Purple islands and terrifying toilets were key to making ancient Rome in the forgotten city believable


Exploring the dimly lit slums of the Forgotten City, you might stumble into a citizen’s room full of bottles of garlic – an ancient Roman fish sauce made from fermented fish guts that looked like ketchup today. Some of us may remember the wonderful year of 2013.”Sriracha pocalypseWhen people feared high prices and a shortage of every lover’s favorite chili sauce; here in this subterranean ancient Roman city, cut off from the rest of the known world, this spice hoarder perhaps also prepares for the worst: a life without garlic.

To make sure the world felt reasonable, believable and livable, I had to create a small ecosystem where food could be grown and distributed

It’s a quirky insight into everyday life in ancient Roman society, using food as a universal way of world-building and storytelling. Learning how the locals eat and drink is an easy way to learn about the nature of the land, and it’s even more effective if you’re playing an RPG where you can actually imagine your character preparing or eating different things.

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