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Characters / Planescape Factions

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The primary social grouping of the Planescape setting, the Factions are distinctive philosophical views about the purpose of the multiverse who have managed to acquire positions of strong political power in the city of Sigil. Originally, there were over 49 recognized factions, but in an event called The Winnowing, the Lady of Pain demanded that they condense down into 15 distinct groups. After the events of the Faction War, covered in adventure form, the Factions lost their political power and became indistinguishable from the Sects.

Athar (Aka the Lost, the Defiers)

A faction dedicated to proving that the powers that rule the Outer Planes are not "gods" as they claim to be, but frauds who must be overthrown for the good of the multiverse. Their headquarters is the Shattered Temple in the Lower Ward. Their Factol prior to the Faction War is Terrance, a male planar human of Lawful Good alignment, who is a 19th level Priest of the Great Unknown. The Faction War sees Terrance Mazed by the Lady of Pain, and the Athar are forced to mostly quit the City of Doors to instead set up a new city for themselves at the base of the Spire, where the powers can't reach them. A few remain behind, hiding in the Undercity of Sigil.

  • Fire-Forged Friends: They and the Godsmen were once enemies, until they figured out their ideas were Not So Different; they became close allies as a result.
  • Hollywood Atheist: There is a strong vibe of this to the Athar.
    • Their founders were Dunn (a man who wanted Poseidon to die because Poseidon and his church had taken all his possessions, his wife had been seduced into being a Poseidon priest's concubine, and his daughter had been stolen to Arborea by a proxy of Poseidon), and Ciro (a dispossessed Loki priest who wondered why gods, who should be beyond such things, would be dependent upon the faith of others for their power).
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    • Meanwhile, their current factol became who he is when he realised that it was his own intellect and intuition that had helped him through every problem in his life, rather than the aid of his goddess, Mishkal.
    • Athar tactics include a lot of stereotypical atheist tactics, like trying to Logic Bomb priests or induce crises of faith.
    • Justified on some grounds:
      • Rather than questioning the existence of gods (as such things demonstrably exist in the setting), the Athar object to people worshipping what they consider to be simply powerful natural beings.
      • Since the factions are by definition based on philosophical beliefs, those with a more common real-world atheist outlook — those who simply regard atheism as a lack of belief, rather than a belief system in itself — would not be members of this faction.
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  • Honor Before Reason: A disadvantage of being a member is that an Athar is not allowed to accept aid from clerics of specific deities; this includes healing magic, should the Athar be injured.
  • Nay-Theist: With the minor twist that a portion of the faction are theists, believing in a (non-personified) Great Unknown. They just don't believe the 'gods' running around on the planes are real gods.

Believers of the Source (Aka the Godsmen)

A faction who believe that life is a series of tests and challenges that must be overcome; as a person incarnates, their actions cause them to move further up or down the ladder of being, until eventually they achieve godhood. Their main base of operations is the Great Foundry in the Lower Ward, from which the produce all of the metal goods of Sigil. Their Factol is Ambar Vergrove, a Neutral Good male planar half-elf, also a 19th level ranger. The Faction War results in Factol Vergrove being Mazed by the Lady, though many of his followers believe he Ascended instead. Forced to leave by the Lady's decrees, many Godsmen end up merging with the also-leaving Signers faction to form a new philosophy, known as the Mind's Eye, based on core elements of both the original faction philosophies.

  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Their goal, kind of. Technically you can just walk to a higher plane of existence in Sigil, but they want to belong there as gods. (They also claim that the gods themselves are supposed to ascend as well eventually; it's kind of like Nirvana.)
  • Eternal Engine: The Great Foundry is like this, although unusually for this trope it does have a very necessary, specific use. It makes all metal goods for Sigil, except weapons and armor; the Doomguard handle those.
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  • Secret Test of Character: They believe every being in existence is being tested. They aren't quite sure what the tests are (like whether they have to be Good, Evil, Lawful, Chaotic, or whether it's something else) but they try to figure that out.

Bleak Cabal (aka Bleakers)

An ancient faction, defined primarily by their belief in the utter lack of any great meaning or hidden purpose to The Multiverse. Their role in the Cage is predominantly one of charity and compassion; they operate free soup kitchens, run orphanages, and take care of the mentally ill from their headquarters in the Gatehouse, an ominous structure at the edge of the Hive Ward. Their Factol is the Chaotic Neutral male planar half-orc Lhar, an 8th level fighter whose parents (a blind male human and a female orc) moved to Sigil in hopes that their Interspecies Romance would be tolerated better there; unfortunately, they found it difficult to get jobs and eventually had no choice but to give Lhar to the Bleaker orphanage. At the time of the Faction War, Lahr had already consigned himself to the Madhouse, having been replaced by Sruce, who is sent to the mazes. The Bleakers are unaffected by the events of that plot; they simply shrug their shoulders, stop calling themselves a faction, and keep on as they were before.

  • The Anti-Nihilist: the good aligned members anyway.
  • Bedlam House: The Gatehouse has been known to end up like this at times, depending on who is currently in charge of the Bleakers.
  • Berserk Button: Bleakers really don't like the "all your pain and suffering is a test" aspect of the Godsmen's philosophy. It can be one of the few things that makes them actually get angry.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: They officially believe the multiverse is meaningless and pointless, with there being no great purpose to anything, but they are mostly not of evil alignments and, indeed, dedicate themselves to charity and good works — if there is no point, then there is no reason not to try and alleviate the suffering of others, is there?
  • Determined Defeatist: What keeps Bleakers going as individuals instead of succumbing to apathy and dying; there is no point to anything they do, but they have to keep trying.
  • The Spook: The insignia of the Bleakers is a horned helmet made of violet metal surrounded by a black starburst. Whatever or whoever this represents is unknown. It was painted on the floor of the Gatehouse's courtyard when they moved in centuries ago, and nobody alive in Sigil remembers its meaning. Still, a forgotten, meaningless symbol fits their philosophy well.

Doomguard (aka Sinkers)

A faction who worships entropy, believing that all things will inevitably end and it is only proper to celebrate the destruction that awaits all. They control the Armory, the great storehouse of all weapons in Sigil located at the edge between the Lady's War and the Lower Ward, and thusly serve as a restraint on the war capabilities of the Harmonium. Their Factol is Pentar, a Chaotic Neutral female planar human, 20th level ranger, who actively encourages the Doomguard to be active in furthering entropy, driving the majority who violently lash out against the multiverse to drive them to destruction. Wielder of the Blade of Modron Death, she has less interest in her faction and more in planning for her own upcoming attempt to destroy the next Great Modron March. Factol Pentar was one of the first Factols to be Mazed during the Faction War, and the subsequent battles see the Doomguard rendered virtually extinct; those who survive are hated by the populace of Sigil with almost as much intensity as the members of the Mercykillers and Fated. The survivors flee to their fortresses on the Negative Quasielemental Planes, but because of their ethos they seem likely to fade away into oblivion.

  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Doomguard may not have the nicest sounding goal, but there are members of all ethical alignments and even some Good aligned member.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: As mentioned, there are Doomguards who actively believe entropy needs a helping hand in the total consumption of everything, and so try to speed it along.
  • Straw Nihilist: A rare variant where they believe the active pursuit of universal annihilation is a worthy pursuit in its own right.

Dustmen (aka the Dead)

A faction that believe all life and afterlife as seen in the Great Wheel is a falsehood; instead, all who think they are alive are instead dead souls, trapped in a false perception of life. Only by letting go of this misconception and becoming detached from the lie can they fall into True Death, and whatever passes beyond. As a consequence, they operate the Mortuary in the Hive Ward and make themselves useful by collecting and disposing of all the many corpses that Sigil generates every day. Their Factol is Skall, a Neutral Evil male planar lich of unknown origin, and a 19th level wizard. The Faction War sees the Dustmen dissolved as an official faction, but they retain their role as the gravekeepers of Sigil, even if their philosophy starts to wither out with the Mazing of Skall, whom is believed by the Dustmen to have officially ascended to True Death at last.

  • The Coroner: When in charge of the Mortuary, they were in charge of collecting, processing, and disposing of Sigil's dead, along with everything else that entailed. Given the high population density of Sigil, there's no space for cemeteries, the Mortuary having portals to every known Prime world. The Dustmen would typically send a corpse to wherever the next of kin desired; unclaimed ones would be cremated via portals to the Elemental Plane of Fire.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Officially, the Dusties lean towards the neutral and lawful scale of the alignment axis, and they do contribute a vital role to the running of Sigil. Still, as is lampshaded in "The Factol's Manifesto" sourcebook, for all that it's well-meant, most people tend to view somebody who hopes for the demise of everyone else to be evil.
  • Dead All Along: The central dogma of their philosophy; they think everyone is dead. Some are just more so than others.
  • Nature Hero: Oddly enough, a lot of Druids are members. Dustmen Druids see death as a necessity in the Circle of Life analogy.
  • The Necromancer: A lot of necromancers are part of the Dustmen. The Dusties also use large numbers of walking dead (animated skeletons and zombies) as manual labourers, and, two of the five "Circles" (ranks in the Dustmen hierarchy) are actually comprised solely of free-willed undead.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Some Dustmen are good, some are evil, but almost all of them are creepy. To give one of many examples, In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil mentions a member named Mhasha Zakk, who runs a taxidermy shop in the Merchant's Ward, who acts like a sweet old granny save for the fact she really loves her work, and if a customer is an attractive type, she might ask for his or her corpse after his death. And she is deadly serious about it. What makes this especially creepy is the fact that at least three customers apparently accepted this offer - they are displayed in her shop.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: "The Factol's Manifesto" reveals Skall is actually building an immense army of the undead with plans to wipe out all life in the multiverse in order to "help" them achieve True Death. It's unclear if he really thinks this will do them a favor, or he just wants the ultimate power that would come from reducing all life in the multiverse to his undead slave.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: The higher ranks of the Dustmen are similar to this. Even amongst the Dusties themselves, few people know that the Third and Second Circles are comprised exclusively of Dustmen killed and reanimated as undead by Skall himself.
  • The Stoic: Encouraged as a way to avoid attachment.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Amazingly, the Dustmen try to avoid killing people through violence if they can. They believe that only via natural death can mortals find true enlightenment. This does not mean, however, that all of them are pacifists that will not fight and will automatically grant mercy to enemies.
  • Unwitting Pawn: It's possible that the Dustmen may, in fact, be mere suckers who have bought into the lies of a malevolent lich and made an actually positive (or at least not-evil) philosophy out of them.

Fated (aka Takers, The Heartless)

A faction dedicated to the idea of taking what you want from those you can take it from. They serve Sigil in the role of its tax collectors, operating out of the Hall of Records. Their Factol is a male prime human from Oerth (though he claims to have been born on Toril) named Rowan Darkwood, a Chaotic Good epically powerful individual (he's a dual-classed ranger/priest of Heimdall, with 19 levels in the former class and 20 in the latter class). The Fated earn great hatred because it is Factol Darkwood who sparks the Faction War. They are forced to flee the Cage and settle on Ysgard, eventually evolving into an arguably purer incarnation of their philosophy that focuses on taking what they need and not what they want.

  • Ambition Is Evil: Beyond the fact that the Takers can basically be seen as this themselves, Rowan Darkwood's ambition leads this officially Chaotic Good man to commit atrocities that include seducing a mentally ill girl young enough to be his daughter, marrying her for power, selling her into slavery to the Fiends, and then sparking the infamous Faction War.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Whilst Lawful Good characters cannot join the Takers, but there are more than a few Neutral Good and Chaotic Good Takers.
  • Honor Before Reason: A Taker cannot accept anything that he did not take for himself. This includes genuinely offered aid from others; a member of the Fated cannot even allow another person to heal him if he's injured.
  • I Own This Town: The Fated were in charge of collecting taxes, potentially making Darkwood the most powerful individual in Sigil other than the Lady. His downfall was not settling for second-best.
  • Might Makes Right: The fundamental core of their philosophy; take what you can, and to the hells with everybody else.
  • The Scapegoat: As one might expect, the members who survived the Faction War are not well-liked, and pretty much everyone else blames them for what happened, seeing as Darkwood started the whole thing.
  • Smug Snake: Rowan Darkwood; he thought he could take Sigil itself and boy, was he ridiculously wrong.
  • Social Darwinist: They may believe in Might Makes Right, but they aren't hypocrites about it; if you're strong enough to take what you want from a Fated, and proceed to do so, then it belongs to you and they just have to get stronger. Life is about the struggle to get stronger, and the weak deserve no pity or aid.

Fraternity of Order (aka Guvners)

A faction dedicated to the belief that all things in the multiverse are governed by laws and if these laws are uncovered, one can control reality itself. They form the trinity of justice in Sigil with the aid of the Harmonium and the Mercykillers; the Guvners create and define the laws, as well as try criminals, while the Hardheads catch the crooks and the Red Death punish them. As a result, their faction headquarters is the City Court, at the heart of the Lady's Ward. Their Factol is Hashkar, a male planar dwarf Sage of Lawful Neutral alignment. Unbeknownst to almost anyone outside the highest Guvners (except the Revolutionary League — and even they don't really know (or much care) that it's true), Hashkar is actually a petitioner to The Lady. According to the story Hashkar was once a planar dwarf who came to revere the Lady of Pain as the law at the center of the multiverse. He has never left Sigil, even for the faction HQ on Mechanus. And his single-minded dedication to law makes him have a personality just like that of a petitioner. It is possible that the Lady allows him to worship her in secret, but if that were to come out she'd have to kill him as an example. He is murdered by a Xaositect assassin during the Faction War; this leads the Fraternity to declare war on the Xaositects as a whole. After the Lady of Pain makes her decree, they retreat en-mass from Sigil to their headquarters on Mechanus, to begin the laborous process of electing a new Factol and restructuring themselves to return to Sigil.

  • Awesomeness by Analysis: What they hope to achieve.
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat/Obstructive Bureaucrat: Common negative stereotypes of Guvners, and one that evil-aligned Guvners tend to easily fit into.
  • Insufferable Genius: A common trait amongst the Guvners. For example, they almost never allow for appeals against their sentences — after all, they know all the rules, so if a Guvner made a ruling, then it must obviously be the right one.
  • Order vs. Chaos: Firmly on the "Order" side of things; all members of the Fraternity of Order must be Lawful, though whether they are Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral or Lawful Evil is unimportant.
  • Loophole Abuse: Some of them can actually manifest powers by exploiting loopholes in the laws of the universe itself. (In game terms, learning how to do this is a benefit of being a member; however, you can only use a power like this a limited number of times before the loophole closes.)
  • Motor Mouth: Their former leader, the now-deceased Factol Haskar, was notorious for this. It was unwise to ask him a question (even one as simple as "Which way to the exit?") unless you planned on listening to him for a long time. Haskar tended to lecture at the drop of a hat, and would always answer questions in the most complete and thorough ways possible.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The Guvners openly admit that they seek to know the rules so they can bend them in their favor, with the eventual goal of doing this to the rules that hold reality itself together. People let them do it anyway, simply because they're the only guys who really know how everything works now.
  • Rules Lawyer: The Fraternity of Order is basically what happens when these kinds of people unite to try and take over the universe.
  • Vast Bureaucracy: What the Fraternity is like, and what any place controlled by them or where they are drawn to tends to be.

Free League (aka Indepts)

Aka "the Faction that isn't", the Indeps are the loosely aligned coalition of independent Sigil natives who, for whatever reason, refuse to join one of the other factions. They are defined, as far as that term can be applies to them, by their belief in and promotion of acceptance, balance and individuality. This means the majority of Indeps are Neutral in some way — True Neutral, Neutral Good or Neutral Evil, typically, with True Neutrals and Neutral Goods being most common. The Free League is regarded with disdain but usually indifference by most "Order-focused" Factions; the Harmonium are a hostile exception. Because of their loose nature, they have no official Factol, though there are three individuals respected enough to be "unofficial leaders"; Bria Tomay (planar female human, 14th level Chaotic Neutral bard) and the twins Lethea & Lesander (female and male, respectively, prime wemics, 6th level Lawful Neutral fighters). All three of them are Mazed during the Faction War, though the Free League, understandably, accuses the Harmonium of having them murdered. The ending of the Factions is no sweat for the Free League, who simply repeat that they are not a faction and get down to enjoying life without the Harmonium oppressing them.

  • Anarchy Is Chaos: Averted. They get along just fine without a Factol.
  • Blessed With Suck: Of all the Factions, they are the only one that can be said to have the actual attention of the Lady of Pain upon them. This is not a good thing.
    • To put it in proper perspective; right after the Great Upheaval, when the Factions were reorganised into the 15 seen here, the Free League swelled to over one million members. The Lady, annoyed by the fact that one of the least tractable/manipulatable Factions was now so strong, promptly took action; over the span of 50 years, she personally winnowed the membership down to under 20000 souls by means of Mazing or eviscerating whoever caught her attention.
    • At the time that "The Factol's Manifesto" was written, her amusement at the fact that Indep historians were attributing the mass culling to a mysterious plague led her to create that plague to infect the Indeps at random.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: This more or less sums up the relationship between the Harmonium and the Free League.

Harmonium (aka Hardheads)

A faction originating out of a Prime world called Ortho, founded around the ideal of bringing about the greatest good for the greatest number. No matter what it takes or if others like that. A fairly young faction, only 500 years old at the time of Planescape's initial release, they began when a group of adventurers set out to "rid the country of chaos and bring peace to the land". Somehow, they went from succeeding at their goal to leading a righteous crusade to extend the same peace and harmony over the rest of Ortho, until all non-Lawfuls had been eradicated. Disturbed by the fact that chaos and disorder would still plague their lawful, regimented society, the Harmonium turned its attention to what it believed was the source; the Outer Planes. After an initial crusade to the Lower Planes failed, they resettled in Sigil as a "beachhead" in their conquest, and have since made themselves useful. Allies to the Fraternity of Order (who form the court system) and the Mercykillers (who punish the guilty), the Harmonium have become the police officers of the Cage, operating out of the City Barracks in the Lady's Ward. Their Factol is Sarin, a male human Paladin (16th level) from Ortho, who is married to Faith, a Lawful Good 12th level cleric and a female planar human. During the Faction War, Sarin is assassinated by the Revolutionary League, who publicly take responsibility, and his widow takes over; it is her benevolent commands that persuades them to leave peacefully and retreat to Arcadia, where there are signs that the group will become less militaristic. Few hold any belief that the change will be permanent, though.

  • Chaos Is Evil: The cornerstone of their Factional doctrine; harmony is the only worthy goal, and opposing that, even by just having a different opinion of what harmony means, is evil.
  • City Guards: Of Sigil, before the Faction War.
  • Dirty Cop: Because of how willing the Hardheads can be to exploit their power as Sigil's City Guards, and how they close ranks in the face of external interference, this is the (rather justified!) stereotype the Sigilites have of them.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The Harmonium's intentions and overall goal are benevolent, but their actions in pursuit of it... well, see below.
  • Knight Templar: A big part of why the Harmonium is so disliked by everyone, despite their good intentions. The Harmonium will bring peace and order to the universe — by force, if need be.
    • Their homeworld of Ortho has had all Chaotic and even Neutral races completely wiped out in pursuit of the Harmonium's "perfection". This includes Chaotic Good and Neutral Good races like elves and pixies.
    • They're so bad about this that their former headquarters on Nemausus generated so much evil in the name of good that it turned the plane's Character Alignment into Lawful Neutralinvoked dumping it from Arcadia into Mechanus.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: The Harmonium's accidental planar slip of Nemausus, the third layer of Arcadia, is a big thumb in the eye to the faction's goals, abilities and beliefs.
    • People often aren't too impressed with the Harmonium when they find out about the whole "genocide of Chaotic Good and Neutral Good races on Ortho" thing.
    • In "The Factol's Manifesto", it's mentioned that those who are familiar with Rajaat and his Champions from Athas have been known to directly compare the Hardheads to them — something the Harmonium vigorously protests against.
  • Order Is Not Good: Despite their view that Chaos Is Evil, the Harmonium are practically Sigil's poster-boys for how being too devoted to Law above all else can make you a monster as bad as any fiend.
    • To put this into perspective; if the Factol finds out about the Lawful Evil Hardheads who have been murdering Indeps, they will be chastised... but only for doing so without proper orders; the Harmonium expects to one day officially crack down upon the Free League, so their actions would have been fine if they hadn't been acting independently.
  • Order vs. Chaos: The Harmonium stands on the "Order" side and is allied with the similarly Order-focused Fraternity of Order and Mercykillers, whilst it remains bitter enemies with the Chaos-focused Free League, Revolutionary League, Xaositects, Fated and Doomguard. They also don't like the Bleakers much. Needless to say, Lawful alignment is essential to joining the Hardheads... of course, maybe if they were willing to cut out the Lawful Evil members as well, they might not be as bad at doing what they say they want to do.
  • Parton Deity: Most of them regard the Oeridian god of justice St. Cuthbert as their patron; he is worshipped by most spiritual leaders within the faction.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: According to legend, they started as nothing more than a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, like the typical adventuring party. They grew into an Army of Thieves and Whores, then a well-disciplined army, and eventually, an army of such great size that they brought order and peace (or their perception of it) to Orthos. (But then they figured, why stop there?)
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Despite the bad reputation they have achieved, the Harmonium keeps attracting Lawful Good types, who believe that their cause is worthy even despite how they attempt to bring it about.

Mercykillers (aka The Red Death)

A faction dedicated to the pursuit of justice above all else, born from the union of two similar factions at the end of the Great Upheaval; the Lawful Good Sons of Mercy and the Lawful Evil Sodkillers. The Faction War sees them split back into these two factions again, for the most part.

  • The Determinator: If you break the law, they will find you.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Their mascot is a wyvern called the Wyrm, which was kept in a tower near the Prison. Mostly it's a pet, but it did have uses; first of all, the worst criminals that received the death penalty (usually for betraying the city) were fed to the Wyrm. Second, its venom could be made into Truth Serums, making interrogations incredibly easy.
  • The Fettered: Mercykillers officially cannot act to punish injustice until and unless the criminal is properly defined as such. In the triad of lawmaker factions, the Harmonium catches the criminals, the Fraternity of Order convict them, and the Mercykillers punish them. Mercykiller players are forbidden from catching or judging enemies of their own initiative, as a result; the best they can usually do is note down injustices in order to present them to their faction and get them avenged as soon as possible. Of course, one reason the crime rate around the Prison is almost zero was due to too many rumors of them breaking that rule.
  • Knight Templar: Only MUCH more so than the Harmonium; the Lawful Evil side of the Mercykillers holds far more sway over the faction than it does in the Harmonium.
  • Lawful Neutralinvoked: This is the ideal alignment that the Mercykillers aspire towards, to the extent that Lawful Good and Lawful Evil Mercykillers are prone to suffering penalties to their faction abilities due to the conflict between their viewpoint and the ideals of the faction.
  • Psycho Supporter: Factol Alisohn Nilesia was essentially this for Fated Factol Rowan Darkwood before his betrayal; she had agreed to his We Can Rule Sigil Together offer not only because she was madly in love with him, but also because she was insane enough to believe that current ruler The Lady of Pain wished to be executed by her as punishment for her countless crimes.
  • The Jailer: Being in charge of the Prison pretty much means they control Sigil's correction system.

Revolutionary League (aka Anarchists)

An extremely loose faction based pretty much entirely on the idea of opposing the other factions.

  • And Then What?: All of them want to bring down "The System". Exactly what they intend to build in its place is a matter of debate.
  • Bomb Throwing Anarchist: A stereotype of the Revolutionary League, and not entirely inaccurate; the League is willing to do just about anything to bring down the Factions.
  • Order Versus Chaos: The League is firmly on the side of "Chaos", which prevents them from taking in members of the Lawful alignments, and thus their relationship with the Factions is colored by this lens; they bear the greatest enmity for those factions that strongly promote a Lawful viewpoint, namely the trinity of Guvners, Hardheads and Mercykillers. Those factions with more Chaotic leanings are less important to the average Anarchist.
  • Properly Paranoid: The extremely loose-knit "cell" structure of the Revolutionary League, whilst it does sometimes hinder its ability to work together, has kept it safe from the Harmonium for centuries.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The League is so loosely-knit, communication between cells so poor, and distrust so rampant, that it frequently works against its own interests. "The Factol's Manifesto" explicitly states that the Revolutionary League has ultimately achieved nothing because it's too disorganized to bring its strength to bear, and often acts at cross-purpose to itself.

Sign of One (aka Signers)

A faction who believe that a person's willpower defines reality around them.

  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: A solipsistic variant.
  • Deader Than Dead: A Signer that accidentally believes themselves out of existence could only be restored by a Wish spell or another Signer managing to believe them back into existence.
  • It's All About Me: This is literally the central belief of all members, but funnily enough not all of them are jerks.
  • Narcissist: This is a group that claims one person is the center of the universe, and while they are at a loss to reveal who, they are certain this person is a Signer. As a result, they come across as this.
  • Power at a Price: Imagining, the power to reshape reality through sheer force of will, is not risk-free; if the Signer's mind wavers at the wrong moment, it can be disastrous. Factotums who roll a "1" on their Imagining check suffer a backlash, as they inadvertently convince themselves that they are figments of imagination; this reduces them to a phantasmal version of themselves, until they can manage to convince themselves that they are real and thus Imagine themselves back to reality. Factors, whose Imagining power is proportionally greater, suffer proportionally greater risks; on a roll of a "1", their conviction in their nonexistence causes their powers to erase them from existence.
  • Ret-Gone: It has not been proven, but many detractors claim they can (and have) made some of their opposition disappear from existence simply by willing it. Of course, if it is true, it seems unusual for a detractor to say this and thus confirm their claims.
    • This can actually befall Signers themselves if they fumble their Imagination power!
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: This is both the core of the faction's belief and the benefit bestowed by faction membership; higher members of the faction can literally create things out of thin air, or destroy them, just by willing it to happen. However, this isn't entirely risk-free...

Society of Sensation (aka Sensates)

A faction who believe that the multiverse only exists insofar as you can experience; thus, by experiencing all the multiverse has to offer, you will understand the true purpose behind existence.

  • Data Crystal: They create the Sensory Stones, a magitek equivalent to this.
  • The Hedonist: Some Sensates are this, but they are looked down upon by most true Sensates and quietly pushed out of the way.
  • Sense Freak: This is the aspiration of the Sensates as a whole; because the multiverse only exists in so far as you have experienced it, you need to get out there and experience more things.
  • Transferable Memory: The Sensates use their Sensory Stones to duplicate memories and hold them in storage, so anyone can use that Stone to experience all facets of that memory as if they were actually there. This makes being a Sensate more achievable, as it allows a member to experience things that they are either physically incapable of doing (for example, flying under their own power), or unwilling to do (cheat on a loved one, have a limb cut off, etc). They also make a very profitable income by allowing non-Sensates to use the Sensory Stones themselves, for a fee.

Transcendant Order (aka Ciphers)

A faction believing that instinct is superior to thought and so the body must be trained to act without conscious thought in order to achieve true transcendence.

  • Don't Think, Feel: All members of the Faction must act on their first impulse, as per Factional doctrine.
  • Karma Houdini: While very little of the responsibility for the Faction War falls on them, they were virtually untouched and unpunished for it. While no longer an organization with an official charter, former members still run the Great Gymnasium, unofficially spreading their ideals through the Cage and the Planes, while Rhys was the only Factol not killed or sent to the Mazes during the War, and is now a member of Sigil's city council.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Well, not exactly, but their philosophy gives a Player Character who joins a rather unique penalty: once he has decided on an action, he is not allowed to change his mind. (In other words, this is where a "no takebacks" rule is mandatory for a player). This does not mean the Player will always become a Leeroy Jenkins, but it might increase the risk or it happening.

Xaositects (aka Chaosmen)

A faction that exists on the idea that the multiverse is nothing but chaotic whimsy and chance, so the true way to experience life is to give yourself over to whim and chaos.

  • Chaotic Stupid: Not technically necessary, but there is a tendency for people to play the faction this way. Probably because the descriptions of the faction tend to make them sound like they are this way.
  • Mad Artist: Many of the not-as-stupid members qualify. The Painter is a tiefling member who has become a celebrity of sorts for her large and vivid murals, while the Gate Town of Xaos and Limbo itself (where they have a strong presence) is home to many artists, some of which specialize in Chaos Shaping.
  • Player Headquarters: A rare case of an organization who averts this. They call the Hive their headquarters, but don't have a specific building to meet in. Members usually light special torches that burn with violet fire for when they want to organize and event, and members are told to look for those.


Introduced in assorted Planescape sourcebooks, perhaps at their earliest in the sourcebook In The Cage: A Guide to Sigil, Sects are essentially the "little brothers" of the Factions. Like Factions, Sects are strong philosophy-motivated organisations and groups, but unlike Factions, Sects do not necessarily evangelicise for membership. They also lack the strong political influence of the Factions, and have no inherent ties to the running of Sigil — in fact, they're typically focused on specific regions of the planes, although individuals may show up in Sigil. Some argue that the Factions are basically Sects that grew big enough to seize political power in Sigil, especially since there's little mechanical difference between the two, both before and after the Faction War. This is only emphasized by the fact that many Sects are actually all that's left of now-fallen Factions or even represent splinter-beliefs within the governance of a Faction. It's possible to belong to both a Sect and a Faction simultaneously, although it's considered gauche to make a show of it.




Carpet Knights





Introduced on the Mimir website, the Eaters complete the Rule of Three with the Incantifiers and the Prolongers. The former eat magic, the latter eat life, and this Sect? It eats belief. Originally an elite group within the Athar, the Eaters became anathema even to their former members when they deduced that they could consume faith in general, and not just religious faith. The Eaters began attacking the other Factions as they saw fit, and were expelled from the Athar, who feared being annihilated by the combined wrath of the other Factions — and this was before the Winnowing. Now loose cannons, the Eaters began feeding on everyone they saw fit, until the Incantifiers stumbled across a key weakness; the Eaters could be turned by priests, just like undead creatures. This saw the Sect scattered across the multiverse, although it still clings to life, yearning to devour all things that it can.

  • Driven to Suicide: Those who are drained completely of faith by an Eater have a 45% chance of becoming too depressed to live, seeking only to kill themselves.
  • Empty Shell: The Eaters have become something... hollow, and inhuman. Their endless hunger for the faith of others stems from this desperate attempt to fill the void inside of themselves.
  • Immortality Immorality: Draining faith actually keeps the Eaters from aging or needing any other sort of sustenance. Of course, as the best-case scenario for such unfortunates is that they turn into Bleakers, that's not exactly a moral way to sustain themselves.
  • Vampiric Draining: In a truly scary format; Eaters can sap the faith from someone just by luring them into talking about something even tangentially related to the source of their faith!





Originally one of the Factions, well before the Great Upheaval that saw the Factions exterminated or compressed into the 15 Factions of the "present", the Incanterium was a major power-broker in the city of Sigil. Driven by a belief that arcane magic was the key to ultimate power, the Incantifiers hoarded and dispensed magical items and lore of all sorts from their Tower Sorcerous. They were well on their way to effectively controlling Sigil... and then they simply disappeared. Their Tower vanished one night, and most of the Incantifiers went with it. Those Incantifiers who remained found themselves altered, changed into beings both more, and less, than they once were. Most Incantifiers met today are those originals, still alive after centuries of wandering the planes, but a small minority have joined their ranks over the years.

  • The Ageless: One of the big benefits of becoming an Incantifier is that they become effectively immortal, in the sense that they will live forever unless starved to death or slain by violence. Most Incantifiers allow themselves to become visibly aged, not caring enough to sustain a youthful appearance even with all of their magical powers, but they won't ever die of aging.
  • Evil Sorcerer: In 2nd edition, the typical Incantifier alignment was given as True Neutral or Neutral Evil. Not only because of their pronounced Fantastic Racism but because centuries of looking out to preserve themselves mixed with fear of the Lady of Pain had made them arrogant, paranoid, selfish and prone to striking first.
  • Fantastic Racism: The whole defining trait of the Incanterium is exulting the supremacy of magi users. By their very ideology, those who can't use magic are inferiors who deserve to be ruled over by those who can.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: Well, we don't know if Incantifiers can procreate in the old-fashioned way anymore or not. But, the spirit is still upheld in that they very rarely transform would-be supplicants into new Incantifiers, recognizing that this increases the number of competitors for magical power.
  • Magic Eater: The defining trait of an Incantifier; they no longer eat, sleep, drink or even breathe, but they need to regularly absorb magical energy — spell levels equal to their character level per month, in 2nd edition — in order to survive. If they go too long, they starve to death; in 2e, this was handled as them losing a level each time they failed to complete their monthly feeding quota.
  • The Magocracy: It goes without saying that, as an ideology based on the supremacy of arcane magic, Incantifiers believe wizards should be running everything.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: In 2nd edition, as part of their transformation, Incantifiers gained near-peak human strength (18/51), a power level normally only available to Warriors.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: A zigzagged case. Played straight in that, when they first appeared in 2nd edition, the Incanterium only appeared as a monsternote  and dungeon masters were even warned not to let players make the transformation. Subverted in that they were made playable as a Prestige Class in 3rd edition.
  • Properly Paranoid: Because they rely on magic to do... well, anything, Incantifiers constantly bristle with spell-components and arsenals of magical items, from disposables like scrolls and potions to triggered items like rods, wands, amulets and rings.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": In 2nd edition, the Incanterium's members are identified as Incantifers. When the faction was made playable in Dragon #339, their name was changed to Incantifiers.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: The biggest flaw of the Incantifiers is that, as they believe magic is the supreme power over reality, their default reaction to any problem is always to use magic first, either as a spell or via a magic item.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: A downside to the transformation into an Incantifier is that they can't heal injuries on their own. Only by consuming magic can they repair their damaged flesh.

The Legislate


A Sect born out of the Fraternity of Order, these Guvners are obsessed with mathematics and their possible use in exploring and explaining the multiverse.

  • Meaningful Name: They believe maths can be used to explain the purpose of the multiverse and to define everything that is. They call themselves the Mathematicians. What more do you need?




A rudimentary Sect covered in passing in Uncaged: Faces of Sigil, this would-be Faction is defined by supporting the rights of planar-natives and revulsion at the "contamination" of the planes by denizens of the Prime Material.

  • Fantastic Racism: Their only real defining attribute is that they want to banish all Primes back to their own dimension and seal up all portals that lead to or from the Prime Material.


Plane Tenders



One of the least organized but most hated and feared of Sects, the Prolongers — also known as the Cheaters — are a band of unscrupulous souls who have become desperate to achieve true immortality, accepting no substitutes; not for them the hollow existence of lichdom or vampirisim. In their desperate drive to live forever, they have taken to preying on the lives of others, feeding on their souls in order to sustain their own existence. Most Prolongers are mages or thieves, with a smattering of bards and warriors — clerics and paladins are never found in this Sect's ranks, as the desperate drive to live forever that categorizes a Prolonger is anathema to the faith in a higher judgment that allows one to wield divine magic.

  • All There in the Manual: Details on actually playing a Prolonger weren't written in any Planescape sourcebook; instead, the authors who worked on Planescape expanded on it on a website called the Mimir.
  • Creative Sterility: The downside of becoming a Prolonger is that they lose their ability to grow, which means they can't gain levels anymore.
  • Dirty Coward: Prolongers are invariably cowardly beings; they may not necessarily turn and flee at the first sight of danger, but if they sincerely believe there's a genuine risk to their existence, they'll do anything to escape. For this reason, they're hugely interested in magical items that provide healing, defensive boosts and escape options, in roughly that order.
  • Evil Old Folks: No Prolonger can manage the transformation into "proper" Sect membership until they have managed to live at least 50 years past their normal life expectancy. And then they need to live another 50 years as a Prolonger before their fellows will recognize them as such.
  • Eyes Are Mental: Per their first appearance in the second Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix, you can always tell a Prolonger by looking into their eyes: no matter how youthful their bodies appear, a Prolonger's eyes are always cold and dead, a side-effect of their age and their innate driving terror.
  • Immortality Immorality: Prolongers sustain their own lives by consuming the lives of others with their Vampiric Draining ability.
  • Mortality Phobia: The other major requirement to become a Prolonger; a fear of death so intense that they know they want to do anything to avoid it. Once they fill both this requirement and the age requirement, they spontaneously transform into a Prolonger.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Most Prolongers focus their efforts on finding ways to make themselves eternal and unkillable without needing to constantly drain the lives of others to feed themselves, for the simple reason that it's far less hassle and makes people far less upset.
  • Rapid Aging: The biggest downside of the Prolonger transformation? Their aging rate kicks into overdrive, causing them to age ten times faster and thus needing to drain a constant supply of victims.
  • Vampiric Draining: The unique ability of the Prolongers; by touching someone, they can sap their life away in the form of stealing levels, which reduces the Prolonger's own age.






Vile Hunters




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