In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil (1995)

In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil is a 128-page book dedicated to the strangest city in the multiverse. It is a pretty good city guide as these things go, which is impressive because unlike Waterdeep or RuneQuest’s Pavis, well, Sigil has some serious weirdness to explain.

Sigil is also called the City of Doors, an apt name since it contains countless portals to other places – inner planes, outer plane, prime worlds. It is also called the Cage, because it can be hard to escape – unlike other cities, it doesn’t have roads or bridges or any other sorts of conventional exits. It is as close to the center of the multiverse as an infinite space can have. The city is built on the inside of what is essentially a doughnut. There is no horizon, just more streets, always curving up. If you look up and are lucky enough to not have the “sky” filling with smog, you can see streets and buildings inverted above you. I hope that makes sense. If it doesn’t, I don’t know what to tell you.

Spread through the wards are the various civic buildings run by the factions, temples, homes, factories, taverns, public spaces, slum, markets full of bizarre items and more. Angels and demons coexist in tense peace here thanks to the power of the mysterious Lady of Pain. Rather than the book telling DMs what Sigil is, the focus is on what DMs would like it to be – adventure hooks and flavor text lurk everywhere.

Dana Knutson’s cover art seems unusual for a D&D product, menacing and surreal. Knutson did all of the concept art work for Planescape, which Tony DiTerlizzi and other artists worked from. Most of the interior illustrations here are Knutson’s, with small appearances by DiTerlizzi and Robh Ruppel, which is a bit unusual compared to other Planescape books. The overall effect give In the Cage a rougher edge and makes it feel of a time slightly before your players show up on the scene. Which is perhaps by design…

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