The streets of Rome are distinguished from many other streets in the ancient world in two ways. First, most Roman streets are paved, even though the paving is crude in many areas. Second, many Roman streets have subterranean sewers, feeding into the many drains that prevent Rome from reverting to its natural state as a swamp.

This means that the streets of the Rome are generally easy to traverse, even in bad weather, and people can get around Rome without falling into pits in the roads. However, there are a lot of people in Rome, which means that most streets are very crowded during the day. At night, when the Kindred are around, things are different.

Some areas of the city are almost completely deserted, for one of two reasons. The first is that there is nothing to do there at night; markets are an example of this. The second is that the area is too dangerous for most people to enter, and the few people stalking the shadows are looking to find victims before becoming one.

Other areas are still relatively bustling, whether because there are popular cauponae nearby, or because senators are throwing a party and people are going to and fro. These areas are normally lit, because accidents happen in the dark. If the streets are wide, and someone wealthy takes an interest, they may be lit by braziers set up along the street, either in the middle or down the sides. More often, however, streets are lit by torches carried by travelers or their slaves. If a street becomes busy, it can be very difficult to pass down without being at least singed.

This, of course, makes things difficult for the Kindred. Flames in the street are not under control, so normal rolls for fear frenzy are required (see the Storytelling chapter for more details). As a result, Kindred tend to keep to the quieter streets when moving about above ground, at least as long as they have the choice. The ideal is for every location of interest to be connected to Necropolis by tunnels, but that is far from being the case. Still, if a particular location is important to a Kindred for long enough, he is likely to see to a tunnel at some point, and this is one of the driving forces behind the expansion of Necropolis.

The character of a street is defined by the buildings that line it; a street running between palaces is very different from one running between insulae that might fall down at any moment. Rome is also, famously, a city built on seven hills, so streets go up and down. This may not normally have much effect, but it is worth mentioning.


Blood of Rome Darkfool