The Factions of Sigil (Backgrounds)

You have the option to join a faction when creating your character. Below are the 15 factions of the Planescape campaign setting which you may take as a background. If you do not wish to take one as a background, you may still choose a faction, but you will only gain access to the sections of your faction headquarters that members may go, but not to the planar headquarters nor any other of the background benefits.

Source

The Athar
(Defiers, the Lost)

You are a member of the Athar, a faction that believes that the gods do not deserve the worship of mortals. You have been trained by them to read and write, as they endeavor to empower people to make their own way in life, without the help of some supernatural parental figure, and you work for them in small ways around town, running schools, writing tracts, and debating the priests throughout Sigil.
Skill Proficiencies: Persuasion, Relgion
Tool Proficiencies: Scribe’s Supplies
Languages: One language of your choice
Equipment: Scribe’s supplies, a desecrated holy symbol, a set of common clothes including a faction badge sewn into them, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp
Feature: One of the Lost
Your reputation as an Athar member allows you to request shelter of any other member, and they are obliged to give it (though you must give in return when asked). You also are welcome at the Shattered Temple in the Lower Ward, have access to its library, and are free to earn some coin by working in the Scriptorium (about 1 gp per day, enough for a Modest lifestyle) copying books and printing tracts. You are also welcome at the Athar Citadel on the Astral Plane, where much of the advanced faction training goes on. You know of a portal that goes to the Citadel, along with the portal key. You also know of a portal (and its key) to one safe-house in a ruined temple somewhere in the planes.
Inspiration: Lost
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it to become undetectable by divinations until the end of your next long rest.
Examples of things that might give you Inspiration may include

  • Refusing healing or enhancement from a follower of a specific deity or pantheon.
  • Speaking open blasphemy in the church or realm of a deity.
  • Destroying or defacing a god’s holy symbol.
    Suggested Characteristics
    Athar are defined by a continuous quest for truth – one that often leads Athar members into plenty of trouble. Their personality traits can be shaped by this quest, and the troubles it has brought them, including the rejection of the gods. Their flaws tend to find them focusing much on the negative aspects of their philosophy, on negating the Powers rather than on supporting the People.
    Hey, you berk! If the gods really were alive and cared, do you think you’d be here?
    – Factol Terrance of the Athar.

Believers of the Source
(Godsmen)

You are a member of the Believers of the Source, a faction that believes that all creatures carry a divine spark within them and that by testing and honing this spark, one can become divine. You work at the Great Foundry to hone yourself and your philosophy.
Skill Proficiencies: History, Survival
Tool Proficiencies: Smith’s tools, one musical instrument
Equipment: Smith’s tools, a musical instrument you are proficient in, a set of common clothes including a faction badge sewn into them, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp
Feature: Foundry Apprentice
As a God-in-flesh, you have a mentor who teaches you the rigors of faction philosophy, and you have place at one of the forges in the Great Foundry in the Lower Ward. Other members of the Believers are well-disposed to you and you may be able to persuade them to hole you up or loan you a common item. You have access to Ambar’s Palace on the Ethereal plane where the factol often gives performances and invites allies. You know of a portal there, and have a key to that portal, as well.
Inspiration: Potential in All Things
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it to make an Indifferent NPC Friendly to you until they take a long rest.
Examples of things that might earn you Inspiration may include

  • Refusing magical healing, letting your body fix itself
  • Refusing magical assistance for overcoming a challenge, wanting to tackle it under your own power.
  • Spending the time to craft an item yourself, rather than buying it.
    Suggested Characteristics
    Godsflesh are optimistic people, hard-working, dedicated, and occasionally a bit reckless in their challenge-seeking. Their bravery and boldness is sometimes their undoing, and their trust of others can be problematic.
    We are all one – Gods, mortals, even fiends come from the same source. Who knows? Maybe next time you’ll be a larva.
    – Factol Ambar of the Godsmen

The Bleak Cabal
(Bleakers, the Cabal, Madmen)

You are a member of the Bleak Cabal. Your central belief is that there is no greater meaning to anyone’s life, and that the only meaning we can derive from existence comes from what we can do for those around us now.
Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Medicine
Tool Proficiency: Herbalism Kit, Cook’s Utensils
Equipment: Herbalism kit, Healer’s kit, manacles, a set of common clothes including a faction badge sewn into them, and a belt pouch containing 5 gp
Feature: Nameless
As a Bleaker, you’ve given up your last name, seeing family ties as meaningless. You are welcome to stay in the Mad Bleaker wing of the Gatehouse in the Hive Ward, and you are also welcome to work at a particular soup kitchen somewhere in the Hive or in one of the Gatehouse wings (though you aren’t paid for this). Additionally, you know of a portal, and the key for that portal, that leads to the town of The Madhouse in Pandemonium, where you are also welcome.
Inspiration: Reassurance in the Face of Oblivion
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it to allow an ally (someone other than yourself) to automatically succeed on a save against any effect that requires a Wisdom saving throw.
Actions that may earn you Inspiration might include

  • Requesting a practical, personal reward for fulfilling a mission, not accepting just a metaphysical or heroic reward.
  • Voluntarily failing a save against some effect that induces madness or affects the mind.
  • Giving of yourself to help the suffering and expecting no compensation or reward.
    Suggested Characteristics
    Bleakers can be dour and most are more than a little insane, but the best of them are charitable and generous, finding that aleviating the suffering is a lot more useful than looking for a point to it.
    Hear the barmies howling in the mazes? If you’re here to learn the secrets of the Multiverse, you might as well save yourself some time and go join ‘em, ’cause that’s all it means – that and nothing else.
    – Factol Lhar of the Bleak Cabal

The Doomguard
(Sinkers)

You are a member of the Doomguard. Your faction holds that decay and destruction are inevitable forces of the multiverse, and that all will pass away to dust – and they fight those that try to defy that tendency.
Skill Proficiencies: History, Intimidation
Tool Proficiency: Smith’s Tools, Historian’s Tools
Equipment: Historian’s Tools, Smith’s Tools, a vial of acid, a set of common clothes including a faction badge sewn into them, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp
Feature: Defender of Doom
As a Sinker, you are welcome in the Armory, in the Lady’s Ward, including in the upper reaches where rare armor and weapons and faction function halls are kept. Other Sinkers acknowledge you as an ally. You also have a portal key to a portal that you know of that links to either the Crumbling Citadel on the Plane of Ash, Citadel Alluvius on the Plane of Dust, Citadel Exhalus on the Plane of Vacuum, or Citadel Sealt on the Plane of Salt (your choice).
Inspiration: Sift
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it to learn what caused an object’s destruction. To do this, you must hold a piece of the destroyed item in your hand, and spend one hour examining it and attuning yourself to its psychic resonance. At the end of the hour, you learn what destroyed the object, if that destruction occurred in the last 10 years.
Activities that you may gain Inspiration for might include

  • Destroying some long-standing structure or killing some ancient creature. The older the better!
  • Encouraging rebellion and conflict for the sake of accelerating the decay of the entire organization.
  • Refusing magical healing, embracing your own eventual decay.
    Suggested Characteristics
    Sinkers cling to little in this world as permanent, and many of their bonds are to the past. They can be destructive and harsh at their worst, but heroic Sinkers certainly exist – imagine the entropy one life can cause!
    Everything decays. We’re just here to help it along.
    – Factol Pentar of the Doomguard

The Dustmen
(The Dead)

You are a member of the Dustmen. Your faction holds that this world is one great afterlife, that we are all truly dead and that only by accepting that death can we move on to whatever lays beyond.
Skill Proficiencies: History, Medicine
Tool Proficiency: Funerary Kit, Historian’s Tools
Equipment: Historian’s Tools, Funerary Kit, a flask of holy water, a set of common clothes including a faction badge sewn into them, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp
Feature: One of the Dead
Your membership in the Dustmen grants you access to the Mortuary, in the Hive, where Sigil’s dead are processed. This includes access to the Dustmen’s dormitories, its armory, the records of the dead, the catacombs beneath Sigil, and to the faction library with its tomes on death, undead, burial practices, and similar topics. You may also earn a Poor living as a corpse-collector or mortuary aid there. You also know of a portal that leads to the Fortress of the Soul on the Negative Energy Plane, and have a key to that portal.
Inspiration: Dead Truce
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it to turn an undead creature from Hostile to Indifferent. The creature may revert back to Hostile based on your subsequent actions, of course.
Activities that you might gain Inspiration for may include

  • Trying to parley with intelligent undead. Controlling or dominating undead automatons rather than destroying them.
  • Requesting a reason to get involved in a mission beyond the emotional.
  • Willingly failing a save against energy drain.
    Suggested Characteristics
    The Dustmen are dispassionate people, unconcerned with the vagaries of emotion, but they cling tightly to the ideals that they have. Their bonds tend to be the things they want to be rid of, in the end.

The Fated
(Takers, the Heartless)

You are a member of the Fated. You belong to a group of independent, self-sufficient people who ally because they share the view that the authority in life belongs to those who can seize it.
Skill Proficiencies: Intimidation, Investigation
Tool Proficiency: Scribe’s Supplies, Forgery Kit
Equipment: Scribe’s Supplies, Forgery Kit, a set of fine clothes including a faction badge sewn into them, and a belt pouch containing 25 gp
Feature: Heartless
As a member of the Fated, you have access to the Hall of Records, including food and drink for a reasonable fee (Fated get nothing for free), and access to the property records, the Academy of Training, and the tax records of Sigil (including defaults, credits, lending records, tax rolls – anything having to do with money). Perhaps importantly, you also know how to look up records yourself. You also know the key to and location of a portal that will grant you access to Rowan’s Hall on Ysgard.
Inspiration: Self-Sufficient
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it to gain a proficiency bonus to one skill check that you make in a skill you aren’t normally proficient in.
The following examples may be situations in which you are awarded Inspiration

  • Refusing healing or assistive magic from another character
  • Accomplishing a deed (such as slaying a monster) without any other character contributing
  • Refusing to help an ally in desperate need
    Suggested Characteristics
    The Fated are self-sufficient, independent, and harsh in their treatment of others, but fair. The strong get what they deserve, but there are many kinds of strength in this world, many much more subtle than raw muscle

The Fraternity of Order
(Guvners)

You are a member of the Fraternity of Order. You believe that all of creation has a hidden pattern and cohesiveness, and that by discovering this pattern, you can attain power over it.
Skill Proficiencies: History, Investigation
Tool Proficiency: Cartographer’s Tools, Scribe’s Supplies
Equipment: Cartographer’s Tools, Scribe’s supplies, abacus, a set of common clothes including a faction badge sewn into them, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp
Feature: Aide to Unity
You belong to the Fraternity of Order, which allows you to access the City Court and the Vault of Knowledge that lies there. You may be assigned tasks by the faction and make some coin – enough to live a Modest lifestyle. You also know of a portal to the Fortress of Disciplined Enlightenment, the Fraternity’s headquarters on Mechanus, and the key to that portal.
Inspiration: Patterns of Speech
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it to understand one bit information spoken or written in a language you are not otherwise proficient in.
Actions you might take that may gain you Inspiration might include

  • Spending your down time accessing and learning about the laws of the area you’re in.
  • Adhering to the law of the land when breaking it would bring you some reward or convenience
  • Exploiting or correcting a loophole in a legal system
    Suggested Characteristics
    Guvners are attracted to power. Though the faction’s daily activities are dry and even dull, the stakes are quite high – if the Guvners are right, then sufficient study will allow one to control the underpinning axioms of reality.
    The planes are governed by laws. Laws can be learned. Learn the laws and you rule the Multiverse. That is our goal.
    – Factol Hashkar of the Guvners

The Free League
(Indeps)

You are a member of the Free League. Regardless of your broader philosophy, one belief you hold close to your core is that it is up to you what to believe, and that no one else should be forcing anyone else into a particular belief.
Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Survival
Bonus Language: Any two
Equipment: A merchant’s scale, a set of traveler’s clothes including a faction badge sewn into them, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp
Feature: Among Individuals
Your membership in the Free League comes with unfettered access to the Grand Bazaar in the Market Ward, and all the rumor and goods it provides. This is a great place to pick up rumors and listen to the word on the street. You also know of a safehouse somewhere in Sigil friendly to the Indeps – an inn or tavern or other establishment – that will house you. Additionally, you know of a portal to the town of Tradegate on the Outlands, and you have a key for this portal.
Inspiration: Free Mind
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it to automatically make one Wisdom save.
Examples of activities that may award you Inspiration might include

  • Refusing to join an organization or group that might provide you with benefits
  • Challenging the authority of another to make decisions for a whole group
  • Accepting the fight for another’s freedom to do as they please.
    Suggested Characteristics
    There’s a lot of variety in the Free League, but there is one strain of common ground that all find: the desire to live free, on their own terms, and to believe what they want to believe.
    Sod off! I don’t need your mumbo-jumbo.
    – Karris, an Indep.

The Harmonium
(The Hardheads)

You are a member of the Harmonium, which means you believe in peace and cooperation – even if you need to force it. You want to see everyone working together for the greater good, which means those who don’t want to do it are part of the problem.
Skill Proficiencies: Intimidation, Persuasion
Tool Proficiency: Smith’s Tools
Bonus Language: Any one
Equipment: Smith’s tools, healing kit, signal whistle, a set of common clothes including a faction badge sewn into them, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp
Feature: Notary
As a member of the Harmonium, you are welcome in the faction’s headquarters, the City Barracks in the Lady’s Ward. This gives you access to the arrest records of the city, the current list of patrols and supervisors, the courtyard (for training), and the faction library. You also are welcome in the town of Melodia, on Arcadia, the faction’s planar HQ. You know of a portal to Melodia, and have a key to that portal.
Inspiration: Forged Alliance
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it to attempt a Charisma check to bestow the “Charmed” condition on one target you are talking to, until that target takes a short rest.
Examples of actions you may do to potentially earn Inspiration might include

  • Follow your faction superior unquestioningly, when the ask is great.
  • Make peace between two conflicting individuals (or yourself and an individual you conflict with).
  • Get someone to agree with your way of thinking, if only for a moment.
    Suggested Characteristics
    The Harmonium can be stubborn and fascist, but at their best they are helpful, generous people who truly view their path as the way to good for all the planes.
    Do it our way or no way. Understand that, berk?
    – Factol Sarin of the Harmonium

The Mercykillers
(Red Death)

You are a member of the Mercykillers, a faction whose philosophy centers on the concept of Justice. Justice is the metric by which a utopia is ruled, ensuring equity and fairness to all, that they are rewarded as they earn it, and are punished as they deserve it. Your faction’s particular focus currently is on ensuring that the guilty are punished according to the metrics of Justice — it is your faction that runs the Prison in Sigil.
Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Investigation
Tool Proficiencies: Navigator’s Tools, Poisoner’s Kit
Equipment: Navigator’s Tools, Poisoner’s Kit, manacles, a set of traveler’s clothes including a faction badge sewn into them, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp
Feature: Enlisted
You have taken an oath to uphold the Eight Tenets of Justice before your peers, and are entitled to the duties and priveleges of a Mercykiller. This means that you may (and are encouraged to) volunteer for guard duty at the Prison in the Lady’s Ward, and here you essentially have the run of the prison, including the Cellars where the “forgotten” prisoners are kept. You are also able to visit the prison on other occasions, and have permission to visit prisoners there. You also have knowledge of a portal that leads to Vorkehan, City of Fumes, which is the Mercykiller stronghold on the plane of Acheron. You possess a key to that portal as well.
Inspiration: Compel the Truth
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it to automatically detect the first lie told before your next short rest. It’s hard to deceive a Mercykiller.
Activities that might potentially earn you Inspiration may include

  • Dispensing justice at great personal or emotional expense to yourself.
  • Taking the time to ensure the guilt or innocence of a prisoner.
  • Allowing another to fairly punish you, though it hurts you.
    Suggested Characteristics
    Mercykillers tend to be a harsh lot, dispensing and demanding justice, but their ultimate goal is fairness, to make the multiverse a more equitable place. There are some in the Red Death that focus on the “mercy” aspect of their faction, trying to identify and confront injustice or perverted justice, but there’s many who are simply happy to define justice and fairness on their own terms, and apply it rigidly.

The Revolutionary League
(Anarchists)

You are a member of the Revolutionary League, the underground movement that opposes the factions in Sigil and all government anywhere on the planes. Artificial laws and organizations only serve to empower the power-hungry in your mind, and the truth can only be found when we are truly free from the authorities that bind us
Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Sleight of Hand
Tool Proficiency: Forgery Kit, Thieves’ Tools
Equipment: Thieves’ tools, forgery kit, bag of caltrops, a set of common clothes with some other faction’s insignia on them, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp
Feature: Anarchist Recruit
As a member of the Revolutionary League, you know of one refuge where you can go to discuss your philosophy and plans openly with other League members. You also have access to one other faction’s Sigil HQ as if you belonged to that faction – your job in the League is to spy on that other faction, and report back to your cell. You also know of a portal to the safe-house of The Bastion of Last Hope, on Carceri, and have a key to that portal.
Inspiration: Nothing Suspicious
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it to quell the suspicions of another person — spend your Inspiration when asked to make a Deception check, and it is automatically successful.
Examples of actions that might earn you Inspiration may include

  • Preserving a pseudonym or false identity when revealing the truth would be advantageous
  • Opposing a leader or power structure when obedience would be clearly the best course.
  • Refusing power or leadership that is granted to you
    Suggested Characteristics
    The Anarchists are a suspicious lot, a little paranoid and in love with the covert. Their noble traits tend to emphasize the freedom that is possible in an individual, but they are just as interested in tearing down the lies of others.

The Sign of One
(Signers)

You are a member of the Sign of One, a faction that believes that the multiverse is just a creation of your mind, and that every bit of existence is really something you made.
Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Persuasion
Tool Proficiency: Diviner’s Kit
Bonus Language: Any one
Equipment: Diviner’s kit, steel mirror, a set of common clothes with the faction insignia in them, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp
Feature: Precognitive
Your membership in the Sign of One is proof that you can make correct predictions, and thus can will the multiverse to change for you. You have free access to the Hall of Speakers in the Clerk’s ward, including the list of speakers and topics, and access to the debate halls. You also know of a portal to the faction headquarters on Elysium, the Perfected Land, and possess a key to that portal.
Inspiration: Unimaginable
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it to gain automatic success on any attempt to disbelieve an illusion until your next short rest.
Examples of things that may give you Inspiration might include:

  • Correctly predicting the future in a specific instance, with something at risk should you fail to be correct.
  • Convincing powerful creature that you are in control of them…mentally.
  • Denying that another’s experience is valid when you are trying to convince them of something.
    Suggested Characteristics
    Signers tend to be a little self-absorbed and self-important, but their wills are strong, and their imaginations are large. Little surprises them or phases them.
    Where’s the center of the Multiverse? Me – I’m the center of the Multiverse.
    – Factol Darius of the Signers

The Society of Sensation
(Sensates)

You are a member of the Society of Sensation, and hold to the belief that experiencing something — tasting it, hearing it, seeing it — defines its existence. Only by trying any experience can you know the truth of the multiverse.
Skill Proficiencies: Investigation, Perception
Tool Proficiencies: One artisan’s tool set, one musical instrument
Equipment: An artisan’s tool set and musical instrument you are proficient in, a spyglass, traveler’s clothes with a faction insignia sewn into them, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp
Feature: Recorder of Sensations
As a member of the Sensates, you have access to the Civic Festhall, including free use of the Sensoriums, where recorded experiences can be played back. Most people must pay a fee for this, but you get in for free. You also have access to the exclusive faction Sensoriums (where you are also tasked with recording any new sensations you experience). You also can use the faction quarters, lecture halls, and classrooms here. Furthermore, you know of a portal to the faction’s Gilded Hall on Arborea, and have a key to open it.
Inspiration: Attuned Senses
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it when surprised to negate the surprise for yourself — your senses picked up the ambush just before it happened.
Suggested Characteristics
Sensates tend to be a little hedonistic, delving deeply into pleasurable sensations and caring little about the world outside of them. Those who delve deeply into the philosophy might be a little reckless as well, living close to the edge of death and destruction in order to sample experiences never sampled before.
Touch it, smell it, taste it, see it, hit it.
– Factol Erin of the Sensates

The Transcendent Order
(Ciphers)

You have joined the Transcendent Order. As a member of this faction, you hold that action without thought is how one becomes perfected, working in harmony with your place in the planes and your destiny. Stopping to think clouds the judgement and introduces doubt, so you strive to make your mind clear, and your body active.
Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Insight
Languages: Any two
Equipment: An hourglass, a set of common clothes with the faction symbol sewn into them, and 10 gp.
Feature: Aspirant of the Transcendent
Your membership in the Transcendent Order gives you free and unfettered access to the Great Gymnasium in the Guildhall Ward, where you can train body, mind, and spirit to act as one in various gyms, classes, paths, and chambers. There, you can seek to align your body with the harmony of the multiverse that faction members call the Cadence. You also know of a location of a portal to Release From Care, the faction’s unofficial home on Elysium, and a key that will open that portal.
Inspiration: Action, no Thought.
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it to increase your Initiative to one above the creature who currently is before you in initiative order.
Suggested Characteristics
Ciphers don’t talk much, really, and convey their mood and their thoughts more through what they do than what they say. At the worst, this can manifest like a toddler — no self-control, all hedonism and violence. Those who elevate themselves above that behavior do so through meditation and introspection, allowing them to hear what the planes want them to do, and respond.
By the time you’ve thought about it, I’ll have killed you. That makes it a do or die deal.
– Factol Rhys of the Ciphers

The Xaositects
(Chaosmen)

You are a member of the Xaositects. This means that you embrace Chaos as the fundamental nature of the multiverse, and strive to embrace it, embody it, and further it in all of your actions. The multiverse is at its heart a place of randomness, chance, and unpredictability, and any order imposed on it is artificial, foolish, and harmful.
Skill Proficiencies: Roll 1d20 twice to determine which two of the 18 skills you are proficient in randomly (re-roll 19-20)
Tool Proficiencies: Roll 1d10 twice to determine your two tool proficiencies (if you roll Artisan’s Tools, Gaming Set, or Musical Instrument, you can make a choice of which specific kind of that item you are proficient in)
Equipment: One of each tool set you are proficient in, 1d4 items from the Trinkets table, a set of a set of common clothes with the faction insignia in them, and a belt pouch containing 1d20 gp
Feature: Rabble
As a new Xaositect, you are welcome in the section of the Hive Ward known as the Hive — a slum’s mercantile district, where decaying hovels and nameless streets change on a daily basis, with the whims and tides of fate. As a Xaositect, you have an innate sense of how to find exactly the kind of place you’re looking for in the Hive. You also have access to a portal that links to Limbo, and you know of the key for that portal.
Inspiration: Babble
If you gain a point of Inspiration for adhering to your faction philosophy, you may use it to foil any attempt at understanding a thing you say or write for anyone who isn’t a Xaositect. Other Xaositects understand it just fine.
Suggested Characteristics
The primary goal of a Xaositect is to revel in chaos, and this means that they want to create it, to cause chaos to come into being wherever it is lacking. Xaositects don’t brook order, orgainzation, or even pattern or habit. They do their best to confound expectations at every turn, reinforcing the idea that unpredictability is the nature of all things.
Beautiful is! Chaos too dim multiverse is to notice most the of.
– Factol Karan of the Chaosmen

The Factions of Sigil (Backgrounds)

Paths of the Planetouched JustyGhost JustyGhost