The City of Doors in 4e: DO IT!

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Sigil for 4th Edition! It's been said about ten thousand times, I'm sure, but a few things have more recently occurred to me that I figure are worth sharing.

After having actually read Worlds and Monsters, my prior ill-feelings towards planar campaigns and specifically, using the city of Sigil in the context of the 4e cosmology have utterly evaporated. If anything, the way the planes have been restructured make it a perfect locale to be set among the extraplanar dominions outlined in this reimagining of D&D's planar lexicon, and none of it's culture or general uniqueness needs to be lost.

What my thinking comes from is that, to maintain it's mystique and it's particular atmosphere, a place like Sigil doesn't need to rely on being contextualized within any planar structure. An example I need to use is the PC game Planescape: Torment. Most would agree it captured the surreal and darkly whimsical locale of Sigil very well, but throughout that game it never made many references to it's position at the "center" of the multiverse, and it didn't even overly rely on contextualizing itself in the D&D cosmology.

All that matters is that it is a place existing outside of any world, yet in between all of them and none of them at once, and how, as such, it's a cultural melting pot, a dumping ground for the refuse of countless worlds, a crossroads for itinerant adventurers, a place where beliefs and ideas could mingle and form new things entirely (like the Factions of old), and all of these things at once, altogether something fantastically unique, bringing back what grabbed us all in the days of 2e. It need not be of any size nor shape, only that it remain the City of Doors we know, complete with it's portals to everywhere, all under the watch of the ever-unknowable Lady of Pain--never one to be forgotten!

I hope the developers can, in the tradition of respect to D&D's old elements while looking for ways to improve it, take this into account. Any way you slice it, Sigil and Planescape still have numerous fans and players who'd certainly love to see official support it. While it's by no means necessary for those of us with the time and desire to include it in our games, if they were to mix it into the new cosmology, it'd be great. It could be a unique Astral Dominion, it could be one island amidst the Elemental Chaos, or more appropriately of all, it could have ties to all these things and and more and exist as a singular entity in itself. You could potentially make an entire campaign setting based entirely in it, even.

I'm looking forward to seeing ways Sigil can be made into a place for 4th Edition adventures, and even ways to complement ones based in a more traditional setting, a gateway to infinite planes as always.

What do you guys think?
Please no! Isn't anything sacred anymore?!

They twisted and perverted so many good things yet, please let keep at least this one last thing that survived from 2nd Ed. ;)
Lands of the Barbarian Kings Campaign Setting - http://barbaripedia.eu
What? You don't want to see it reappear in all it's glory? Or do you think it just isn't Sigil if it ain't on top of a big Spire in the middle of the Outlands?

'cause all that really was back in the day was putting it in a location people had already known from the 1e Manual of the Planes. It didn't affect the nature of the city one bit.
I would like to see Sigil as the planar meropolis that connects all the multiverse, but it will need some major changes to fit some new concepts. For example the new demons and devils issue, or the celestials. In the end it might be different from the Sigil we know. It will need a great deal of care to do it correctly.

But I do hope it happens. Remember: Deities come and go but Her Serenity remains...
i have an idea. how about having the 'city of doors' being just that - a place that is entirely defined by portals - no place is actually 'in' the city - rooms, streets etc are places in an existing plane that are linked by a series of portals. so a resident of the 'city' may be living in some of the rooms of a boarded up house somewhere in greyhawk, but their kitchen may be tucked away in the realms...

You dont even need them to be sychronous in time, so a 'home' in the city may have rooms from different periods in a particular planes history. Residents know better than to 'go outside' and thus disrupt causality.

This allows the city to exist without altering the cosmology of 4e at all.

NB. this idea isn't mine. it was nicked off another system.
bringerofdoom: You pretty much just described the World Serpent Inn.

Only that version also comes with hookers. And blackjack.
The nature, the idea of Sigil don't need a Wheel, really.... It could exist in a divergent cosmology - like PoL's.
bringerofdoom: You pretty much just described the World Serpent Inn.

Only that version also comes with hookers. And blackjack.

and any city worth its salt should have just those things!

i just think it actually makes the city MORE interesting than Sigil as is, because parts of the city can be from literally ANYWHERE/ANYWHEN. And the city would be effectively infinite in size. Even the most experienced city dweller would know better than to folow the coridoors too deeply. you never know WHERE they might end up.
There is absolutely no reason not to have Sigil in 4e. It makes even more sense than before: If you have a Great Wheel and can walk from Celestia to Baator and back by way of Limbo and Acheron, it's nice to have a City of Doors, but if you can't do that and planar travel is the only way to get somewhere, a City of Doors is even more necessary!

And keep the Lady of Pain in, definitely. If Asmodeus is going from "mysterious being who can keep deities out of the Hells" to "just another god" then we'll need someone else to fill the role, and who better than the Lady?
All hail Her Serenit--

Oops, almost forgot. :D
and any city worth its salt should have just those things!

i just think it actually makes the city MORE interesting than Sigil as is, because parts of the city can be from literally ANYWHERE/ANYWHEN. And the city would be effectively infinite in size. Even the most experienced city dweller would know better than to folow the coridoors too deeply. you never know WHERE they might end up.

That is exactly how it was in Sigil, only without the infinite size bit. The world Serpent Inn was just an inn that had a door to every world, IIRC. But honestly I think Spelljammer would make more sense in PoL than Sigil.
Maybe I'm silly for thinking this but isn't all of the new fluff easily replaced with just about anything else. If your group wants dwarves to be decended from angels and elves be natural enemies with werewolves then that's up to your group, it should be pretty easy to replace the entire new cosmology with any cosmology your playing group wants and so on and so forth.
Part of what made Sigil what it was was its location at the hub of the Great Wheel. With no Wheel, there's no hub. Where exactly is the middle of the 4E multiverse?

The one thing that occurs to me is this: the Astral Dominions (the former Outer Planes) have been described as islands in the Astral Sea, but are they really islands? Are they anchored? Or do they actually float through the Astral Sea? Do they move with respect to each other? I don't know if there's been any discussion of that anywhere, but let's suppose that they do (more or less aimlessly - I'm not picturing anything as ordered as Eberron's outer planes). Now what if there were one island that didn't move, that really was anchored in place relative to everything else? That would be unique. Maybe that one anchored domain is in the middle of the Astral Sea. Maybe that's Sigil. Heck, the City of Doors could still be atop a big spire - except that, instead of being at the center of an infinite plane (and how exactly did that work?), it's in the middle of the one anchored domain in the Astral Sea.
Please no! Isn't anything sacred anymore?!

They twisted and perverted so many good things yet, please let keep at least this one last thing that survived from 2nd Ed. ;)

No, nothing is sacred, has been sacred or ever will be sacred about D&D, its just a game.
That is the cancer that is killing D&D.
No, nothing is sacred, has been sacred or ever will be sacred about D&D, its just a game.
That is the cancer that is killing D&D.

Indeed. The sacred-ification of Greyhawk's canon had a major part in GH's death, thank the fandom for that. FR may get this fate, sadly...
Sigil is in, mostly because I whined at James Wyatt until he gave me a paragraph about it for the DMG.

Ah, editor power...!
Sigil is in, mostly because I whined at James Wyatt until he gave me a paragraph about it for the DMG.

Ah, editor power...!

What does it look like? Can you say anything about it? Please drop us a couple acorns of knowledge....

(Acorns.... Y'know, 'cause your avatar's a squirrel....)
I predict Miko will either have just calmed (10%), or ignited the fires (90%) of 50% of the whining in this forum.
What does it look like? Can you say anything about it? Please drop us a couple acorns of knowledge....
(Acorns.... Y'know, 'cause your avatar's a squirrel....)

SUPER-squirrel. ;)

Sigil is still under development, as it were, and you'll see more about it in future projects. But it still exists, and the Lady of Pain still rules it, and it's still the City of Doors.

Purely for my own amusement I've done some speculation about Sigil's place in the 4E cosmology, and I'm very, very excited to see where it goes. The soul of Planescape (near and dear to me) will remain very much alive.


I predict Miko will either have just calmed (10%), or ignited the fires (90%) of 50% of the whining in this forum.

Only 50%? Must be slipping.
Sigil is in, mostly because I whined at James Wyatt until he gave me a paragraph about it for the DMG.

Ah, editor power...!

Now that was unexpected.
The soul of Planescape (near and dear to me) will remain very much alive.

Ex-cellent. [rubs hands together]

I've always thought of Planescape as ultimately a city-based game. I'd love to see Sigil get some better treatment than it got as a throw-away in 3e (with all the factions scattered to the winds and ignored).

Just... no need for gratuitous cockney profanity, please...
That's possibly the first redeeming thing I've heard about 4th Ed. since they announced the changes to the planes.
Purely for my own amusement I've done some speculation about Sigil's place in the 4E cosmology, and I'm very, very excited to see where it goes. The soul of Planescape (near and dear to me) will remain very much alive.

All I can say is that I wish there were more voices at WotC like you. From the scope I've changes I've seen announced to 4e (demons becoming devils from designer whim, no blood war, archons becoming fancy elementals), I had pretty much written off Planescape under 4e.

It may be call Sigil, but under these conditions, it will feel like Tofurkey as a replacement for turkey to me: the meat just ain't there.
Sigil is still under development, as it were, and you'll see more about it in future projects. But it still exists, and the Lady of Pain still rules it, and it's still the City of Doors.

Is still a doughnut? Can you at least tell us this. For me the three defining features are the Doors, Lady of Pain and the shape.
Is still a doughnut? Can you at least tell us this. For me the three defining features are the Doors, Lady of Pain and the shape.

If I have anything to say about it (heh), it will still be a doughnut. Nothing like looking "up" and seeing the city curve above you.

And cranium rats and razorvine, of course. Wouldn't be Sigil without 'em.
Cool, but it's not likely to be anything useful to me. I already have all the fluff I need for Sigil, this one paragraph is unlikely to help me out. The only thing I'm doing with the new cosmology is raiding it for parts for my new version of the Great Wheel, so advice on intigrating it into the new cosmology won't help me much.
bringerofdoom: You pretty much just described the World Serpent Inn.

Only that version also comes with hookers. And blackjack.

Actually, scracth the portals. And the blackjack. Say, that sounds like a pretty sweet planar hub.

The Greendale Campaign

 

I was there at the dawn of the Third-and-a-Halfth Age of Dungeons & Dragons. I saw action during the Crisis of Infinite Foundations, stood on the ramparts of the Citadel of Mirth, delved deep into the debauchery of the Forum of the Adult, and fought alongside the Infernal Bovine on the fields of the Eberron War. I weathered the Ponystorm. I witnessed as the orcs came for the wizos, and I wept mightily. I saw the realm crack as the Fourth Age came upon us, and I witnessed the eldritch tendrils of the dread Gleemax. Now I watch as the winds of change sweep the land as the Fifth Age is dawning. I have walked these Boarderlands for many a long year, and bear many scars in my soul. Yet I remain the White Sorcerer, ever in your service. TWS out.

Actually, scracth the portals. And the blackjack. Say, that sounds like a pretty sweet planar hub.

Nah. As interesting as it might be, I think the World Serpent Inn would be a pretty poor replacement for Sigil.
Just... no need for gratuitous cockney profanity, please...

Pike it, berk!

(Sorry, I couldn't help myself.) :D
Actually, scracth the portals. And the blackjack. Say, that sounds like a pretty sweet planar hub.

Wouldn't that make it a plane of just Hookers with many rooms? Oh MY! ;)

William Holder
Firstly and most urgently, I love Tofurky and eat two of them every year.

Second and most sincerely, I loved Planescape for many reasons.

Thirdly and most critically
, if it is no longer the case that rampant selfishness and paranoia can drag a town into Carceri, then why would there be "philosophers with clubs?" and without philosophers with clubs, all that wonderful Planescape material rings hollow.

Thirdly and most critically
, if it is no longer the case that rampant selfishness and paranoia can drag a town into Carceri, then why would there be "philosophers with clubs?" and without philosophers with clubs, all that wonderful Planescape material rings hollow.

This is a good point. Planescape without the factions is not Planescape. And without the alignment system, can there still be factions? (I suppose so; they're no longer hard-wired into the rules, but these philosophical debates could still exist. But they don't seem as powerful when they're divorced from the Great Wheel.)

I guess the distinction to be made here is that, while SIGIL will be in 4E, PLANESCAPE will not. (But is that still Sigil?)
Sigil is in, mostly because I whined at James Wyatt until he gave me a paragraph about it for the DMG.

Ah, editor power...!

- :D :evillaugh :bounce:


LORD DELTA:D

HAND OF KARSUS!

 

 

Sigil is in, mostly because I whined at James Wyatt until he gave me a paragraph about it for the DMG.

Ah, editor power...!

Michelle,

As much as I'm been grossly underwhelmed by the planar (and especially fiend) changes in 4e, I've got to hand it to you on getting Sigil in. In the "Points of Light" default setting, we finally have a point of light.

I don't envy whoever has the nightmare job of trying to reconcile Sigil's history and fluff with the 4e cosmology, but the reconceptualization should be fun assuming it gets some further development. And that said, I would jump through flaming hoops to have that job.

IMAGE(http://arcanofox.foxpaws.net/shemmysmile.gif)
Shemeska the Marauder, Freelancer 5 / Yugoloth 10

Thirdly and most critically
, if it is no longer the case that rampant selfishness and paranoia can drag a town into Carceri, then why would there be "philosophers with clubs?" and without philosophers with clubs, all that wonderful Planescape material rings hollow.

Well, that's certainly true, but that's a setting aspect that's a degree removed from Sigil itself.

This is a good point. Planescape without the factions is not Planescape. And without the alignment system, can there still be factions? (I suppose so; they're no longer hard-wired into the rules, but these philosophical debates could still exist. But they don't seem as powerful when they're divorced from the Great Wheel.)

I guess the distinction to be made here is that, while SIGIL will be in 4E, PLANESCAPE will not. (But is that still Sigil?)

That is, indeed, the question.
Alignements are called by opponents as stiffling intelectual debates like this, so yes, Sigil could exist without the past assumptions.
Sigil is in, mostly because I whined at James Wyatt until he gave me a paragraph about it for the DMG.

Ah, editor power...!

Michelle... No offence meant... But...
I love you :D
This is great and good news. Now all we need to do is ensure that Shemmy gets to influence 4e's dealings with our favourite toroidal town and all will be well.
Alignements are called by opponents as stiffling intelectual debates like this, so yes, Sigil could exist without the past assumptions.

I don't follow you.

Sure, it could exist, but what does it lose? In 2e Planescape the battle for ideas had city-sized casualties, and Sigil was a major front in that war. Without that, Sigil needs... something else, in addition to its doors and guardian, to be more than interesting.
Sure, it could exist, but what does it lose? In 2e Planescape the battle for ideas had city-sized casualties, and Sigil was a major front in that war. Without that, Sigil needs... something else, in addition to its doors and guardian, to be more than interesting.

I agree that Sigil needs to be more than just a city-sized version of the World Serpent Inn.
I don't follow you.

Sure, it could exist, but what does it lose? In 2e Planescape the battle for ideas had city-sized casualties, and Sigil was a major front in that war. Without that, Sigil needs... something else, in addition to its doors and guardian, to be more than interesting.

Turns the other side - why does the past things lost are so good?

Alignements are not needed to have war of ideas; our world shown it quite.
Sigil is in, mostly because I whined at James Wyatt until he gave me a paragraph about it for the DMG.

Ah, editor power...!

All I can say is





All I can say is that I wish there were more voices at WotC like you. From the scope I've changes I've seen announced to 4e (demons becoming devils from designer whim, no blood war, archons becoming fancy elementals), I had pretty much written off Planescape under 4e.

+1 x 10^23