Terror in a Toga

An evening of gladiator
warfare and celebration is planned
for all of Rome to enjoy.

At the heart of the excitement sits Felix Festus, a lanista looking to win the public favor – and in doing so,
a Senate seat – with the donation of his gladiators for exhibition. While no lives will be taken in the ring;
honor, pride and the grand champion title are all at stake in the exhibition.

Although lives will be spared in the arena, the same will not hold true at the festivities.

One Roman will take their last breath at the party and it will be up to you to search out
the guilty from the guileful. Was it the brute in a fight for his freedom?
A senator unwilling to award another seat? A socialite who will not accept a rising of the classes?
Or perhaps a slave whose secret runs so deep that murder is the only way to silence it.

As you defend your own innocence, you will be called upon to
decipher between
 the downtrodden and the downright deceitful…
that is, unless the murderer is you!

Download Mystery Intro

Guest Info

Guest Breakdown

With 20+ guests: At least 8 male guests, 8 female guests and 4 gender-neutral guests

With 15-20 guests: 7-8 male guests, 7-8 female guests, 1-4 gender-neutral guests

With 10-15 guests: 4-6 male guests, 4-5 female guests, 2-4 gender-neutral guests

With 8-12 guests: 4-5 guests, 3-4 female guests, 1-3 gender-neutral guests

 

* The upgrade is only able to upgrade the 15-20 guest version to the 20-80 guest version. The upgrade DOES NOT work with any other size of party.

The Cast

*Note that the cast listed below is provided only to give an idea of the types of roles available, and not presented in any order relevant to the plot. Not all cast members are included in every version.

  • Justice Ruler

    Senator

    Born into the upper class, Justice is not one to open the Senate doors, or his understanding, to those from different classes or families.

  • Claudia Ruler

    Senator’s Wife

    Wealth and prestige have always come easy to this woman of privilege. What will she do when her power and dominance are in jeopardy?

  • Marcus Augustus

    Senator

    With an open heart and an open mind, Marcus proves to be a different type of leader, but whether he is one that will prevail and retain his Senate seat is yet to be decided.

  • Cecilia Augustus

    Senator’s Wife

    With a troubled past, this diva has made it into the upper class not through her money, but by her romantic exploits.

  • Cicero Augustus

    Senator’s Son

    Aspiring to be just like his father, Cicero may be following in Marcus’ footsteps in more ways than one.

  • Felix Festus

    Lanista

    With his sights set on the Senate, Felix needs to capitalize on his popularity with the people, as well as prove that his managerial skills extend beyond the arena.

  • Fabiola Festus

    Lanista’s Wife

  • Anthony Aurelius

    Soldier

  • Amelia Aurelius

    Soldier’s Wife

  • Antonia Aurelius

    Soldier’s Daughter

  • Titus

    Grand Champion Gladiator

  • Brutus

    Gladiator

  • Hadrian

    Gladiator

  • Livia

    Slave

  • Sabina

    Chamber Servant

  • Tatiana

    Servant

  • Trader Livinius

    Merchant

  • Speedius Ryder

    Charioteer

  • Gossipus Maximus

    Town Cryer

  • Iovita Investigatus

    Constable

Party Tips

Roman Clothing

 

THE GOOD NEWS: Roman clothes were very easy to make and to put on. They were usually just made from a single piece of rectangular material, with no special shaping and very little sewing.

 

MORE GOOD NEWS!: There are a wealth of resources out there to help you. We have concocted this page with an overview on how to dress, but the internet is loaded with great ideas. We encourge you to search out your own as well. (If you find a really good link, let us know and we will add it here, too!)

THE EVEN BETTER NEWS: If you are not into making your outfit, and have no time to look, we have plenty of costume options. YAY! WHERE CAN I ORDER ONE?

 

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Let’s begin with making your own outfit!

 

Benefits: cost and originality – no one will have a costume the same as you!

 

Tips:

 

  • Look for bedsheets on sale, at discount or second-hand shops.

 

  • Don’t like the color of your inexpensive sheets? Buy some fabric dye (approximately $3) and change it to a color you prefer.

 

  • Buying yardage of fabric can be less costly (and more original) than purchasing new bedsheets.

 

  • Look at the fabric store for gold tassels, cords, etc. to use as embellishments.

 

  • Don’t know how to sew? You can use pins, stitch withery and/or a glue gun for the construction of most outfits.

 

  • Don’t overstress. Anything goes!

 

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<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

 

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TUNIC: 

The basic item of male dress was the tunic, made of two pieces of undyed wool sewn together at the sides and shoulders and belted in such a way that the garment just covered the knees. Openings for the arms were left at the top of the garment, creating an effect of short sleeves when the tunic was belted; since tunics were usually not cut in a T-shape, this left extra material to drape under the arm. Men of the equestrian class were entitled to wear a tunic with narrow stripes, in the color the Romans called purple (although it was more like a deep crimson), extending from shoulder to hem, while broad stripes distinguished the tunics of men of the senatorial class.

 

• How to make a Roman tunic (eHow with pictures)

 

 

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TOGA:

The toga was the national garment of Rome and only male citizens were allowed to wear the toga. It was made of a large woolen cloth cut with both straight and rounded edges; it was not sewn or pinned but rather draped carefully over the body on top of the tunic. Over time, the size and manner of draping the toga became more elaborate. The cloth was folded lengthwise and partly pleated at the fold, which was then draped over the left side of the body, over the left shoulder, under the right arm, and back up over the left arm and shoulder. It was held in place partly by the weight of the material and partly by keeping the left arm pressed against the body. Togas were costly, heavy, and cumbersome to wear; the wearer looked dignified and stately but would have found it difficult to do anything very active. Citizens were supposed to wear togas for all public occassions.

 

• HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN TOGA

 

• Ehow link on How to Make Your Toga

 

• YouTube videos on How to Make a Toga

 

 

 

 

 

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<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

Soldiers

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Think this one is un-makable? 

We found this AMAZING tutorial of how to make a Roman soldier costume out of cardboard! (pictured to the left)


• Check it out here! 

 

• A simplified version

 

• Tips on making your costume

 

• One more resource on making your soldier costume!

 

 

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Inspiration. Search on the internet for an image of a gladiator that you would like to portray. You can find many gladiators in the Hollywood world from Russell Crowe’s Gladiator, to Kirk Douglas’ Spartacus, to any one of the gladiators in the Starz Series Spartacus. Once you have that image of what you would like to create, go about collecting things that would help you create it. Be it, old belts, fake leather straps, old sports pads, spray paint, hot glue, etc.


Follow this link to help you complete your outfit.

 

Gladiator Accessories and Weaponry:

  • fascina: harpoon

 

  • galea: visored helmet

 

  • galerus: metal shoulder piece

 

  •  gladius: sword

 

  • hasta: lance

 

  • iaculum: net

 

  • manicae: leather elbow or wrist bands

 

  • ocrea: metal or boiled leather greave

 

  • parma: round shield

 

  • scutum: large oblong shield

 

  • sica: curved scimitar

 

  • subligaculum: loin cloth

 

 

A FEW MORE TUTORIALS ON WHAT TO WEAR:

• Costumzee: How to Make a Gladiator Costume

 

• Mahalo: How to Make a Gladiator Halloween Costume

 

• Ezine: How to Make an Eye Catching Gladiator Costume

 

• Go Articles: A Very Detailed Article On How to Make an Authentic Gladiator Costume

 

 

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Footwear can be a simple sandal or leather slipper that you have in your closet. This was very tpical of the time and would suit your outfit wonderfullty. OR, you can go all out and find some fun and funky Roman style shoes.

 

 

If you are ever so daring you can make your own:

 

• How to create Roman Sandals from scratch!

 

• Another how to do it on your own!

 

• Ehow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

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Similar to Roman men, the basic item of clothing was the tunic, though women’s tunics were fuller and longer, usually extending to the feet. There were two basic styles of tunic, both similar to tunics worn by Greek women.

 

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PEPLOS:

The peplos was made from two rectangular pieces of cloth partially sewn together on both sides; the open sections at the top were then folded down in the front and back. The woman pulled this garment over her head and fastened it at her shoulders with two large pins, forming a sleeveless dress; she then tied a belt over or under the folds. FInd more info here.
Peplos

 

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CHITON:

The more common sleeved tunic worn by women was similar to the Greek chiton. Two wide pieces of cloth were sewn together almost to the top, leaving just enough room for armholes. The woman pulled this garment over her head and used several pins or buttons to fasten it at intervals over her shoulders and arms, forming a dress with sleeves which could be belted under the breasts, at the waist, or at the hips. The length of the sleeves was determined by the width of the cloth. Statues clearly show the manner of fastening the sleeves as well as various modes of draping and belting the tunic. Tunics could be brightly colored or made of lightweight fabrics such as linen or silk. FInd more info here.
chiton

 

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<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

 

HAIRSTYLES:

 

  • Roman women were simple in dress, but elaborate in hairstyle.

 

  •  Often if their hair was not thick enough for the current hairstyle, a woman would wear a wig.

 

  • Red and blonde wigs were very in fashion.

 

  • Use false hairpieces to make hair longer, curlier or thicker.

 

  • Hair up: carefully arranged with jeweled hairpins to hold it in style.

 

  • Hair down: curled with ringlets

Roman Hairstyles

SOME LINKS FOR HAIRSTYLES:

 

• Look to this blog for inspiration!

 

 One of our favorites for Roman hairstyles!


• Roman women hairstyles

 

• A little history on Roman Haistyles

 

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<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

 

 

THE ENTRANCE

 

• Have Felix Festus (the lanista) welcome your guests to the party. If Felix would rather focus on hosting duties, consider having Anthony Aurelius or Iovita Investigatus (and/or other soldiers) to greet guests as they enter.

 

• If you are throwing a party outside, have an area roped off to make your “arena”. Cover the roped off area with sand.

 

 

AROUND THE SPACE

Included with the mystery packet will be directions to make your own stone or marble-like signs and designs to print out for signs around the party space! (pictured below)

One of the defining characteristics of Roman or Greek culture is vine garlands and grapevine. So while you have your decorations for a toga party, do not forget ivy wine garlands and have mock grape vines!

 

 

Hanging floral pieces, like ivy and ferns accompanied with clear Christmas lights on the backdrop of a column will be absolutely lovely.

 

 

Create your own laurel wreath crowns using faux greenery and spraying them with gold paint. You can display these on the buffet table or individual tables as a centerpiece.

 

 

Use props, such as, classical busts, toy swords and shields.  You can display classical busts on pedestals and hang a toy sword and shield on a backdrop. To make a roman bust, try taking a styrofoam wig mannequin head and cover it with white modeling clay.

 

 

Create a large banner that features a Roman theme, such as, S.P.Q.R.  S.P.Q.R. is a Latin noun phrase that stands for, “Senatus Populusque Romanus” meaning “The Senate and the Roman People.”

 

 

 

Make some gold colored Roman eagles. (How? Find an novelty eagle and use spray paint.)

 

 

Decorate plastic goblets by spray painting them with gold and glue multi-colored plastic jewels on them for that royal effect and then display them on the buffet table or bar.

 

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<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

 

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS

 

HOW TO MAKE SOME AUTHENTIC ROUND ROMAN COLUMNS!
Included in your Terror in a Toga packet will be directions on how to make these fun and authentic Roman columns. You can place them by doorways, with other pedestals and urns or to make a backdrop for pictures!

Roman Column

 

 

HOW TO MAKE SQUARE COLUMNS!

  • Visit your local hardware store and purchase some faux-marble contact paper, a small sand bag and enough wood tag board to construct your columns (check the discount bin).

 

  • Cut the tagboard into 4 equal,rectangular pieces and nail or screw the pieces together to create a square column.

 

  • Cover column with contact paper.

 

  • Cut out 4 squares of tag board- 2 squares that are larger than the base of your column and two squares that are larger than that base.

 

  • Cover all of the squares with contact paper.

 

  • Screw your bases and tops together. Place sandbag within the column (to keep it sturdy), then screw square column to base and screw top base to top of column.

 

 

 

A MARBLE FLOOR OR BACKGROUND: You can purchase inexpensive linoleum squares from the local hardware store (we found ours for 99¢/square) and tile a piece of inexpensive wood (check the discount bins).

 

 

Your party is not complete without classical terra cotta urns and statue busts and most of all, balustrades and pedestals.
— We found many inexpensive urns in the garden section of our local home-improvement store. Additionally, we found Roman pedestals at Michael’s Craft Store (national chain)

 

 

To make a roman bust, try taking a styrofoam wig mannequin head and cover it with white clay.

 

 

Chariot

Build a chariot for Speedius Ryder to arrive in.

 

Directions here for a chariot!

 

Or, here is a simpler directions for building your chariot!

 

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<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

 

 

SETTING YOUR TABLE

 

  • If you are serving dinner, have a table set close to the ground with big pillows to sit on.

 

  • As mentioned above, pick a table cloth that accentuates your color scheme.

 

  • Accessorize it with complementing colors in your napkins, paper/plastic plates, and cutlery.

 

  • Decorate your plastic cutlery by using a gold or purple paint pen and draw Roman numerals or a Grecian block pattern on the handles of the cutlery.

 

  • Tie a gold or purple ribbon around the cutlery.

 

  • For the chairs, you may want to consider adding a gold or purple bow in the back of each chair to help it blend in with the colors of the table as well as the overall color scheme.

 

  • Drape gold ivy garland along the edges of each table. Don’t have gold ivy? Use your spray paint to create it.

 

Toga Party Table

 

CENTERPIECES

 

  • A floral arrangement makes a lovely centerpiece for your table.

 

  • Place the floral arrangement inside a clear glass vase and display it inside a laurel crown wreath for that Roman touch.

 

  • Create your own laurel wreath crowns using faux greenery and spraying them with gold paint. You can display these on the buffet table or individual tables as a centerpiece.

 

  • Display an assortment of faux fruit on the buffet table in a lovely gold fruit bowl consisting of a bunch of red and green grapes, apples, bananas, and pears.

 

  • Spray paint the bowl gold or purple to bring through the color scheme.

 

 

 

<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

 

 

COLOR SCHEMES:

Two popular color schemes for a Roman party are white and gold or white and purple.

 

To pull the color scheme through to your whole space consider the following:

  • Consider draping white or gold gossamer across the ceiling, walls, and edges of the tablecloth when decorating a large area or to make an area look more intimate and festive.. Combine two colors for a fabulous appearance.

 

  • A little spray paint can go a long, long way. Spray paint novelty items, vases, old wine bottles, etc. to help bring out the color theme and add inexpensive decoration to your party.

 

  • Have a tablecloth—whether plastic or fabric – the colors of your choice.

 

  • Accentuate your tablecloth with the alternative color by using paint pens or fabric paint to paint on decorative Roman accents.

 

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LIGHTING 

Needless to say, the Romans didn’t have electricity. When considering the lighting for your party, you will not want anything too harsh or bright. Consider the following and what might work best within your space:

  • Christmas lights – drape around trees or inside of fabric

 

  • Candles – place in jars or on their own

 

  • Solar lights

 

  • Torches

 

  • Lanterns

 

  • Oil burning lamps

 

 

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<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

 

 

CREATING A BACKDROP FOR A PHOTO SPOT!!!

Give your guests an unforgettable souvenir by setting up a backdrop where everyone can take a picture to help remember the night!

  • Convert a chair into a Roman throne by draping a piece of gold fabric over it, along with a piece of purple velvet for that regal feel.

 

  • Make a marble background by piecing together pieces of linoleum and hanging them on the wall behind where you are photographing.

 

  • Place a few Roman columns by the backdrop (see below)

 

 

 

 

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<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

 

“The Romans served many different appetizers to begin their banquets. The most popular items were seasoned eggs and egg-based dishes, vegetables, salad, mushrooms and truffles, assorted shellfish, cheese with herbs, olives, sausages, and even more filling dishes, such as complicated fricassees and casseroles, which today would be considered complete meals in themselves.”

 

 

IDEAS FOR YOUR ROMAN MENU

 

  • Make a Greek snack platter with cheese, bread, grapes, figs, and nuts

 

  • Greek Salad — lettuce, tomato, feta cheese,and olives with a vinaigrette dressing

 

  • Ambrosia — food of the gods– in this case more of a marshmallow, jell-o salad

 

  • Pig on a Spit — If you’re going all out, a roast pig with an apple in its mouth makes a great toga party food

 

  • Wine served in jugs

 

  • Kegs of Beer

 

  • Water or Sparkling Grape Juice for those who don’t drink alcohol

 

 

<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

TIPS AND IDEAS ON MAKING THE PERFECT ROMAN MEAL FOR YOUR GUESTS

 

  • Roman meal usually began with eggs and ended with fruit.

 

  • Fill gold or silver platters (can bepurchased inexpensively at a party store) with fresh chunks of cheese in a variety of colors, huge bunches of grapes still on the vine, fruits, dates, figs and nuts, and big whole loaves of bread in varying sizes.

 

  • Dishes were eaten with bread —that was never absent.

 

  • The Romans seemed to be particularly fond of sauces as it gave a cook the opportunity to make a dish seem a little bit more exciting that it may have been without the sauce.

 

  • For heartier fare, serve chicken with figs, a phyllo spinach tart, and garlicky olives.

 

  • Whatever you serve, you can put it into this Roman menu template and have it listed for your guests. (Menu design included with Terror in a Toga mystery packet.)

 

 

 

SERVING YOUR FOOD:

 

  • Cover the platters with ivy vines.

 

  • Serve robust wine from a terra cotta urn or golden pitchers.

 

  • The Romans ate mainly with their fingers and so the food was cut into bite size pieces.

 

  • Slaves would continually wash the guests’ hands throughout the dinner. 

 

 

ROMAN TRADITIONS FOR YOUR MEAL

 

As soon as guests arrived in the home of an ancient Greek host, servants brought in vases of water so they might freshen themselves. After the guests had washed their hands and feet, they were given goblets of wine and stood around gossiping until summoned to dinner.

 

Among the Romans there was usually a place of honor at the dining table. The highest in rank sat at the head, the next in rank at the upper end, and the third highest in social position sat at the lower end. All guests washed their hands at the table before eating, a ceremonial washing that began with the highest in rank and ended with the lowest.

 

After a period of Roman history when chairs or stools were used around a table, the Romans adopted the dining couch. Generally, three couches were at a table, with one side left open to receive the service. Four people could dine comfortably from one couch. They were low, without backs, and covered with rich fabrics. The host and his wife sat at the head table with the guest of honor. The rest of the guests took places at the other tables according to rank.

 

 

<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

SETTING YOUR TABLE

 

  • If you are serving dinner, have a table set close to the ground with big pillows to sit on.

 

  • As mentioned above, pick a table cloth that accentuates your color scheme.

 

  • Accessorize it with complementing colors in your napkins, paper/plastic plates, and cutlery.

 

  • Decorate your plastic cutlery by using a gold or purple paint pen and draw Roman numerals or a Grecian block pattern on the handles of the cutlery.

 

  • Tie a gold or purple ribbon around the cutlery.

 

  • For the chairs, you may want to consider adding a gold or purple bow in the back of each chair to help it blend in with the colors of the table as well as the overall color scheme.

 

  • Drape gold ivy garland along the edges of each table. Don’t have gold ivy? Use your spray paint to create it.
Toga Party Table

 

CENTERPIECES

 

  • A floral arrangement makes a lovely centerpiece for your table.

 

  • You can place the floral arrangement inside a clear glass vase and display it inside a laurel crown wreath for that Roman touch.

 

  • Create your own laurel wreath crowns using faux greenery and spraying them with gold paint. You can display these on the buffet table or individual tables as a centerpiece.

 

  • Also, consider displaying an assortment of faux fruit on the buffet table in a lovely gold fruit bowl consisting of a bunch of red and green grapes, apples, bananas, and pears.

 

  • Spray paint the bowl gold or purple to bring through the color scheme.

 

 

<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

MUSIC

 

Play a musical compilation of lute or harp music in the background.

 

If going all out, you could hire a harpist.

 

If feasible, have different people take turns playing musical instruments to entertain the guests.

 

For free musical scores, check your local library.

 

 

<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

Hosting Tips

Download Intro

Purchase Terror in a Toga

Terror in a Toga includes:

Mystery PDF that includes: A Host Guide, A Schedule of the Night, An Introduction, Designed Invitations, Background Information, Character Descriptions, Character Objective Sheets, Name Tags, Evidence, Accusation Sheets, a Detailed Solution, Award Certificates, and more!

Download Intro