This product was originally a 112-page supplement for the Spark Roleplaying Game, titled Sig: The City Between. Since it was originally released, I have worked to expand the product and turn it into a 240 page, stand-alone game. In order to produce print quantities of the game for everyone, I am running a kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. From January 24th, 2017 until February 24th, 2017, you can back the game for a physical copy of Sig: The Manual of the Primes.
Everyone who already has a digital copy of Sig: The City Between on DrivethruRPG or RPGNow has been automatically upgraded to the expanded version of the product, free of charge. Thank you for your support!
There is only one true city; a place of multiversal trade, cultural exchange, and mixed blood. A place where monsters come to scheme and gods come to die.
Sig is the nexus of the multiverse. It's a city connected to everywhere, a refuge for the oppressed and a prize for tyrants. It's a place where culture is at the forefront, with diverse faiths and tongues struggling for space in the crowded metropolis. It's a city of families, both whole and broken.
Sig is also a launching point, allowing fools and heroes to venture into the eternal planes of existence. Each plane is made of concepts, of elements, of ideals that resonate through the entire 'verse. The planes impose their own Beliefs on Sig and on the infinite primal worlds beyond.
Each of the planes is also home to unique peoples, from the Giants of the Elemental Plane of Stone to the Wyrms of the Ideological Plane of Destruction. The planes are home to mighty Powers: gods, demons, and stranger things which send their servitors to spread their faith into the City Between. The planes even offer resources to the bickering political Factions and warring guilds that control Sig's hungry streets.
Visit the Elemental Plane of Flame to test yourself in scorched wastelands of the Crucible. Seek answers to hidden secrets in the Umbral Delta of the Conceptual Plane of Shadow. Defend yourself in The Final Court, where the Seven Magistrates provide final remedy to any injustice
There’s a lot in this book to enjoy!
Chapter 1 presents all of the rules of play. This chapter, adapted from the Spark Roleplaying Game, describes the roles and responsibilities for players and the GM alike. It offers tools for collaborative scene framing, free-wheeling roleplaying, tense conflicts, and revealing interludes. It offers a series of mechanics that reward confronting Beliefs and changing your perspective.
Chapter 2 is all about creating compelling characters. Build your own freebooter, be they descended from planar heritages or immigrants from the prime worlds. Determine which urban Faction your characters work for, and which Power they worship. Declare the philosophical, subjective, and controversial Beliefs they wish to confront. Weave a web of connections and characters who bind the group together.
Chapter 3 describes the Eternal Planes of Existence, their inhabitants, and their supporters. Each of the three Planar Rings are represented here: the Elemental Ring (Flames, Waves, Stone, Wind, Ice), the Ideological Ring (Justice, Destruction, Tyranny, Order, Freedom) and the Conceptual Ring (Shadows, Dreams, Lore, Life, Death). Each plane has their own landmarks, native inhabitants, friendly Factions, and resident divine Powers.
Chapter 4 is the Atlas of Sig, describing the various neighborhoods of Sig and the important people who represent them. Discover the Hive, where the destitute and the desperate struggle to survive. Explore Tetherward, where countless souls toil to enable planar trade. Revel in Riverward, where the commerce of the city thrives. Admire the glory of Highspire, home of the mighty.
Chapter 5 speaks of the infinity of prime worlds, those mortal realms we are so familiar with. These include rules for collaborative world-building and a list of exciting worlds to explore. More importantly, it includes 8 brand new prime worlds prepared by a roster of professional designers. Explore the following:
- Age of Scales, by Renee Knipe;
- Alucina, by Whitney “Strix” Beltrán;
- Crystalia, by Alex Roberts;
- Dimming Twilight, by Liz Chaipraditkul;
- Hex, by Kira Magrann;
- Iron Cities, by Emily Griggs;
- Royal Mountain, by Jason Pitre; and
- Whispering Sands, by Hannah Shaffer.
Chapter 6 provides other resources to help you run the game, including detailed examples of character creation and an example of play. This chapter also offers the Night Market adventure, exploring what happens when the Shard Realm of Empire binds to the City Between.
Sig uses rules to guide the conversation, and to represent certain kinds of stories. The mechanics are relatively lightweight and generally fall back on a basic pattern.
The game orders these discussions with a nested structure of systems that apply at four different scales: Series, Session, Scene, and Conflict. Each Series has one or more Sessions, each of which begins by advancing the schemes of the various Factions and Powers of Sig. which are established in a collaborative way by the contributors and can provide Influence to participants that confront their Beliefs. Each Scene may have one or more Conflicts, where people roll dice to determine what happens next.
The Series level of play is largely narrative, keeping track of the changing histories and relationships of the setting. Changes to character Beliefs and the Tethers to Sig will alter the context of play and lead to long-term evolution of the setting. The Series may have multiple Sessions of play.
The Session level of play deals with establishing the initial actions of the major Factions and Powers of Sig. Each person rolls their Smoke attribute die and compares the results to the other players. This determines which three people will be advancing the conflicting Agendas in play. One person will describe an Agenda that succeeded, one will describe an Agenda that failed, and one will describe a new character who was caught in the middle of both of those Agendas. At the end of the Session, players may choose to spend their characters’ Influence to change the Beliefs of another.
The Scene level of play focuses on individual events where characters are forced to make difficult decisions. Each scene begins with a Platform (where and when the scene occurs), a Tilt (why the characters need to act), and a Question (what you want to discover in the scene). Each person rolls their Smoke attribute die and compares their results; this determines which three people will frame the current Scene. The group roleplays freely until the Question is answered. When the Question is answered, Influence is distributed to participants who confront their Beliefs. While many scenes are collaborative in nature, they may contain one or more Conflicts.
The Conflict level of play only occurs when there are disagreements at the table, where two participants propose different potential outcomes. Both participants roll dice, adding in bonuses if they have Talents which would apply. The participant in the conflict with the highest score gets the outcome they desire and must pay the Price of Victory. Not every scene requires a Conflict, as the majority of play is a collaborative experience with everyone portraying their characters.
Learn more about Sig!
I ran a fantastic session of Sig for the One Shot Podcast, which you can find over at Episode 1, Episode 2 and Episode 3. This is full of actual-play goodness, including serpent cults, dragon pearls, and mythenders.
I had a lovely discussion on the Modifier Podcast about aligning settings to mechanics, where I do a deep dive into the mechanical elements of the game. Check out the Episode!
You can also grab the Atlas of Sig, a full-colour POD map for all your 'venturing needs!