Rome Total War 1: Modding Senatorial Politics

Ave my fellow Roman senators and generals,

I have been away for quite some time since my last posting. As a college student, I have been studying very diligently this past semester and I had to relax for a while to recover my strength and vigour. Recently, I have taken a great interest in Roman politics and power dynamics. Having watched various documentaries on Ancient Rome and episodes from HBO’s excellent TV series “Rome”, I could not resist the temptation to reinstall Rome Total War I (I have not tried out Rome II yet as I am planning on purchasing it within the next couple of days as it is on sale on Steam).

Ah, simple menu UI with an excellent background OST! Rome TW brings back all the nostalgia!

I am not sure about you but I have always preferred to play as the Julii family as I consider Julius Caesar as one of my favourite historical characters. His devotion to ordinary Roman citizens, revolutionary land reform bills, excellent military command capabilities and other extraordinary accomplishments make him an admirable historical figure. Moreover, I always thought the colour blood red suited the militaristic Romans (after all, they called themselves the Sons of Mars!) much better than ocean blue or leafy green.

While Rome Total War I does not provide the most extensive in-game politics system, I enjoy seeing my family members rise through the ranks of the Roman government and gaining valuable influence along the way. When I clicked on the Senate button to see the available offices, I was greeted with the following screen:

Pontifex Maximus, Censor, Consul … all prominent positions! There is one problem however …

I noticed, much to my dismay, that only one person can fill in each of the six available offices at a time. This did not make much sense to me as I knew that there were more Quaestors than Aediles. While many will consider this a minor flaw in the game, this annoyed me a lot because I was not ready to accept the fact that my characters would not be able to progress in their political careers for several years. I became motivated to dig through game files to modify the senatorial politics mechanics. After spending some time, I arrived at this file:

File Name: “descr_senate” –> Modify for better senatorial politics! 😀

If you open the file with Notepad, you can see the following lines of code:

Edit the following numbers to increase the number of available open senatorial positions!

It may be difficult to see the precise lines of the code in the above image. For your convenience, I have written the code for the Aedile position below:


Rank                                    20

Quantity                              1               *** Change this to have more offices

Duration                              8               *** Change this to alter term of office (2 = 1 year)

Sittings                                1







When making changes to the code, I left the Pontifex Maximus position alone as I know that only one man was allowed to serve as the head of Roman religion. I added an extra Censor position as I read from somewhere that the Roman Republic elected two Censors. Next, I added another office for Consul as it is a well-known fact that two Roman Consuls were elected to serve a one-year term. As for the lower offices of Praetor, Aedile and Quaestor, I decided to add positions as I saw fit. After making the changes, this is what it looks like in-game:

2 Censors, 2 Consuls, 3 Praetors… More exciting possibilities!

There is one small problem with this mod however. I guess the original Senate Officials window was not designed to accommodate more than 6 positions. If we scroll all the way down to the last Quaestor position, we can see his name but only the tip of his character portrait. Thankfully, we can still select him and locate his position on the campaign map, which by all intents and purposes is totally fine; however, this still does cause a minor aesthetic flaw that did bother me somewhat.

All in all though, this is a small price to pay for what I would gain in return by implementing this mod. I have always wanted to give my characters office-related traits boost their influence levels. Moreover, I find that increased political participation enhances my immersion into the game, thereby making it an all the more memorable experience. I plan on implementing more modifications – both small and large. As I test out new mods and confirm that they work, I will share them with you by explaining them in great detail with screenshots. If you are stuck on anything, let me know in the comments section and I will get back to you! Until then, take care!

Oh, as a bonus, I want to show you guys this screenshot! Please zoom in using your browser zoom function to see clearly the name of this character! Anyone who has watched HBO’s “Rome” series will know what I am referring to 😉

Titus Pullo!? Is that you?!



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