Map of the Holy Roman Empire during the Staufer period (1138-1254), ca. 1190

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Welcome to Imperium Romanorum

It is a time of troubles. Everywhere across the Empire, feudal lords have erected castles and subjected the populace to their rule. They have usurped lands and rights formerly belonging to the Emperor and the Church. They have used their high offices, which they converted from royal grants to hereditary possessions, to enrich themselves and their families. Secular life suffers from malaise as public order is threatened by continued feudal unrest. The nobility fight amongst themselves for property, power, and their accompanying privileges.

The power of the Emperor, in comparison with the heights reached by Salian Frankish dynasty of the last century, is greatly diminished. Although he still retains a certain prestige, he no longer possess the same power over the Imperial Church as his predecessors, such as the ability to convene synods. The civil war sparked by the radical reformists' campaign against lay investiture, following on the heels of the revolt of the Saxon nobility, under Gregory VII forced the Emperor to give up his power to invest prelates with their spiritual offices. The princes have elected anti-Kings and a King other than the designated successor. The alienation of crown lands and royal jurisdictions has taken a great toll on the power of the monarchy. The Staufer, acknowledged heirs to the Salian patrimony and leaders of the royal renovationist party, have gained the crown, but the reign of Conrad III began with an act of subterfuge and it appears that it may be noted for the late Crusade's failure to retake the holy sites and the Christian principalities in the Holy Land from the Saracens.

Notwithstanding the internecine warfare, there are signs of improvement from the dark times of earlier centuries. Hope can be found in the re-invigoration of spirutal life in spite of the difficulties caused by the feudal nobility's depredations. The King and the nobility have actively supported the renewal and reform of the Church, donating lands and jurisdictions, erecting churches and monestaries, and sponsoring reformist clerics and monastic orders. Perhaps the decline of worldly life by the aristocracy is for the better, if the lives of men's souls are to be improved.

The growth of population and production that made possible this renovation of the Church are also the underlying cause of the continued unrest. Many prelates use their high offices for purposes other than merely the spreading of the word of Christ's blessing. They, too, are born of the families of feudal lords, there being perhaps no better example than the case of Otto, Bishop of Freising, kin to both the Babenberger Margraves of Austria and the Staufer. Otto's participation in the Crusade was not only of a religious character but also as a leader of men in battle, entrusted with a division of the Imperial forces. These men exercise power as feudal lords even as prelates, and participate as such in the politics of the day. The nobility competes amongst itself to see who will benefit most from the continued development and expansion of the Roman Realm, and the tension between Monarchy, Church, and Princes threatens to tear the Empire apart.


  • Imperium Romanorum will initially be open for a playtest period planned to last 3 months, during which players will have the opportunity to learn the game before going "live." During this period, events will conform to the actual history of the era. Any FC player whose FC dies during this period will automatically play their successor (for this reason, Conrad III will be an NPC). The playtest chronology will begin at Conrad III's return from the 2nd Crusade in 1149 and end at the election of his successor in 1152. Following the playtest period, the chronology will be allowed to diverge according to circumstances as they occur on the game, meaning that the election will be open to any of the historical candidates, and players whose FCs die will no longer automatically play their successors.
  • Imperium Romanorum has been placed on the back burner. No opening date available.

What is Imperium Romanorum?Edit

Imperium Romanorum is a MUSH (Multi-User Shared Hallucination), running a recent version of PennMUSH. A MUSH is like a MUD on steroids: new areas can be built and scripts written to make objects do things. The game server is traditionally used for social nexi or roleplaying games; Imperium Romanorum is the latter type. When you connect, you will be joining a game in which the players pretend to be various people in twelfth century Germany, fighting over control over lands and titles; crusading; feasting; celebrating. You are encouraged to participate! Although the major positions may be taken, there's plenty of room for lesser roles serving the great houses, and new houses will be added as the game grows.

Imperium Romanorum encourages a narrative style. Roleplay is a form of interactive storytelling, and the use of roleplay to further the story rather than "beat" one's opponent (although there will be plenty of time for that!) should be the focus. Therefore, the coded systems have been written with a view toward facilitating, rather than hindering, the narrative flow. No complicated math, no min-maxing. Just quick and easy, so the players can concentrate on the story rather than the props. The story itself takes place as a sort of drama, with the major actors having key roles in the play, and their antagonisms the motive force. Men are fighting for the honor of their houses and the expansion of their power over the Neo-Roman Empire.


This wiki contains information needed by players in order to play Imperium Romanorum. The Introduction will give readers an overview of the theme and immediate historical context of mid-12th-century Germany, including the major actors (FCs), the political and economic situation, as well as the regions, and game rules.

Sections of Imperium Romanorum Wiki
Princes & Territories Characters
Religion & the Church Regions
The Monarchy Commerce & Travel
The Empire Rules & Mechanics
Historiography Property & Equipment
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.