Porta Nigra (or black gate) is a large Roman city gate, located in Trier, Germany, and dating back to the 2nd century.
The game is set in that place and time with the players taking on the roles of Roman architects working on the city gate of Porta Nigra.
In Porta Nigra, 2 to 4 players each command a master builder, who moves around a circular track on the game board, enabling players to buy or build only where this master builder is located.
Moving the master builder to farther locations along the track is expensive, so players must plan their movements and builds carefully. The number and type of actions that players may perform on their turn is determined from cards that each player has in their personal draw deck.
The buildings in Porta Nigra are erected physically on the game board at the various locations in the city. This is accomplished with 3-D plastic building pieces, which gives Porta Nigra a beautiful and compelling look on the table.