In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil

Wolfgang Baur

Book cover

I love Planescape and Sigil, and can’t stop reading old D&D sourcebooks about it.

I actually think that, should I be so lucky as to run a Planescape campaign for friends someday, I would change a lot of superficial things about Sigil. It’s portrayed as very dingy/grimy/ugly, which I don’t really like–as the sort of crossroads of the multiverse, I think it should be a more wondrous place with at least some aspects of great beauty. The “cant” (berk, scragged, bubber, etc.), based on various types of British street slang through the ages, is an important part of the feel (and goes with the grimy industrial aesthetic!), but I think the vibe of Sigil should be more cosmopolitan. I think Joss Whedon’s use of Mandarin in “Firefly” would be thematically more appropriate, and I think if I ran a campaign I would try to “translate” the Sigil cant into a non-Western idiom.

But stripping away those surface things that I don’t like, Sigil has a really compelling core for me. As the “City of Doors,” it’s the crossroads of the multiverse–similar to the space station Deep Space Nine–and a de facto demilitarized zone because of the dominant influence of the Lady of Pain, meaning that all types of people, factions, and ideas clash without leading to open war. It’s full of mystery and intrigue…in short I really want to run a campaign there!

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars