Mini-Game: Alea Jacta Est

Alea Jacta Est is a dice-rolling mini-game being included in TGP.

It is very loosely based on a combination of the ancient Roman game Tali and the popular modern Craps. Although Alea Jacta Est does not follow the games’ rules strictly, it is a variation on a theme to make it more compatible with RMMV, therefore, is not intended to be historically accurate.

Rules of Play

The rules of Alea Jacta Est are simple. Each player rolls two dice and the results are compared.

  • Before each game, players make a bet (pignus). The higher score wins and, of course, the lower score loses. If the scores are the same, it results in a draw.
  • In the event of a draw, the bet is kept in the middle of the table (medius).
  • However, certain score combinations will result in immediate success or failure.
  • A double one is Serpens Oculi ("Serpent’s Eyes"), which is an automatic loss of double the pignus.
  • A double six, Media Nox ("Midnight"), is an automatic win, and double the pignus must be paid out.
  • A seven in any combination is Fortuna ("Fortune") and the medius can be collected by the winner or bet again.
  • However, a seven resulting from a one and six (on either die) is Septem Felicis ("Happy Seven") and results in a double payout if collected.

Related Historia

  • The phrase "Alea jacta est", meaning "The die is cast!", was attributed by Suetonius to Julius Caesar as he led his army across the River Rubicon, Northern Italy, on January 10, 49 BC.
  • Dice were originally made from the talus of hoofed animals, which colloquially became known as astragalia ("knucklebones"), actually the bones in the ankles not the hands.
  • Augustus Caesar was a regular dice or knucklebones player. He frequently played with his family in the Imperial Palace, gifting them handfuls of coins to begin the game with.
  • Roman dice were called tesserae, but they also had a type with only four marked faces called tali. The only difference between these Roman dice and modern dice is that the numbers were arranged such a way that any two opposite sides would add up to seven.
  • Some Romans generally preferred to use three dice because they considered two to be unlucky, but the majority played with three.

Leave a Reply