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Zeniel's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-27
Sigil

Is Sigil really hard to leave from? When I first played Planescape: Torment I often felt the place seemed like a prison to a lot of people. As though most of those living there were from a different place and ended up trapped in Sigil, for whatever reason. More to the point for the most part TNO seems trapped in Sigil and it was one of the things I really hated to begin with in Torment, but after leaving it for Carceri you remember just how much more safer it is than the rest of the planes even in its danger and harshness.

Trias's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-14
Sigil

I think perhaps in Torment, for the sake of the plot of the game - it was a difficult place to leave. But I think generally speaking, it's relatively easy to leave the City of Doors - on purpose or inadvertently.

For me, personally, I didn't hate my inability to leave Sigil in Torment during the early stages - I don't think a low-level character would have survived in Curst, much less Carceri.

lsdfjkdsf's picture
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Sigil

I never really thought that Sigil was hard to leave from unless someone powerful is activly trying to make sure you stay there. I just assumed that for most people, Sigil was the best place they were going to reach. I mean, when your options include the elemental planes, the blood war, the grey waste, and all other manner of unpleasent destinations, the mysterious glowing portal in front of you looks a lot less tempting.

Not to mention that people with a bone to pick a god (or worse, multiple gods) flock to Sigil like a drowning man to a liferaft.

Also, people who like to be "in the center of things" love Sigil. With portals to every possibly destination, people with power who like keeping an eye on all the planes stay in Sigil.

But the real reason Sigil is so popular is that its a sort of neutral zone. Demons won't be run through by self rightous paladins (at least not publically and not without significant reprecussions), and average berks don't have to worry about being swept up in the blood war (slavers are always a problem, but at least their not fighting in the streets). No matter what your philosophy is, or what race you are, you won't be slaughtered on sight in Sigil, unlike the other outer planes.

So it's not that people can't leave, it's that people choose not to leave.

ripvanwormer's picture
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Factol
Joined: 2004-10-05
Sigil

A lot of that's simply for the sake of gameplay. It's hard to leave the Mortuary until you complete the proper quests, then it's hard to leave the Hive, then it's hard to get into the Clerk's Ward, and then it's hard to get to Ravel's maze, and so on. It's true in many games that it's hard to leave one level until you've solved the puzzles and defeated the boss.

Sigil is called the Cage for a reason, though - it's because you can't leave it without a key. Jumping off the edge is suicide, so the only option is portals, and portals won't open unless you have a key. There are many doors to Sigil's cage, and many keys to them, but most people who want to leave Sigil care which plane they end up in. The Elemental Plane of Fire isn't as good a destination as Bytopia, after all. Some people came to Sigil accidentally and want to get back home - if they entered from an obscure Prime world or demiplane via a one-way or temporary portal, this may be very, very difficult. They might never find the way back.

Leaving Sigil normally requires not just finding a door and a key to it (this can happen accidentally, which is a major hazard in the City of Doors), but finding a safe destination that you actually want to get to, as well as a reliable way back. Permanent, two-way portals are uncommon in the Cage, normally controlled by factions or other powerful groups and subject to fees to use.

That said, leaving Sigil and finding a way back to it is as hard as the adventure requires, and as simple as it needs to be for the sake of the adventure. "Conveniently inconvenient" is the mantra here. The point of portals is to make adventuring on other planes easier for those without reliable plane-traveling magic, while providing interesting puzzles or challenges to keep things from seeming too easy for the PCs.

So no, Sigil's not that hard to leave - if it was, Planescape adventures would be too frustrating to play in, which goes against the whole point of Sigil. On the other hand, the point of portals is that they're controlled by the DM, not the PCs. Permanent portals are rare so that the PCs can't easily derail an adventure by going some place the DM hasn't prepared for. Finding the proper door and the proper key, and getting access to both, can be an adventure in itself, giving the DM time to figure out what the PCs will encounter once they finally get where they want to go.

So the point is that Sigil's not so hard to leave that it's too frustrating to use, and not too easy to use that it's unmanageable for the DM.

Azure's picture
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Sigil

'lsdfjkdsf' wrote:
.

So it's not that people can't leave, it's that people choose not to leave.

I disagree, somewhat. There's a reason Sigil is called The Cage. I think it is very easy to leave from if you have the knowledge or the jink to buy the knowledge of portals, but to average basher on the street is fairly trapped. Think about the consequences of using just any old portal to a random place, you need to know where you want to go and have a reliable, or at least timable, portal there (and presumibly back). The knowledge itself, not to mention the portal keys (which are rarely comman items but which may also not cost anything) may be priced out the reach of most of the working-class stiffs in Sigil.

True, most sigilans probably know of several portals, but usually only ones connected with their livelyhoods. The fact that portals move around, sometimes randomly, compicates things even more. Knowing where a portal goes and where to catch it, but not when it's going to manifest, does a body no good.

{edit - simultaneous post with Rip. Ditto on what he said, pretty much.}

Squaff's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-03
Sigil

I'd like to add something:
After faction war there was event called "Portal Storm", when Lady hit reset button on all city portals. And after that all who was in city were pretty much stuck there.
Yes, portals have returned but they patterns changed: some were gone, others changed their keys, some changed the destination of places the were leading, others changed their entering points in city etc...
Consecuences of that event lead to fact that all libraries dedicated to knowledge of Sigil portals, filled with information acumulated over centuries were rendered uslles overnight.

After "Portal Storm" Sigil had lost much of its popularity as planar nexus, and it is not used as much for travels as before, shure buisness for
"Gate Sekers" (wizards with Warp Senses spell and diviners) is booming but it will take years (or decades) for Sigil to fully recover from that event. (That was just another of Lady's reminder who is real boss around here).

So after the faction war it is pretty much hard for everyone to get in or out of Sigil.

P.S. I have read somewere (I think it was Planewalker handbook) that planars have inate abylity for sensing portals (something like 6th sense for portals), so I would like to ask if this is info is corect.

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ripvanwormer's picture
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Sigil

'Squaff' wrote:
P.S. I have read somewere (I think it was Planewalker handbook) that planars have inate abylity for sensing portals (something like 6th sense for portals), so I would like to ask if this is info is corect.

They have the ability to see where portals are, but not to know where they go or what keys activate them. It's correct for 2nd edition, anyway. In 3rd edition, the distinction between prime and planar is a bit fuzzier (since everyone's subject to banishing if they're not on their home plane, not just planars), and I'd either require a feat to see portals, or just let everyone see their distinctive glow regardless of their plane of origin.

Zeniel's picture
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Sigil

What Azure is trying to say is what I what I kinda meant. I mean for the hardy adventurer definately not gonna be all that hard to leave Sigil. For a noble or bourgeois bussinessman they've got the connections to leave. But for a commener a pauper or some addle coved sod, seems hard luck and all they can do is struggle to keep themselves alive. I mean look at the hive, you'd think that the people would leave for a greener pasture is Sigil had treated them that badly. It wasn't really a Character based question, as obvious your characters are gonna find ways outta sigil, but for everyone below the well off line, it may proove a little more difficult.

Squaff's picture
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Sigil

Thanks Rip, for clearing that one for me. Smiling
I had to ask becaouse our DM don't belive at his players word (I cannot say that I blame him) that planars have this little ability.

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One-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater says: "Monsters are nature's way for keeping XPs fresh."

Jack of tears's picture
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I mean look at the hive, you'd think that the people would leave for a greener pasture is Sigil had treated them that badly.

You are correct, it is an easy thing to get stuck in Sigil if you don't have connections. Hell, I had a 12th level pc almost end up homeless on the streets of the Hive because he got robbed and had no resources to draw upon ... the Cage is an unforgiving sort of city.

On the other hand, Cagers are an arogant people who pride themselves on surviving in one of the most dangerous cities in the multiverse, (and if you really think it's less dangerous than some of those other planes consider how many terrors walk the street of Sigil every day) where even the lowliest cutter has to rub elbows and match wits with demons, genasi, and every kind of monster on a daily basis. It is a pride well earned, and even beggars are often more lanned than your typical prime. If you're going to be homeless, why not be homeless in the greatest city in the multiverse?

(I've had PCs talk down planar toughs just by dropping mention of where they live ... Cagers have a reputation that is often well earned.)

Jack of tears's picture
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Quote:
I had to ask becaouse our DM don't belive at his players word (I cannot say that I blame him) that planars have this little ability.

Though, ultimately, that decision is up to a GM - just like any ruling. If it doesn't fit with what he wants in the game, then it doesn't work - no matter how many books or setting experts verify it.

Zeniel's picture
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Sigil

Quote:
(I've had PCs talk down planar toughs just by dropping mention of where they live ... Cagers have a reputation that is often well earned.)

Nice I like it! Laughing out loud

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