle below 6 will decrease your absolute speed, a turning circle above 6 will increase it. However, it comes with a price tag. For each one absolute speed you gain, your risk of slamming against the spina will increase (also see damage, wall and spina risk). So, choosing 10 as turning circle might enable you to win the race but it's a very risky tactic. Our Gaius Modalis has opted for number 6, which neither increases nor decreases his absolute speed. Also note that going below 5 with your turning circle causes your wall risk to increase.

Force and armour

Not all racing tactics (see III) require the use of force. The higher your force number, the likelier that in a fight, your charioteer will be able to whip an opponent out of the way or make it suffer an accident. Armour, on the other hand, can fend off aggressive players. Suppose that our Gaius Modalis is attacked by a player with an absolute force (see further) of 5. Gaius Modalis will defend with 6 armour and survive the attack, and will hit back with an absolute force of 6. Supposed that his opponent, in turn, has an armour of 4, said opponent will suffer an accident. Euge!

Risks and accidents

Previously damage risk, wall risk and spina risk have been mentioned. What are these, exactly?

Damage risk is directly related to your armour. If your armour is 10, your damage risk will be zero unless it is raised by a special racing tactic (see III) employed. Gaius Modalis' damage risk is 4 because his armour rating is 6. Clear enough. Each player has a standard spina and wall risk of 4 (that is, chances out of ten to hit the wall or spina during a race). These ratings are raised or lowered according to the tactis you choose, the tactics your opponents choose and the ratings you have given your own player.


Each player submits his or her tactics that will be used in the race to the Ædiles. The tactics are:
  1. Support a constant pace ("the stallion"):
    - increases nor decreases any rating
    - enables defence
  2. Go closely round the spina ("the eagle"):
    - increases turning circle with 2
    - increases acceleration with 1
    - increases speed with 1
    - disables force*
    - lowers armour with 1
    - increases spina risk with 3.
  3. Hurry in the last laps ("the dolphin"):
    - increases speed with 1
    - increases absolute speed with 2
    - disables force*
  4. Hurry in the straight lines ("the cheetah"):
    - increases acceleration with 2
    - increases wall risk with 1
    - disables force
  5. Whip your opponents ("the wolf"):
    - increases force with 3
    - lowers absolute speed with 1
    - enables force
  6. Push your opponents against the walls ("the shark"):
    - increases force with 1
    - raises wall risk of all with 2
    - enables force
  7. Push your opponents against the spina ("the vulture"):
    - increases turning circle with 2
    - increases acceleration with 1
    - increases spina risk of all with 3
    - disables force*
  8. Defend ("the rhinoceros"):
    - lowers spina and wall risk with 3
    - raises armour with 1
    - lowers absolute speed with 2
    - enables defence.
(* force disabled means that when attacked, these players can't hit back, only defend with their armour)

- Tactics E and F are the only ones that enable a player to directly attack another player
- Tactics A and H allow a player to hit back when attacked

Let us assume that Gaius Modalis opts for racing tactic A. This gives us the following numbers:

Charioteer: Gaius Modalis
Chariot: Modestas
Factio: Praesina
Tactic: A

Absolute speed: 46 + 0 = 46
Absolute force: 6 + 0 = 6
Spina risk: 4 + 0 = 4
Wall risk: 4 + 0 = 4
Damage risk: 10 – 6 = 4


Let us suppose that our friend Gaius Modalis has five opponents: Titus Hibernius from albata, Marcus Oceanus from veneta, Tiberius Rufus from russata, Flavius Imperator from purpurea and Dominus Aureus from aurata. First, the absolute speed numbers are compared. Let's assume the following numbers.

Hibernius: 54 (tactic C)
Imperator: 52 (tactic B)
Oceanus: 47 (tactic D)
Modalis: 46 (tactic A)
Aureus: 43 (tactic E)
Rufus: 39 (tactic F)

Hibernius would then normally be the winner, but this is where chance and tactics come in.

First, the number of players employing violent tactics is discerned. In this case, two.

For each player, a die is cast. On one, the wall risk is reviewed. If it is 5 or lower, the player will get one absolute speed extra. If it is 6 or higher, the player will suffer an accident and crash against the wall. On two, the same procedure is repeated for the spina. On three, three is added to the absolute speed unless there is a player employing force. In this case the procedure explained in II.c will be used. On four, five and six simply that number will be added to the absolute speed.

But what happens if two or more players employ force, as is the case in our theoretical race here? Then the numbers three and above will be assigned to violent players and treated in the same fashion as a "regular" three. In case there are no violent players, three will be used in the same way four, five and six would be used if there's only one violent player.

So, let us look at the table again… We see that some things have changed!

Imperator: 52
Modalis: 46
Rufus: 39
Hibernius: Rufus pushed him against the spina!
Oceanus: Whipped out of his chariot by Aureus!
Aureus: Lost battle against Modalis

Now we see that things have turned out a little different…


Second in quarter final: 1 point
First in quarter final: 2 points

Fourth in semi: 1 point
Third in semi: 3 points
Second in semi: 5 points
First in semi: 7 points

Fourth in final: 5 points
Third in final: 8 points
Second in final: 10 points
First in final: 15 points
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