Yes this is historically accurate. This would make it quite difficult for your MC to live on and affect any real change beyond his/her sphere of influence. And the children would likely be driven to pledge their loyalty to Rome given that they would grow up in Roman society.
This makes a great deal of sense. So essentially by granting more power to the manumitted gladiator, we could see a great deal of potential in his/her ability to affect change. I understand that this would greatly enhance gameplay. But I am currently bandying with the idea of a general storyline which goes like this:
In the event that the MC is manumitted, he is restricted to historical roles -> Go back to being a gladiator, become a lanista (gladiator trainer) or while his/her time away (this would make terrible gameplay). So I suppose I would steer the story towards the MC becoming an MC, creating a gladiatorial managerial kind of game.
Concurrently, the MC would have family and children (who will be full Roman citizens). In the following books, the player could put themselves in the shoes of one of the children and chart a new path. This would explore the intricacies of Roman culture and possible careers of a Roman, but perhaps it would deviate entirely from the original premise of the Gladiatorial story.
What do you think about this?
An alternative would be to launch an all out servile revolt again and try to tear Rome apart from within (which would be highly impossible given the complexity and immensity of the task) This would see the MC playing political roles to garner support from the slaves and freedmen to amass enough influence to wage war on Rome.
I think that this would really open up a ton of gameplay opportunities and make the entire story so much more unpredictable. Again, its all about making it realistic yet exciting and entertaining, but I am loving this idea and I think that it has a lot of potential! Of course, it would have been unthinkable for a foreigner to serve in the legions. And being an auxiliary would really hammer home the concept of being a second-class citizen. While doing so could open up various possibilities such as you have mentioned, and maybe even betrayal (think the Battle of Teutoburg Forest) which could lead to the MC leading his/her home nation against Rome, which could be another awesome epic.
But I think at this point I'm getting way ahead of myself hahaha! But thank you for all the great advice so far
Yes, the Romans employed many foreign specialist troops as auxilias, most notably cavalry and ranged troops to supplement the regular legions of Rome. Doing so allowed them to tap on the skills of their conquered subjects and create a more dynamic army.
I would think that gladiators who enter the army might not find it as smooth sailing as we assume. While discipline and hard training are bound to be common, a gladiator fight had its own rules, and were as much about showmanship as about skill. In a brutal, no holds barred battle, soldiers would have to maintain discipline and be drilled to work as a unit instead of as individuals.
This difference could pose some challenges to the transition from gladiator to a Roman auxilia but I am sure there will be ways to overcome them.