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THE DEATH OF QUINTUS FLAVIS VARRO sent no ripples through the aristocratic waters that made up Rome’s power structure.  He was not born of nobility nor had he managed to marry into it.  However, Quintus Flavius Varro’s name sounded loudly in your ears.  The passing of your grand-father touched you deeply, though you bore your grief with the stoicism and dignity that he would have desired and expected.

Quintus was a private man but an exceedingly intelligent individual, one whose acumen as a businessman was surpassed only by the tentacles of his many enterprises.  And so it came as no surprise to you that, upon the reading of Quintus Flavius Varro’s will, your grand-father had owned a ludus, a school for gladiators, in the Picenum region of Italy.  What did surprise you was that he left it to you, along with funds to continue running it.

LANISTA: GLADIATOR II makes you the Dominus of a ludus, a school for gladiators.  The task of running, maintaining and increasing both its income and prestige (the two going hand-in-hand) is yours and yours alone.  You must see to the economics of the ludus: purchase servants, gladiators, doctors, and more.  Just as important, you must become a master of politics, often as deadly an arena as the one in which gladiatorial events, take place.  Your goal is to raise the status of your ludus to the highest level possible, and become rich in the process. Doing so means that the gladiators from your school could be requested to entertain the Romans in the Colosseum in Rome itself!

But running a ludus takes coin. You need to feed and cloth not only your gladiators but also your slaves. sestertii must find their way into the hands of politicians, teacher, and merchants. So do what you must to thrive: Invest in business opportunities; buy, sell and trade slaves and gladiators; play host to noble Romans who travel through your area; visit the dangerous area of the Black Markets; make allies of your fellow lanistae; or back stab them if you would rather be feared than loved. Gamble in the many dens within the area or bet on the chariot races or on your on gladiators when they fight in the local arenas. But never forget that the best way for you to build a legacy is through the fighting skills of your stable of gladiators!

Starting now, every decision rests in your hands. You are a LANISTA!

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