Citizen of Rome - Dynasty Ascendant

Citizen of Rome - Dynasty Ascendant

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From Pleb to Praetor – How to Lead your Family to Greatness - updated for version 1.3.3
By Errapel
So you’re sick of losing everything you own and despairing of ever raising your family to riches? Can’t say I blame you. My first few attempts at this game were full of business swindles and dead babies. But with time and stubbornness, I learned a few things that make the game easier. A lot is dependent on luck, but this guide should help you load the dice in your favour.

-Just a note to say the game is complete but the devs are very active and hope to continue to build on it for some time, so a lot of things are likely to change. I’m not affiliated with the devs, so I’m often just guessing at game mechanics (or asking in the forum, the devs are pretty good at answering questions). The guide is very much a work in progress, so please bear with me. If you have questions, or suggestions, please let me know!
 
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TLDR – Quick tips
1. Education is vital. Get your heir the best education you can afford, and don’t be afraid to sell some property to make it happen.
2. Selective breeding is your friend. Choose high stat spouses, and select the most promising child to be your heir. Higher stats will give you higher revenue.
3. Select your heir with care. If the paterfamilias dies suddenly, you don’t want to be stuck with an unpromising eldest son.
4. Festivals can boost your income, take full advantage of this.
5. The game is hard to win but impossible to truly lose. Be reassured that even if the worst possible outcome occurs, you can still recover from it.
6. Gambling can make you a fortune, but it risks losing a lot of money.
Getting Started
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your dynasty won’t be either. You’ve got to start somewhere, and here it is. When you first start the game (or click ‘reset game’ after getting fed-up with your last one), you’re presented with this screen:




You don’t have a lot of options, just your paterfamilias’ names, which won’t influence anything (so pick whatever you like the sound of), and whether or not you want to play on easy mode or sandbox. If you’re new to the game, I recommend starting with easy mode.

Once you’re happy, click ok and you’ll be taken to your family. At present you don’t get any choice in what your starting profession is, or who you’re married to. First things first take a look at your family’s stats:


We’re in luck! While no one has any special traits, their stats are pretty decent. This is important because the stats of your spouse and children contribute to your success. What does each stat do? Well that’s complicated, but here’s a rough idea:

Intelligence – Arguably the most useful stat. The higher your intelligence the more money you earn from your job, and the faster you gain levels in that job. This stat will be used for a LOT of skill roles, so you ideally want 10+ intelligence in your head of family (and preferably everyone). Both Britannicus and Servia have decent intelligence (10 and 12 respectively), so we’re all good.

Stewardships – This stat is used to determine the maximum property your family can own. The higher the number, the more animals and farms you can have. Since disaster will strike if you have more than a certain amount over that limit, you’ll want to have a nice high stewardship. Your paterfamilias contributes 100% of his Stewardship, his wife’s stewardship contributes 50%, while his children (and their spouses) contribute 25%, with 12.5% from everyone else. Also any 'free householder' (i.e. any adult who doesn't have a job) contributes a bonus 15% bonus to stewardship contribution; this is on top of the 50%/25%/12.5% they would contribute anyway while working, I guess not going to work every day gives them more time to manage the estate. This isn't that important early game as the bulk of your income will be from your jobs. But in mid to late game, you'll earn more from your property, so you'll need to choose whether you want the income from a person's job, or their bonus stewardship. Britannicus and Servia have 13 stewardship, so we should be good for a while.

Eloquence – I’m not sure this has a big impact on your day to day experience, but it comes up frequently in skill roles. It’s particularly vital if you want to run for office. My Britannicus and Servia have worryingly low eloquence, but it looks like their son Numerianus is a very eloquent toddler, this is promising.

Combat/Physical ability (formerly Strength) – This stat doesn't directly impact health but works indirectly by helping keep things like obesity at bay. Strength will also be very important if you choose to compete in various games. Since those games can gives significant payouts, a high strength is really desirable in a paterfamilias. Britannicus has a respectable 12.

If you start a game and the family stats are embarrassingly low, it may be worth restarting till you have something more promising.


Now to get our family fortunes off to a good start! Click ‘Manage’ and it will bring you into the property tab. Right now we have only 350 Denarius, with a monthly revenue of 12.39. That’s not bad, but we want it to be better! You can leave things as they are, but I would advise you to buy at least one horse and one donkey, as these are needed for certain common (and profitable!) events. Ideally you should have one of each animal.


I spend the rest of my ready cash on fishing boats. I now have a net revenue of 15.42 Denarius a month, a nice improvement!
Children
I pressed continue and wouldn’t you know it, Britannicus works fast because Servia is now pregnant! With Numerianus this will make two children in the family. Children are simultaneously your biggest asset, and your greatest liability. Household expenses increase with every new addition, and as a baby ages, they cost more! For the first few years of your kids’ lives, they will be a drain on your coffers (life huh?). But their stats will contribute to yours, and once they’re old enough they can get a job and contribute to the household’s revenue.

Daughters

In the fullness of time, Servia gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Salvianella! If Numerianus were old enough to understand, he’d be relieved, because he doesn’t have a rival for the title of ‘heir’. At present girls cannot lead the family, and unfortunately daughters are a bit of a problem. Because as I mentioned above, every new member of the family, adds expenses which will grow as the child grows. It’s going to be many years before Salvianella can either get a job or be married off, so it’s tempting to see her as a useless mouth to feed. However she contributes to her father’s stats just the same way her brother does. As she gets older we’ll have the choice to educate her and have her learn a trade, just as her brother. Unfortunately as soon as she marries though, she will leave the family and only contribute to her husband’s household. We could train her up and keep her home, but if she gets to 18 without being married, we will be fined at the end of each year until she gets hitched. (The same happens regardless of gender, though you do now get a grace period for widowers/widows so they don’t have to instantly get remarried moments after their spouse’s death).

When you’re wealthy enough, it’s often worth highly educating your daughters, keeping them at home and using their stewardship to help you expand your holdings. If you’re rich enough the fine for them being unmarried won’t matter, you’ll make it back fast with the extra farmland she’s helped you administer. (Note the devs have mooted the idea of penalising high ranking families for having working daughters, if this happens this strategy may have to change a little).

For now though, I’ll educate her as well as I can afford (though Numerianus will get first dibs on education), have her learn a trade, and keep an eye out for a good husband for her. It’s tempting to marry daughters off the moment you can (aged 12!) but I prefer not to, ethics aside it raises the chances she’ll die in childbirth! You should also note that a well educated daughter with a good job will result in a higher inheritance from her when she eventually passes on. This can be really useful for future generations.

Sibling Rivalry
This is bad, and I’m not sure what triggers it other than having two or more children, and they don’t actually have to be siblings. In the below case, the two kids are technically aunt and nephew, though both are the same age. As far as I know there isn’t a positive version of this (a ‘sibling bond’ event where siblings help/support each other, would be nice!)

In this case the fight is serious enough that one kid is note merely ‘wounded’ but ‘gravely wounded’, and eventually dies of his injuries. Magnia is one terrifying 5-year-old tell you!


You get two choices, to intervene, or to leave them to sort it out.

Here I intervened, but I may have been too harsh, causing one child to withdraw and gains the *checks notes* content trait? Ok… so I was so harsh she wound up happier. Well I guess that’s a win.

Education
Education
Education is one of the biggest expenses in this game, and the most common reason for debt. It’s also your only viable means of improving your family’s fortunes. Each tier of education unlocks new professions for your kids to apprentice in, and these professions will earn them more money. As a child grows up, their stats will naturally increase slowly. While enrolled in school, their stats will increase faster. At higher social classes there will be more options for which school to send your kids, the more prestigious the school, the greater your kid’s stats gain during their education will be. After successfully completing their education, they will gain a new trait. Regardless of which ludus litterarius you enrol your child, they will always get the ‘literate’ trait at the end. This trait will grant them a permanent +0.5 Intelligence, +2 Stewardship, +3 Eloquence, and +1 Strength.

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At 4 years old Numerianus is now ready for school. The first tier of education is the ludus litterarius, essentially primary school. As we’re only social class V, our only option for school is to just pick the nearest. It’s also the cheapest. To send Numerianus to school will cost 23.2 denarii up front, and another 7 each month until he’s finished. Since my investments are paying off well, I can easily afford both right now, so I enrol him.


Woops! I spent all my money on sheep, and now I’m in debt! I can choose to end Numerianus’ education, sell a donkey or sell a fishing boat. Since it’s the least expensive, I’ll sell a donkey. Due to a bout of depression, I’m not earning as much as I was, so I’m probably going to have to sell a few things before he finishes his education. This isn’t a big deal, and will happen a lot, particularly in your early days. The trick is to chose education so that you’ll only have to sell off a few things, rather than everything.

The next tier of education is the Grammaticus. Again the higher your status, the better quality school you can send your child. The better the school, the faster your child’s stats gain. Regardless of which Grammaticus you choose, successfully competing it will grant your child the ‘Educated’ trait, conferring a bonus of +1 intelligence, +3 stewardship, +4 eloquence, and +2 strength. The ‘educated’ trait replaces the ‘literate’ trait they got from attending a ludus litterarius.

Next up is training in Rhetoric, again this is more expensive than the previous tier of education, but opens up lucrative professions.
There are two types of oratory your child can study:

Deliberative Rhetoric – Gives the ‘Deliberative Oratory’ trait, which grants +2 intelligence, +4 Stewardship, +4 Eloquence, and +3 Combat/physical ability. It also gives you a x1.06 to revenue and x1.2 to fertility (presumably being a persuasive speaker has some benefits in the bedroom….)

Judicial Rhetoric– Opens up the ‘lawyer’ profession. Gives the ‘Judicial Oratory’ trait, which gives you +2 Intelligence, +5 Stewardship, +5 Eloquence, and +2 Physical ability/combat, plus x1.06 to revenue and x1.2 to fertility.

Either trait will replace your ‘educated’ trait. Deliberative Rhetoric is slightly cheaper, gives slightly more prestige and renown, and a slightly higher combat/physical skill. Judicial Rhetoric gives a higher boost in stewardship and eloquence, and a higher chance to earn more money. On balance I prefer Judicial Rhetoric.

The final stage of education is studying philosophy. This is extremely expensive, but ultimately very profitable. If you can afford to send your kid to Greece to study, it will benefit your family. This unlocks the ‘Philosophy Tutor’ profession, which is almost always the best paid in the game. It also grants your character the ‘Philosopher’ trait, which gives them +3 Intelligence, +3 Stewardship, +4 Eloquence, and +3 combat/physical ability, as well as x1.04 to revenue. This is on top of the ‘Judicial/Deliberative Orator’ trait they already gained.

Apprenticeship

At 9 years old Numerianus has completed his education at the ludus litterarius! Since we’re still only social class V, he has no option for higher education (we couldn’t afford it anyway), so now it’s time for him to learn a trade. The Apprenticeship screen shows all the available professions, with the most profitable at the top, certain traits will make certain professions more profitable. In this case the Litterator profession is the most profitable anyway, but will probably receive a boost from Numerianus’ ‘erudite’ trait.


At age 12 Numerianus has completed his Apprenticeship and is ready to earn money for his family. This won’t be masses at first, but as he gains experience in his job, he will earn more. Most importantly for our dwindling finances, we’re no longer paying for his education. He should swiftly be earning enough to offset his expenses! .
Marriage
Ah, our sweet baby Numerianus has grown! He’s now 14, and old enough to marry. (Marriage age for girls is 12). Of course, there’s no rush, we won’t start being fined for him being unmarried until he turns 18. But unlike with girls there’s no real downside to marrying your sons early, and it can often be a good way of getting extra money in (as his wife will work).

A few things influence what potential spouses are available. The devs have confirmed that your prestige and influence does play a role. I suspect your wealth also contributes.

Some things to consider (in order of importance) when choosing a wife for your son:

1. Desirable traits. If she’s beautiful, strong, or brilliant, marry her. (Assuming there isn’t some serious reason why you shouldn’t). These traits are hereditary, so your kids may inherit them. Conversely avoid negative traits like ugly, or deformities.
2. Desirable stats. There will be some variation here, and you are unlikely to find a paragon with all stats nice and high. High intelligence means she’ll earn more. High stewardship means you can own more. High eloquence… well it may help when you’re schmoozing. High strength means your kids should also be strong.
3. Career and education. If you’re strapped for cash and have a marriageable son, you’re in luck! A wife may have higher education than you could afford for your own kids, and may have a better job! This should generally not be your highest priority, but it can be useful if your family is struggling.
4. Status. A higher status bride will net you more prestige and influence. This isn’t vital early on, but when you’re running for office, your children’s marriages will often be your biggest source of prestige and influence!
5. Her age. Here it depends on what you want. A much older woman will have fewer children (occasionally you may even have the option to marry a senior woman, which is only a good idea if you already have lots of kids and don’t want more). A younger woman will have more kids. Both very young and older women will have increased risk of dying in childbirth. So try to avoid child brides. And while I have yet to confirm this, I have noticed that spouses are more likely to be depressed at each other’s deaths if they were roughly the same age. I’m taking this to mean they’re more likely to actually love each other.


Here I’m in luck, Postuma has the ‘Brillaint’ trait. Her other stats are all good (though I’d prefer a higher strength stat). She’s close in age to Numerianus. They’re the same class, though her dynasty prestige is 0, so I might lose some influence/prestige from marrying her. I don’t care about that right now, so on to the wedding!
I can choose a small ceremony at home, a medium sized one for friends and family, or a lavish wedding. Since the lavish wedding is way too expensive right now, I’ll go with the middle option. If you are broke, just go with the small ceremony at home. You’ll lose some prestige/influence, but it wont be masses.


The next turn Postuma is elligable for an apprenticeship and I have her train as a painter.

Daughters

Since your daughter will leave your household upon marriage, you will have a different set of priorities in finding her a match. In ancient Rome marriages would often be arranged to secure business or political deals. That’s not the case in this game (though I would love to see it implemented!) but the boost to prestige and influence could be seen as reflecting that. If you’re wealthy and planning on running for office, your priority for a son-in-law is his status. The higher the status, the more influence and prestige the wedding will generate. You’ll also want a lavish ceremony.
If you’re poor prestige is not a priority. Since any children she has will belong to her husband’s household, you don’t need to worry about picking good stats. I’ve found marrying a daughter to someone with high status, wealth and/or education occasionally results in a daughter gaining more education or a better job (this may be a bug, but I like it!). Not really relevant to your household, but it can be nice to drop in and see how well your daughter is doing. Her husband’s wealth MAY also influence how much money you receive as inheritance when she dies and if she improved her education/job, this should also increase the inheritance. Inheritance from relatives seems to be calculated on education and job.
Honestly unless you need the prestige boost, the choice of groom is largely flavour. I like to pick someone around the same age with similar traits, and then tell myself they had a happy marriage.

Choosing an Heir
Nummerianus has gone unchallenged for too long, he now has a baby brother Annius!

Note the icon to the far right? This is the ‘designate heir’ button. But is Nummerianus really in danger of losing his status? Right now, not really. Choosing the best possible heir is vital to the success of your dynasty, but you can change your mind at any time, up until your paterfamilias dies, and the heir becomes the new head of the family. If your paterfamilias dies suddenly (which can happen), you want to be sure that your most promising progeny is marked as heir. Don’t leave it till the last minute or you’ll be stuck with an underwhelming paterfamilias.
Things to consider when choosing an heir:

1. His stats. (I say ‘his’, because right now only men can be heirs. The devs have indicated they may allow female heirs in future though). Better stats mean more profits, and more promising babies!
2. His wife. Is he married? If so, is she a good catch? Are her stats also good? Does she have desirable traits you want passed to her children?
3. His children. Does he have children? If not, is his wife young enough to have more? (She may die early, and you’ll get a chance to remarry and try for more kids, but you don’t want to bet the family on it). Does he have a lot of kids? Lots of kids means more initial expense, but also means if you lose a few to childhood illness or accident, you’ll still have someone to carry on the family name. Do the kids have good stats? Desirable traits?

So right now Nummerianus looks the most promising heir, but it’s possible his baby brother will surpass him.
Health
General Health
Aside from the 'strength' stat which decreases the chance of certain conditions like obesity, there are a few things that will effect characters' health. Certain festivals such as the Lemuria can improve household health, and it’s well worth participating in them when they’re available. Health boosts from festivals and events will directly boost a characters chance of recovering from stress, depression and illness.

Malnutrition
Oh no! Salvianella has developed malnutrition! This is most common when your finances are low, but does occasionally occur when things are otherwise good. Is there anything you can do about it? Other than increase the family finances fast? No, not really. Malnutrition can be fatal, but it is also possible to recover from it, though it may have a lasting impact on stats.

Unfortunately, Salvianella does not survive her malnutrition, and much to the sorrow of her family, she perishes.

Depression
In this game, the leading causes of death for adults are stress and depression. After the tragic death of Salvianella, both her parents are understandably depressed.


This is BAD from a gameplay perspective. Because the ‘depressed’ trait applies a X0.98 modifier to revenue (so you earn less), a X0.4 modifier to health, a X0.45 modifier to fertility, and decreases your stats by -3 for Intelligence, -2 for Stewardship, -2 for Eloquence, and -2 for Strength. Let no one say this game does not take depression seriously!

The -2 in Stewardship can be particularly problematic, because it will reduce the number of properties you can own. If your family develops depression, quickly check your properties to see if you are over the limit on any of them.

Now obviously we don’t want them to stay depressed! There are a number of things that can lift that cloud. They may get better on their own over time, and very good event (such as a birth or wedding) has a chance of lifting the depression (or stress). Luckily for us, Servia is pregnant again, so there's a chance the new baby will lift his or her parents' spirits! (The birth of Maxima lifts Britannicus from his depression, but poor Servia suffers on!)

Going to the baths (an opportunity you may get at random) gives a 90% chance of losing stress and a 30% chance of losing depression (assuming you aren’t swindled by a merchant you try to make a deal with!) Going on vacation to the beach also has this chance (whether the odds are the same, I don’t know).

The household health boost multiplier from festivals and events will directly affect the chances of getting better.


Stress

While the birth of their newest daughter Maxima did lift Britannicus from his depression, the family’s precarious financial position (we’re hovering around the 0 denarii mark…) has left Britannicus stressed!


This isn’t quite as bad as depression, but can still be lethal. It reduces your stats by -1 for Intelligence, -2 for Stewardship, -1 for Elequence, and -1 for Strenght. It also applies a x0.67 multiplier to health, and x0.8 multiplier to fertility.

Stress is cured the same way as depression, through good events, successful bathing, and time. (Improving the family’s finances may also help in this case…)

Interestingly having a relative with the ‘content’ trait has a chance of them comforting the stressed individual and curing their stress. (This may affect depression too, but I haven’t seen this yet).


Ill
Due to poor luck (and a weakened immune system from depression), Britannicus has become Ill.
This gives a X0.95 to revenue, X0.1 to health and X0.05 to fertility, alongside a dip in stats: -1 for Intelligence, Stewardship and Eloquence, and -2 for Strength. As with stress and depression illness may run its course and end naturally. Or it may result in death. Having a medicus in the family now gives a chance of them curing a sick relative.




Childhood Illness
Sadly ancient Rome lacked antibiotics, vaccines and germ theory. Childhood illness was common, and that’s reflected in this game. Pretty much anything can kill your kids, from malnutrition to escalating gigantism. I’ve been playing this game a long time, it’s been very rare to have a family not lose a kid. If it’s any comfort, they aren’t dying because you did anything wrong. The game’s just brutal when it comes to childhood mortality.
A higher strength stat may help (unconfirmed), and participating in health boosting festivals should help. But kids are fragile, you are going to lose some. This can set off a downward spiral for the family, as the parents slump into depression, dept mounts up, stress develops… An accurate portrayal of the cost of grief, but a frustrating gameplay mechanic. I’m hoping this will be better balanced in future updates, but for now: breed for good health and pray to the gods for health!

Denarii -Making and Losing Money
Beginning to think it’s impossible to make a good profit? Here’s some proof:


A quite respectable 3.6k denarii a month. Just two generations ago the paterfamilias made some REALLY bad business choices and the family class slipped all the way down to just above debt-slavery. We got lucky. His son had good influence and prestige, and was able to marry a woman with Rhetoric training. They two of them rebuilt everything, and with some luck (several REALLY good business deals in the baths, some substantial inheritances, and a few lucky gambling sessions helped a lot).

The key to doing well in this game is persistence. You will fail plenty. But you can come back from anything, and everything you’ve done up till this point will help you bounce back better each time. So here are a few tips to get you far enough to buy your first Olive Latifundium!

- Note: If a trait or status gives a modifier to revenue, this only applies to your property directly if it is held by the paterfamilias. However it does directly affect each character's own job revenues and their modifier contribution to the 'free householder' stewardship factor.

At the end of my first year I come to my first poll tax. A quite manageable 20.79 denarii.



As your properties and personal wealth grows so will the tax. Higher social classes will pay higher taxes, they will also have higher household expenses. But higher social classes also come with greater opportunities! Your stewardship stretches further so you can own more property, better educational opportunities become available, and at the highest levels you will gain the opportunity to run for office!

I’ll be honest with you, getting rich is difficult, takes time, and relies a lot on luck. In the early game most of your income will come from your and your family’s jobs. So educating your children is an essential investment (even if you give them only the bare minimum). Higher stats (particularly intelligence) will result in higher revenue, so pick your children’s spouses carefully. You are going to embark on a selective breeding program to get the best and brightest children. Chose the most promising candidate as your heir. Over a few generations you should progressively get better stats (though genetics is complicated, so good parental stats won’t automatically translate into great kids). Marrying well will really help with this as your wives may have training you couldn't possibly afford, so they can bring in a lot of money.

Try to keep a ‘float’ of money around to soak up unexpected expenses and taxes. If you have a kid that’s closing in on education time, maybe do some saving. Beyond that, SPEND! I can’t tell you which is the ‘best’ investment property-wise, you’ll need to experiment on what works for you. Personally I like to buy a little of everything, then build up stacks. Animals are a useful investment early on, because if you need to sell a couple of pigs to fund junior’s education you lose less revenue than if you sold some farmland. I’m lazy, if I have lots of cash spare I’ll usually just buy 20 donkeys or 14 fishing boats. If I can afford to buy multiple plots of land (farms, vineyards, orchards etc…) I will.

You have a choice in what you buy between specialising which will give you a boost from the ‘economies of scale’ mechanic (the more of a thing you have the more profit you get), or diversifying your assets which means you have a buffer if a bad event lowers income from a few sources. You’ll need to experiment to find the balance that works for you. I personally buy one of each for everything I can afford, then buy stacks when I can.

Having a free householder (i.e. a family member that doesn't have a job) adds a modifier to property revenue, boosting it. Basically because they're at home and can manage it more effectively. Early on this will be too small to be worth having anyone quit their job for, but later on when the bulk of your income is coming from property, having wives quit their low paying jobs to manage the estates, is a good move.

A lot of festivals will improve income from certain things, Vestalia for example will increase income from donkeys. (And since if you have a donkey, you can participate for free, this is a bargain!). It can be worth spending the denarii on going to a festival just to boost your revenue.
If someone dies or becomes depressed/stressed/ill check your property, because their stewardship level will have decreased. You may find you can no longer effectively manage your property. If this goes on too long, something disastrous will happen (and you’ll lose a large chunk of the excess property).
Fertility applies to animals too. I’m not sure if having more of an animal increases the chances of you getting babies, but it can’t hurt. Free animals! (Just make sure not to go over your limit). So festivals that boost fertility can indirectly boost revenue.
I personally find the fishing boat and trade ships to be the best ‘earners’ early on. You get a good profit for not too much investment.

The Mercatus

From time to time you will get the opportunity to attend a Mercatus such as the Mercatus Apollinares. This is a special market day, and you can get some good (or bad!) deals. Familiarise yourself with how much your livestock and land will usually be bought or sold for (screenshot if you like). This should give you an idea if you’re getting a good deal or not. There is also the ‘gut feeling’ tool tip, which will pop up if you hover your mouse over the money icon. This is not infallible, but can be a useful guide.

Aside from buying and selling livestock and land, you may also get the opportunity to buy some special gear that might improve revenues from a particular property. Emphasis on might.


A few other events are really good for making (and losing…) money:
- The Baths. Making a good business deal can net you some serious profit. It can also lose you it.
- The Beach. Fishing is very lucrative, singing less so.
- Gambling. (This is super risky, but if you keep gambling on high stakes till you get a ‘tidy profit’, you can make a lot of money. You can also end up in terrible debt. It’s called gambling for a reason!)
- Challenges. If you do well on a challenge you should get a really good monetary bonus.
- The games. Competing can win you significant sums of money. But it can also leave you with injuries or depression/stress that lead to your death. It's risky, but you can get risk this way if you have a strong paterfamilias.
Festivals
Events and festivals are somewhat random, so you can’t be certain you’ll get the same one each year. But they can be deeply beneficial! Some festivals you have to pay to participate in (either in denarius or with livestock), some are free to enter. And my first one for this run is a delight! It’s the Parilia! Since I have some sheep I can join in the parade, and even get a boost in profit from my sheep for the next few months!
There are a LOT of different festivals and events, and I hope to list them all here at some point. For now, what you need to know is that if you can do a festival for free or cheap, DO IT! There are three basic rewards for festival participation:

1. Increases to personal influence and dynasty prestige.
2. Increases to health and or fertility.
3. Increased profit either in general or from specific property.

The first is nice but not essential early on (influence and prestige are vital for a political career, and will influence which spouses are available to marry). The second is one of the easiest ways of protecting your family’s health (and if you have kids, this is something you WANT). It won’t guarantee good health, but it does lower your chances of illnesses (and increase your odds of recovery). Fertility can be applied to your people and your animals. Fertile animals make more animals at zero cost to you! But if you already have a very full family, maybe don’t make any offerings to Venus this year….

The ‘best’ events that I recommend you always do are: Baths (with or without business deal), Consualia, Feriae Latinae, Lemuria, Parilia, and Vestalia. These events are either free or cheap, and give a substantial boost of some sort.
Events List - Part 1
The cost in denarii will vary depending on your wealth/class. Some events have rare potential outcomes, if they’re not listed it’s because they haven’t happened to me recently and I forgot about them. Some events give you the option to either just pay denarii, or to sacrifice livestock (sometimes both). I think the livestock slaughter gives greater rewards, but since you lose an animal (or several) in the process, I find it’s only worth doing if you have a good stock of animals and can spare one.

-Note this won’t be a complete list yet, that will take time for me to get every possible event. And I won’t necessarily know every possible outcome. I may also have a few typos on names, I’m working on that.

(In alphabetical rather than chronological order. ‘control + F’ command will bring up the search function on windows, I don’t know for other operating systems).


Agonalia of Vediovix – Cost: Either denarius only, or denarius and one sheep. You lose the sheep here, but gain a better reward. Reward: Influence and prestige. Revenue from sheep increases for a few months. Recommendation: Worth it if you have sheep, sacrifice a sheep if you have a lot of them.

Ambarvalia – Cost: Either denarius or -1 goat, -1 pig, and -1 cow. Reward: Influence, prestige, increase in revenue from farmlands and orchards for a few months. Recommendation: Very worthwhile if you have farmland and or orchards.

Armilustrium – Cost Denarius. Reward: Only prestige and influence. Recommendation: Useful for raising influence and prestige, but nothing else.

Baths – Cost: Free. (Ancient Rome considered bathing to be so important the public bathhouses charged such a low, nominal fee, that it was essentially free).

a. Try to make a deal. Reward: This is determined by a few things, most important are your stats and traits. If you’re successful you will gain money, influence and prestige (sometimes no money), if you aren’t successful, you’ll lose those things and may gain stress. If you get a good outcome, you may also feel ‘refreshed’ by your time in the baths and lose stress or depression. Recommendation: Risky, but if you have decent stats this is a really good way to make your fortune.
b. Don’t make a deal. Reward: You will feel refreshed by the baths, and may lose stress or depression. Recommendation: No risk, but limited reward. Do this if your paterfamilias has super low stats or a history of screwing up business deals.

Beach – Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence, prestige. You may have the option to go fishing or singing. Reward: Success in fishing brings a big reward in cash (which should more than pay for the vaction!). This seems to rely on having a ‘persuasive personality’ so I think this means good eloquence. Singing may bring gold, but a good result should still give you influence and prestige even if you earn nothing. A good time at the beach also has a chance of removing depression or stress. Recommendation: Worth it.

Caristia – Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence, prestige, and household health receives a boost.

Cerealia – Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence, prestige, and chance of increased revenue from farmland.

Consualia – Cost: Free if you have a horse. Reward: Influence, prestige, and double revenue from work animals (horse and donkeys) for 2 months. Recommendation: Always do this!

Epulum Jovis – Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence and prestige. Recommendation: Not worth it unless you want the influence/prestige.

Equirria –
a. Participate in the horse races. Cost: Free. Reward: A good outcome will bring you influence, prestige and money. A poor outcome will cost you these, and potentially injure you. Recommendation: Only do if you have high odds of success.
b. Watch the races. Cost: Denarii. Reward: Influence and prestige. Recommendation: Only worth doing if you want the influence/prestige boost.


Feralia – Cost: Denarius. Reward: Only influence and prestige. Recommendation: No risk, but very low reward. Skip unless you’re trying to build influence and prestige.

Feriae Latinae – Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence, prestige and a chance of increased revenue from various properties. Recommendation: Worthwhile.

Floralia: Cost: Denarius, or denarius and goat. Reward: Influence, prestige, and a chance of increased goat revenue. Recommendation: Worth it if you have a few goats. Sacrificing the goat seems to give better rewards, but only worth it if you have a lot of goats.

Forcidalia – Cost: -1 cow. Reward: Influence, prestige, chance of increase in household fertility, chance of increased revenue from cattle and farmland. Recommendation: Assuming you have a cow to spare, I recommend this.

Fors Fortuna – Cost: Denarius to enter, then more to gamble. Reward: Some influence and prestige, if you gamble you may win big or lose everything. (Text suggests it boosts luck, I can’t confirm). Recommendation: Risky.

Larentalia – Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence, prestige, household health may receive a boost. Recommendation: Worth it for the health boost.

Lemuria – Cost: Small sum of denarii. Reward: Household may receive a health boost. Recommendation: Unless you are completely broke, always do this. It’s cheap and the health boost is nice.

Liberalia – Cost: Entrance is free.
c. Children’s coming of age event. If you have a child of the right age (15), you have the choice on whether you want them to have a small ceremony or a grand one (priced accordingly). Each will give a bonus of influence and prestige (with a grand ceremony giving you more). According to the devs: “All 4 skills play a role in the chances on this event, along with luck - and there are good and bad outcomes both for all those traits.” The devs also agreed this festival could use some tweaking, so there may be changes in the future! Reward: Varied. A good result should net you influence and prestige. A bad result will lose those, and potentially result in serious injuries, stress or depression. Recommendation: This is my favourite festival, but it is risky. If you have a kid with good stats, it can be worth a try.
d. If you don’t have a child of the right age, or you do and have completed their event, you get the option to joing the procession. Cost: denarius. There will be a few further events where you’ll pay a small (or large, depending on your status) sum for a sacrifice/blessing. Reward: Influence and prestige, household fertility and health may receive a boost.

Ludi Apollinares –
a. Participate in the archery. Cost: Free. Reward: Influence, prestige and money. If you do well. You’ll lose these if you lose. Injury is rare though. Recommendation: A safer game, you can risk trying with lower odds of success, but a loss could still give you stress or depression, so be cautious.
b. Watch the games. Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence, prestige, and your revenues will fluctuate this month. Recommendation: Probably worth it.

Ludi Megalenses –
c. Participate in the chariot race. Cost: free. Possibly a few llimbs or your life. Reward: If you do well you will get money, prestige and influence. If you do poorly you will lose prestige, influence and potentially your life (you can be badly injured doing this). Recommendation: Very risky. If you have high odds of doing well, it can be worth it as the rewards are substantial. If your odds are low, do not risk it unless desperate.
d. Watch the games. Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence, prestige, and a potential boost to horse revenue for a few months. Recommendation: If you have horses, do this. The more horses you have, the better your reward.

Events List - Part 2
Ludi Piscatorii – Cost denarius. Reward: A successful outcome brings money, prestige and influence. A poor outcome could lose you all of those, plus add some depression or stress. Recommendation: Probably the safest of the games, but still poses some risk. If your odds are good, definitely go for it. Even with a lower chance of success you may still get a good result, so if you really need the money it may be worth the risk.

Ludi Plebeii –
a. Participate in the wrestling. Cost: Free. Reward: A success brings money, influence and prestige. A failure will result in the opposite. Can result in injuries. Recommendation: Risky but worth it if you have over 50% chance of a good outcome. Otherwise skip.
b. Watch the games. Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence and prestige only. Recommendation: Not risky, but gain little. Only do if you want the influence/prestige (or just enjoy the role-play aspect).

Lupercalia – Cost: Denarius. Option to run towards the priests carries a penalty to prestige and influence, but a higher chance of getting the boost. If you get whipped, you get a health and/or fertility boost. If not you get a small influence boost. Recommendation: Worth it if you can a. afford it, and b. are looking to improve health/fertility.

Matronalia – Cost: Denarius. Reward: Babies. (Household health and fertility may receive a boost), and influence/prestige.

Meditrinalia – Cost: Denarius. Reward: Some influence/prestige, and household health and vineyard revenue may vary for the next few months. Recommendation: If you have vineyards, this is usually worthwhile. The health boost may be worth doing this event even without vineyards.

Mercatus Apollinares/Plebeii/Romani – Cost: entrance fee in denarius, further costs if you choose to buy something. Rewards: Opportunity to buy or sell property. This may net you a profit or allow you to buy things much cheaper than usual. However you may only be offered excessively priced merchandise. You may also be offered equipment that might improve revenue from a particular animal. Hover your mouse over the offer to see your ‘gut feeling’. This won’t be right 100% of the time, but it’s a good guide if you didn’t memorise property prices. Recommendation: If you have money spare, and are looking to invest it, this is a good event.

Mercuralia – Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence, prestige, and income from trade ships may fluctuate for a while. Recommendation: If you have trade ships, this is very worthwhile.

Parentalia – Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence, prestige, and potential household health boost.

Parilia – Cost free entry with a sheep. Reward: Influence and prestige, plus the revenue from sheep doubles for two months. Recommendation: Always do this.

Robigalia – Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence, prestige. Revenue from farmlands may vary for a few months. Recommendation: Worthwhile if you have farmland.


Saturnalia – Cost denarius, both upfront and on several subsequent stages. This is a multistage event, so the costs can add up. Note this is one of the few that will result in a loss in prestige and influence for not attending. First you visit the temple of Saturn. Then the games:
a. Participate in the games. Cost Free. I’ve never been strong enough to participate here, but I imagine it’s similar to other games. Recommendation: only participate if your odds of success are high.
b. Attend the games. Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence and prestige.
c. Don’t participate. Cost: Your peer’s respect. You lose influence and prestige here.
Next there’s the opportunity to begin festivities. Cost: Denarius. Reward: Prestige and influence. Again not participating will cost you both of these. Next up is the gift giving. Rewards and costs scale with how nice the gifts you give are. Cheap or no gifts and you lose influence and prestige. Finally there’s some gambling. This is risky, but could give you some nice results. Overall recommendation: Saturnalia is a massive sink for money, though it gives reasonable returns for influence and prestige. If you’re struggling for money, definitely skip it. The penalty for skipping everything from the start is far lower than the cumulative penalty if you skip events after starting.

Supplicia Canum – Cost denarius. Reward: Influence, prestige, and potential health boost. Recommendation: If you have the coin, this is a good way to get a cheap health boost.

Taurian Games –
a. Participate in bull leaping. Cost: Possibly your life. Rewards: If you have a good outcome you’ll get lots of money, prestige and influence. But a poor outcome will not only lose you influence and prestige, but may result in serious injury or death. Recommendation: Very risky, only worth it if you have high odds of success.
b. Pour out libations and donate rice. Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence, prestige, and household health may receive a boost.
c. Go to the temple and pray. Cost: Fewer denarius than option b. Reward: Influence, prestige, and household may receive a health boost.

Terminalia – Cost: -1 pig. Reward: Influence, prestige, chance of increased revenues from some farms and animals. Note I’ve seen the odd rare event around this festival, not attending may have negative consequences, attending may give you some bonus land. Recommendation: If you can spare a pig, do it.

Veneralia – Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence, prestige, and a large bump in fertility. Recommendation: If you need babies and have spare money, this is an excellent choice. If you’re low on money and don’t want babies right now, skip it.

Vestalia – Cost: Free entry if you have a donkey. (Cannot participate without a donkey). Reward: Revenue from donkeys increases for a few months. Recommendation: Always do.

Vinalia Rustica – Cost: Denarius. Reward: Influence and prestige. May cause revenues from vineyards to fluctuate for a few months. (A outcome gives you the opportunity to convert a farm to a vineyard). Recommendation: Worthwhile if you have vineyards. Potentially beneficial if you only have farmlands.
The Games (Ludii)
The first game I encounter is the Ludi Plebeii, a wrestling contest! If I hover my mouse above the bicep I can see the odds of Britannicus doing well, which is a dicey 48%. I can also choose to simply watch (paying a modest fee to do so) which will grant me a small boost to influence and prestige. Since I’m doing this for a guide, I’m going to be brave and have poor Britannicus enter the wrestling!
It doesn’t go my way. Britannicus has the ‘sly’ trait you see. Sometimes this results in a win, but not this time. This time he got caught cheating, has lost some influence and prestige, and has been banned from all Ludi for 2 years. Not exactly the payday I was hoping for! Different traits will help or hinder you in these events, and even the more negative ones (like sly!) can occasionally be to your advantage. Since traits are awarded randomly (with the exception of the hereditary ones like ‘beautiful’ or ‘ugly’) you can wind up with a paterfamilias who will regularly pull stunts like this.
However, if the Ludi DO go your way, you will receive a large sum of money (even partial wins often come with a good payout), a massive bump in influence and prestigue, and a new, special trait, unique to the event you one. This trait will usually bump up your base stats and give you an increased chance of winning again in the future.

The downside is that the games can be dangerous. Some will at worst give you depression or stress. But some can result in serious or even lethal injuries. For this reason, I strongly advise you to check the odds of your character doing well. If they’re low, maybe sit this one out!

Traits (incomplete, some Ludii are really really hard to win):

Ludi Piscatorii - Nets you the ‘Fisherman’ trait which gives a +4 Stewardship bonus.
Consulia, Equirria and Ludi Romani - ‘Horse Rider’ trait. Gives +1.5 combat/physical ability.
Ludi Apollinares - ‘Marksman’ trait. Gives +2 Intelligence and +3 combat/physical ability.
Taurian Games – ‘Taurian’ trait. Grants an impressive +5 to combat/physical ability.
Ludi Megalenses – Grants the ‘Charioteer’ trait, with a +2 to combat/physical ability.
Ludi Plebeii – Grants the ‘Wrestler’ trait, giving you +2.5 combat/physical ability.
Saturnalia games – Extremely hard. Grants the ‘Gladiator’ trait, giving +3 combat/physical ability.

Challenges
Every so often your PaterFamilias will face a career challenge, like this one for a Grammaticus:


You can decline at the cost of some influence and prestige, or you can accept. If you accept you’ll be asked what approach you will take to the problem, and you may be asked follow up questions. For example here I chose to teach the child using innovative methods. The parents were doubtful, so I chose to convince them. I succeeded and they paid me a nice bonus.

At present I’m not sure precisely what influences the outcome of your choices here. I’m pretty sure your stats play a role, but luck is probably a factor. It the moment I don’t think your character’s personality trait influences it. I prefer the challenge for the Grammaticus over the challenge for the Medicus, as it has fewer choices and seems to be successful more often (I guess it’s easier to educate a kid than to cure a plague).
As far as I know each profession has its own challenges, but they’re often pretty similar. Craftsmen tend to be asked to make something special for example, while teachers are (gasp!) asked to teach. I’ve generally had better luck with options that have you ‘go out on a limb’ or ‘try something new and innovative’. You usually have to pass a second check to convince your patron your work is worth the money, but if you succeed you get a really nice bonus.
The Senatorial Class
A note about the senatorial class. When you become wealthy enough as an Equites, you gain the option to join the Senatorial Class. Unlike other classes though, there are restrictions! A senator doesn’t sully his (or his family’s) hands with trade or the collecting of rent, he makes his fortune from the land and his animals! Which means joining the Senatorial Class will automatically sell all your Insulae, trade ships, and seafaring trade ships (you get the money for their sale). Naturally this is rather risky, if you don’t have high enough stewardship to manage LOTS of land, or you don’t have enough money in general, moving up to this class can cause you (or your next heir) to haemorrhage money.
So why do it? For the challenge! Joining the Senatorial class, like moving up any social class increases household expense, but it makes your stewardship stretch further, allowing you to buy even more things. It’s also the only way to access the highest positions in politics, you can’t become a consul while still an among the Equites!
How do you know you’re ready for this class? Well has your family remained in the Equites class for a few generations? Can you afford to send all your kids (yes including all your girls) to Greece to train as philosophers? Have several of your family members held political office? Have you bought the maximum of all property? Have things become routine and you long for a greater challenge? If the answers to most (preferably all) of these questions is a confident ‘yes!’ then you’re probably ready to face the Senatorial class.
Of course, there’s no guarantee you’ll succeed. Accidents and bad luck happen! But if you prepare carefully, your chances of thriving increase significantly.
Politics
Politics

A word of warning, politics is expensive. Even entering the race will be expensive and the costs just skyrocket from there. My general rule is if I don’t have a spare 100,000 denarii laying around, I don’t risk it.
The risks are that you lose all your money (some bad reactions might cost you influence or prestige too). The rewards? MOUNTAINS of influence and prestige. The higher the level of government, and the better you do at each stage of your campaign, the more you get out of it. This is easily the largest source of influence and prestige in the game.

On the campaign trail
So you bit the bullet discus and joined the race for a political position, great! There are three stages to this:

The first is going to the forum. You get a couple of options to impress people, chose whichever relies on your best stats.

The second is a banquet. You can throw a small, intimate party for your best supporters, or a massive, lavish one for as many people as you can. Obviously there’s a difference in cost. (You’ll also be asked how you want to pay for it, there are a few options like trading in some influence, I personally prefer to pay cash). Note that you can often have better results with the smaller party (presumably it’s easier to influence a small group of loyal fans than it is a large crowd), so if you’re short on cash, or unsure of your stats, it’s best to choose this option.

The third is going to the games. You can buy tickets for a few key people, or a large group of potential supporters. Again there’s a difference in cost, and as with the banquet, it can be much safer to just bring a small group. But if you can afford a large group, the reward for a good day is much higher.

In general I've had best results hosting a small banquet and only taking a small group of followers to the games (but getting them the best seats).

Phew, thank the gods that’s over! You’ll know the results in a few months. I’m uncertain on the precise mechanisms involved but here are the things I know impact the results:

1. Your influence and prestige. (So if you have a kid ready to marry, now’s the time! Marry them to someone high status and throw a big party, it’ll help your election campaign!)
2. How well you do during your campaign. This seems to be part luck, part stats, so good stats will help you get elected. I think the most important here is eloquence, followed by intelligence.
3. Some traits will come up during your campaign. Being authoritative might mean you give a great impression when you take your followers to the games, while being ‘sly’ might mean you try to sabotage the competition and get caught.

If you win, great! Your new role will temporarily replace your job. You are not paid for your service, so you need to have substantial enough revenue from other sources to get by without your salary. When your term expires you get a new trait to commemorate your service.

Political posts
(Work in Progress)

Available to Equites and above
Vigintisexviri. – Elected for 5 years. Grants ‘Former Magistrate’ trait on completion, which gives +2 Eloquence.
Military Tribune – Available from Equites onwards. Only available for younger men ( age 19-27, and needs at least 5 combat and the Equite rank). Slightly more expensive than the Viginisexviri, I’ve always had a harder time being elected too. Elected for 10 years. Grants the ‘Veteran’ trait on completion, which bestows upon you a massive +5 combat/physical ability.

Available only to senatorial class
(work in progress)
Plebian Tribune – Elected for 1 year. Grants the ‘Former Tribune of the Plebs’ trait, giving you +1 Stewardship, and +2 Eloquence.
Quaestor – Must be at least 30 years old. Elected for 1 year. Upon completion you begin working as a pro-Quaestor, which unlocks the option to run for Aedile or Praetor. Grants ‘Senator’ trait, giving you +2 Stewardship and +3 Eloquence.
Aedile – Must be 36 or older. Elected for 1 year. Presents the opportunity to fund the Ludii, the more you spend, the greater the influence and prestige this gives you. This can be very expensive, but may also pave the way to becoming Consul!
Praetor – Must be at least 39. Elected for 1 year. Upon Completion you start working as a pro-Praetor.
Consul – Must be a certain age (looking into this, over 40 or 42 I think), and have held one of the lower senatorial positions. Elected for 1 year. Merely being elected consul grants you the ‘Novus Homo’ trait that gives you an amazing +3 Intelligence, +5 Stewardship, +8 Eloquence, and +5 Combat/physical ability.

Quick tips
Hopefully you’ve spent the last few generations selecting for great stats and traits. You can choose any adult male member of your family to elect (subject to post restrictions), so you can choose the best possible candidate. The higher their stats (particularly eloquence) the better. In the run up to a campaign, make sure you attend all festivals (if you can’t afford this, you can’t afford to get into politics). Take whichever options give you the most prestige and influence. Find your kids good matches and throw them splendid weddings! If you have the combat/physical ability, compete in some Ludii, a win should net you lots of prestige and influence!
But be prepared to fail. You can throw all your money in and still lose. You can be the most eloquent speaker of all time, and still lose. But each campaign you run (particularly if you do really well at one or more stage) will add to your influence and prestige (though losing will cost you some, you hopefully come out with a net increase). So each campaign brings you closer to winning next time. Don’t give up hope, your family will one-day boast a consul!
Success is Possible
I wanted to end this guide with some encouragement. It IS possible to succeed. It's possible to get rich, win all the games, and be elected to every post. See this happy chap here:


And here's his monthly income, a quite respectable 53.9k:


This family has been in debt slavery twice. Had countless business swindles and tragic deaths. But in the end, they made it. Yours will too!
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6 Comments
CitizenOfRome  [developer] Apr 3 @ 6:22am 
And needs at least 5 combat and the Equite rank
CitizenOfRome  [developer] Apr 3 @ 6:21am 
It's currently from 19 to 27 (inclusive)
Errapel  [author] Apr 3 @ 5:41am 
I've had someone be offered military tribune at age 26. But not at 31. Currently trying to narrow down the range.
ALovelyBurn Apr 2 @ 9:53am 
The cutoff for Military Tribune seems to be 25 years old!
Errapel  [author] Mar 18 @ 6:59am 
Excellent, thank you. It took me a long while to get that one, congrats on doing it!
teh shafow Mar 18 @ 5:54am 
Hi, just so you know - if you win the Saturnia gladiator competition, you get the "Gladiator" trait, which provides 3 combat/physical ability.