Sigil Encounter Tables

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Quickleaf's picture
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Sigil Encounter Tables

I have created a whole mess of encounter tables for Sigil, divided by ward (including weather tables, and random portal tables, and a portal trick table). This is all for 5th edition D&D, which is my jam. I suspect it could be adapted for Pathfinder readily, but I'm not conversant in that system and the many books put out for it.

I'd love to contribute this to whatever the current issue of the fanzine is. Copy-pasting from a Pages file, so #'s aren't coming through for 2d10 and 2d8 list (BBCode doesn't understand list=2 sadly).

Sigil Weather (2d10)

  • Hot and bright with sultry breezes.
  • Rainbows split the skies, reflecting throughout the city.
  • Fog, smoke, and ashes rain across the city.
  • Clear day; the void looms across the ring.
  • Distant thunder rumbles across the center of the ring.
  • Sulfurous odors hang in the air.
  • Heavy swirling mists limit visibility to a dozen paces.
  • Filthy smog leaves folk choking and gasping for air.
  • Brooding light drizzle lingers.
  • Cloudy grey skies signal impending rain.
  • Heavy drizzle makes for a chilly miserable day.
  • Rain pelts down at an angle, stinging the eyes.
  • Acrid rain is filthy brown and foul-smelling.
  • Loud thunder booms with flashes of lightning.
  • Storms crash across the city, chain lightning arcing between spires.
  • Fierce rain and hail flood the streets.
  • Soot storm rains cold black ash, leaving behind a tar residue.
  • Strangely colored lighting leaves behind a smell of chlorine.
  • Muddy sleet causes ice to form in streets and icicles to hang from every door.

Sigil Encounters (2d10)

  • A deva (MM) or planetar (MM).
  • 2d4 dabus trimming razorvine, repairing or dismantling a building, or floating by silently.
  • A cranium rat swarm (50%) or a maliciously intelligent swarm of ravens (MM) (50%).
  • Clueless prime wandering lost or in the process of being conned (50%) or a whining mephit (MM) delivering a message, an insult, or a “gift” (50%).
  • 1d4 bariaur trading or enjoying a rowdy good time.
  • 1d4 githzerai monks (MM) (50%) or 1d4 githyanki warriors (MM) (50%).
  • A guild rogue and 1d4 thugs (MM) running a protection racket (50%) or 2d4 guards (MM) protecting a high-up’s interests (50%).
  • A merchant, tradesperson, or laborer.
  • The characters have an encounter unique to the ward they’re currently in; roll on the corresponding table below.
  • The characters have an encounter unique to the ward they’re currently in; roll on the corresponding table below.
  • The characters have an encounter unique to the ward they’re currently in; roll on the corresponding table below.
  • Beggars (50%) or 2d4 wererats (MM) disguised as beggars (50%).
  • A smarmy tiefling spy (MM) running a con (50%) or a disguised cambion (MM) or succubus (MM) with a tempting offer (50%).
  • A crazed gladiator (MM) or mage (MM) suffers madness from travels across the planes, ranting of other worlds that defy reason, rivers of the dead, and horrible music.
  • A company of mercenaries which may include half-ogres (MM), hobgoblins (MM), ogres (MM), reaves, or veterans (MM).
  • A slaad (MM) driving philosophers mad with its nonsensical discourse (50%) or a company of modrons (MM) analyzing a phenomenon in Sigil (50%).
  • A demon (MM) (50%) or devil (MM) (50%).
  • A yugoloth (MM) (50%) or night hag (MM) (50%).
  • The Lady of Pain makes her presence known. This might be a trail of flayed bodies of those who worshipped her. It might be a cold shadow passing over which silences NPCs and makes them seek shelter. Or it might be an area of the city is warped and cast off into her Mazes as old buildings are torn away and new ones grow to take their place.

Clerk’s Ward Encounters (1d8)

  1. Faction agent, either one of the Fated (collecting on a debt), a Sensate (giving a public artistic performance), or a Signer (engaged in debate).
  2. 2d4 guards (MM) patrol the streets or protect a high-up’s interests.
  3. A noble (MM), transported by pony carriage or sedan chair carried by slaves, with a pair of knight (MM) bodyguards.
  4. Young boy or girl with a lantern staff (colloquially known as “light boys”) offers to light the characters’ way and provide guide services for 1 silver piece per hour.
  5. Harried clerk carrying a pile of scrolls going to or from the Hall of Information.
  6. Distraught tradesperson facing overwhelming debt and loss of his or her home to moneylenders.
  7. Public debate about a proposed act or a spontaneous duel of words between bards.
  8. Courier or messenger dove, possibly with magic mouth or animal messenger cast upon it.

Guildhall and Market Ward Encounters (1d8)

  1. Faction agent, either an Indep (brokering a deal or playing tout), or a Cipher (mediating a dispute or training new recruits).
  2. 2d4 guards (MM) patrol the market, enforcing market regulations, and arresting thieves.
  3. A bariaur offers his or her services as a tout (guide) for 5 silver pieces a day.
  4. Merchant offering unusual items for trade. Some possibilities include Baatorian green steel weapons (which bypass the damage resistances of demons), Abyssal red steel (which bypasses the damage resistances of devils), never-melting black ice of Ocanthys (which floats when cast into the air), catoblepas death cheese, or spell components.
  5. A member of the Doorsnoops Guild cataloguing portals, and willing to pay the characters for reliable information on previously unknown portals.
  6. Laborers transporting some massive creature on a magical floating disk for sale at market. The creature might be a giant squid encased in a sphere of water or a cortelestial which has a maw that acts as a portal.
  7. Open-air cafe serving coffee, tea, cider, wine, ambrosia, and stranger fare while patrons enjoy games of dice, cards, and chess.
  8. A portal flares to life! The DM decides who or what steps thru and where it leads.

Hive Encounters (1d10)

  1. Faction agent, either a Bleaker (tending to the mentally ill), a Dustman (presiding over funerary rites), or a Xaositect (painting a bizarre mural…or whatever strikes the Xaositect’s fancy at the moment).
  2. 2d4 bandits (MM), “Collectors” who gather dead bodies in a wagon for delivery to the Mortuary; they are not above looting corpses or finishing off a dying creature.
  3. 2d4 vargouilles from the Slags (night) or a trail of dead bodies (day).
  4. 2d4 crazed thugs (MM) from a gang with an outlandish name like “Slurring Shivs.”
  5. 1d4 guild rogues engaged in organized crime like smuggling or racketeering.
  6. Group of tiefling children begging, and one of them secretly casts enthrall (DC 12 Wisdom save) on the characters so the rest have a better chance of picking their pockets unnoticed. A DC 15 Wisdom (Insight) or Wisdom (Perception) check catches the little scoundrels in the act.
  7. A crazed gladiator (MM) or mage (MM) suffers madness from travels across the planes, ranting of other worlds that defy reason, rivers of the dead, and horrible music.
  8. A puddle of brown water emits a faint amber glow, visible only from a few feet away; it is actually a portal to the “Plane of Ooze” (the boundary between the Planes of Earth and Water). Mud mephits (MM) occasionally reach thru the portal to drag creatures in. When a creature comes into contact with the ooze portal, it is grappled and must make a DC 13 Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to escape, otherwise its body elongates and softens like clay as they’re dragged thru the portal. The victim’s friends have one round to rescue the victim before he or she is pulled into the “Plane of Ooze.” When the ooze portal grapples a creature, a noxious brownish gas spews forth, replicating a stinking cloud spell (DC 12 Constitution save).
  9. A tangle of crooked ramshackle buildings form a labyrinth that requires a DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check to navigate without getting lost. A character with the Urchin background or able to get an aerial view from 50 feet up can also figure a way out. Lost characters end up in an unexpected and dangerous part of the Hive (e.g. the Slags).
  10. Scratch-marked house. See the description of the various scratches in the Hive ward description in this chapter.

The Lady’s Ward Encounters (1d6)

  1. Faction agent, either one of the Doomguard (watching a plan to further entropy play out), Fraternity of Order (debating loopholes in the rules of the planes), Harmonium (brokering a truce), or Mercykillers (dispensing justice).
  2. 2d4 guards (MM) patrol the streets and arrest drunks and vagrants accused of “unruliness, loitering, and conspiracy.”
  3. A noble (MM), transported by pony carriage or sedan chair carried by slaves, with a pair of knight (MM) bodyguards.
  4. A priest (MM) preaching (50%) or a proxy of one of the gods (50%).
  5. Tumbrel bearing prisoners to execution at Petitioner’s Square, escorted by a knight (MM) and 3d4 guards (MM).
  6. Group of judges discussing the particulars of a court case and likely sentencing, possibly accompanied by a dabus.

Lower Ward Encounters (1d8)

  1. Faction agent, either one of the Athar (preaching against gods), Believers in the Source (testing recruits), Doomguard (placing or retrieving order for weapons from a smith), or Dustmen (attending to funerary rites).
  2. 2d4 guards (MM) patrol the streets, guarding warehouses, catching escaped indentured servants, and dealing with monsters coming thru the many portals to the Lower Planes.
  3. A mage (MM) who crafts magic items interested in hiring adventurers to acquire rare components in dangerous planes.
  4. Stubborn craftsperson who is secretive about family crafting knowledge (50%), or a group of drunken commoners (MM) on a pub crawl (50%).
  5. 2d4 guild rogues engaged in organized crime like smuggling or racketeering.
  6. 1d4 wererats (MM) working for Lothar, the Master of Bones, to retrieve skulls.
  7. Particularly sickening smog blankets the ward for 2d6 hours, acting as a stinking cloud (DC 13 Constitution save); any characters who fail their saving throw also suffer disadvantage to Constitution checks to maintain concentration as long as they stay within the smog.
  8. A portal to the Lower Planes, possibly guarded by a maelephant or with other fiends nearby.

Undersigil Encounters (2d8)

  • A collapsed ancient street buried by time, with some of the original buildings still intact. However, it is difficult to navigate, requiring a DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check to avoid getting lost.
  • 2d4 gricks (MM) with a 50% chance of a grick alpha (MM) among them.
  • An otyugh (MM) (50%) or an albino giant crocodile (MM) (50%) called a “trocopotaca.”
  • 1d4 carrion crawlers (MM).
  • 1d4 ghouls (MM).
  • 2d6 larvae (see DMG Chapter 3 description of Hades).
  • 2d4 vargouilles.
  • A corpse mostly picked clean by scavengers, but it may have one of the following items (1d10): 1-club of nettles, 2- a few copper coins, 3-faction symbol of the Anarchists or Athar, 4-holy symbol of Aoskar, 5-healer’s kit, 6-incomplete map, 7-necklace of cranium rat tails, 8-rusty dagger, 9-silver earring, 10-wererat skull.
  • 1 cranium rat swarm.
  • 1d4 wererats (MM) on their way to or from the Wererat Kingdom. If they’re heading to the kingdom, they may have captives or loot.
  • A group of “darkers” - criminals, madmen, and pariahs dwelling beneath Sigil’s streets who survive by scavenging. They fear light and are suspicious of “Sigil Above.” They include 2d6 thugs (MM) led by a guild rogue or veteran (MM).
  • 1d4 dabus on their way to or from their warrens. The dabus are under the effects of pass without trace and mislead spells cast at 9th level. Though they usually ignore other creatures, the dabus will offer the characters directions on a route back to the surface.
  • A secret society meeting in a warded dimly lit chamber; the members are (1d4): 1-Anarchist saboteurs*, 2-Athar cult-breakers*, 3-Aoskarites*, or 4-cult fanatics (MM) of a demon lord.
  • A talking stone face in the wall which seeks the characters’ help to end its suffering by changing it back into a human being (if it was a human before) or by giving it the one thing it needs to join the stone (and end its consciousness). It tells helpful characters the location of a treasure or a site they seek in Undersigil.
  • Family crypts containing several small treasures, but guarded by one or more of the following: a curse, traps, 2d4 direguard skeletons, or a ghast (MM) and 2d4 ghouls (MM).
Quickleaf's picture
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2012-02-03 14:47


Portal Type (d8)
1. Conditional: The portal only permits certain objects or creatures, though it may be fooled.
2. One-Way: The portal only deposits travelers at its destination; there is no return portal.
3-6. Permanent: The portal is permanent. It may or may not consume the portal key used.
7. Shifting: The portal follows a consistent pattern, with one or both ends changing location.
8. Variable: The portal has multiple destinations, accessible using different portal keys.

Portal’s Appearance (d20)
1. Arch naturally formed of stone/vine
2. Arch under bridge
3. Arched roof support
4. Bones of huge creature
5. Circle of standing stones
6. Gate or portcullis
7-14. Door
15. Maw of huge beast (e.g. cortelestial)
16. Pit
17. Sewer grate
18. Strange device
19. Statue
20. Window


1. Astral Plane

2. Ethereal Plane

3. Elemental Planes (d4)
.....1. Air
.....2. Earth
.....3. Fire
.....4. Water

4. Outer Planes (d6)

.....1-2. Planes of Chaos (d10)
..........1-2. The Abyss
..........3-4. Arborea
..........5-6. Limbo
..........7-8. Pandemonium
..........9-10. Ysgard

.....3-4. Planes of Conflict (d6)
..........1. Beastlands
..........2. Bytopia
..........3. Carceri
..........4. Elysium
..........5. Gehenna
..........6. Hades

.....5-6. Planes of Law (d10)
..........1-2. Acheron
..........2-4. Arcadia
..........5-6. Mechanus
..........7-8. Mount Celestia
..........9-10. Nine Hells

5. Prime Material Plane (d8)
.....1. Aebrynis (Birthright)
.....2. Athas (Dark Sun)
.....3. Eberron (Eberron)
.....4. Krynn (Birthright)
.....5. Mystara (Mystara)
.....6. Oerth (Greyhawk)
.....7. Toril (Forgotten Realms)
.....8. Your World

7. Feywild / Shadowfell

8. Other (d6)
.....1. Demiplane
.....2-3. Outlands
.....4-6. Sigil

Astral cast Nystul’s magic aura, relic of forgotten god, object in temporal stasis, silver thread
Elemental Air cast an “air” spell, couatl feather, signet ring of a Wind Duke, whisper “Borealis”
Elemental Earth cast an “earth” spell, diamond, lodestone, fossilized remains, run soil thru fingers
Elemental Fire cast a “fire” spell, efreeti scimitar, salamander egg, scatter ashes of dead, brass urn
Elemental Water blow conc shell, cast a “water spell”, ice, merfolk shell necklace, ship anchor
Ethereal cast fog cloud, destroy a ghost’s fetter, dream of a child, frosty distorted glass
Feywild broken heart, cast faerie fire, satyr’s pipes, song of aching beauty, unicorn’s tears
Shadowfell cast darkness, feeling of dread, ghoul’s tongue, stone from ruined keep, Vistani charm
The Abyss consume a poisonous insect, extinguish a fire source, femur of a glabrezu, helmet of a paladin who died in Abyss, maggots, smear bloody symbol of Abyssal lord on forehead
Acheron animated skeleton, dark birds of Ocanthus, false forgiveness, old war banner
Arborea bottle of elven wine, golden laurels, passionate love, three precise musical notes
Arcadia holy symbol of Clangeddin or St. Cuthbert, olive branch, recite “The Tenets of Peace”
Beastlands deer antler, free an animal thru portal, receive a centaur’s blessing, wear bestial mask
Bytopia gnome’s cap, object that you crafted, read first page of “The Principles of Trade”
Carceri adamantine cage, fiend in a bottle, signed prisoner’s confession, swear revenge
Elysium meditative attitude, Elysian worrystone, smoke pipeweed, water from the River Oceanus
Gehenna gold trade bar, hold cooling embers in hand, slave, true name of a yugoloth
Hades Blood War banner, night hag’s heartstone, suffer a disease, water from the River Styx
Limbo destroy edifice of vanity, githzerai prayer beads, gem extracted from slaad’s brain
Mechanus clockwork device, feel no emotion, recite π to ten digits, oculus lens from a modron
Mount Celestia angel’s feather, carry another on your back, loaf of fresh bread, potion of healing
Nine Hells bone devil’s skull, burn incriminating evidence, cat-o’-nine-tails, recite the poem “A Tiefling’s Lament”, red rock from Avernus, writ of safe passage from Dispater
Outlands cast light and darkness, form spell scroll into Mobius strip, mixed celestial and fiendish bloods, write down one good deed and one bad deed you committed and eat it
Pandemonium Bleaker’s memoirs, bone flute, insane creature, pixie’s wings, scream of true anguish
Ysgard bottled rainbow, heirloom of your ancestors, runestone, three apples, warrior’s spirit

These tricks can be used in addition to those in the DMG. Use them with discretion however; you don’t want the players afraid of using any portals they find!

01-04 Sends characters to a random plane
05-08 Sends characters to correct destination plane, but an unexpected site on that plane
09-12 Implodes, transporting all creatures and objects within 30 feet to the destination
13-16 Gate ward* was cast on the portal, revealing the mage’s sigil if characters try to use portal
17-20 A portal trap (see Appendix C) was wedged in a corner of the portal, exploding if used
21-24 Portal’s frame is actually a mimic (MM)
25-28 Conditions of portal’s destination plane bleed thru in a 100-ft radius
29-32 Characters passing thru portal are staggered by a few rounds apart due to time distortion
33-36 Portal key (and any character possessing it) is targeted by a shatter spell
37-40 Strange vapors and disorienting lights pour from portal, blinding characters for a round
41-44 Modify memory convinces characters they learned something false about portal recently
45-48 Secrets are stolen from the characters’ minds and whispered to the Cult of Aoskar
49-52 Characters each lose a small object which is transported to a different plane
53-56 Stone face above portal animates to present riddle about portal key or destination
57-60 Faerie fire affects characters passing thru the portal for 1 minute
61-64 Crude carvings from past planewalkers give hints about destination (accurate or not)
65-68 An imp (MM), quasit (MM), or mephit (MM) emerges from portal with characters
69-72 Portal's destination is trapped with an alarm spell
73-76 Visions of a two-faced god overwhelm characters, who suffer short-term madness (DMG)
77-80 One character is whisked away for up to a minute to answer a clueless mage’s questions
81-84 Illusory doubles of characters linger for a minute after using portal
85-88 Each character emerges 1d100 feet from the portal exit, in random directions
89-92 Blink affects characters passing thru portal for 1 minute
93-96 Portal resists attempts to divine its destination or key, including warp sense*
97-00 Characters become “plane-touched” for 24 hours, their type changing to suit destination

Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 2011-09-07 20:09
Awesome sauce!

Awesome sauce! This is VERY useful... kudos.

Quickleaf's picture
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2012-02-03 14:47
I did a lot of digging

I did a lot of digging through my Planescape collection to assemble the encounter tables – I wanted something I (and other DMs) could use immediately at our tables. I don't know about you, but I would have players always instigating portal shenanigans, so having random tables for that was handy!

The UnderSigil table owes credit to Planescape: Torment, which influenced it heavily.

I think the random weather table was extrapolated from someone else's work online, but I can't remember who.

Originally, this was designed for a 5th edition adventure I've been working on intermittently dealing with Aoskar, so you'll notice more references to him in the tables than other DMs would otherwise include. Also, some of the monsters (e.g. cranium rats) are found in Volo's Guide to Monsters, while others (e.g. reave) are based on conversions posted on

Hopefully all this can be incorporated into the fanzine somewhere.

Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 2005-07-26 19:14
This is all great stuff.

This is all great stuff.

Would love to incorporate. I've been noticing OSR has a lot of dice-generation tables to flesh out settings on the fly.

Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 2011-09-07 20:09
RE: Elemental Planes

I would add the four border Planes of Ice, Magma, Ash (not the same as the 2e Ash!) and Ooze, and the Elemental Chaos to the mix. Possibly separate Ethereal entry into Border and Deep? Also, Positive and Negative Energy Planes and Far Realm not listed, but too cruel for random destination, unless DM is sadist...

Anetra's picture
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-04-03 08:06
These look great. If you'd

These look great. If you'd like for them to be included in the Sigil Fanzine issue, email me a complete article that's either 750 words (1 page) or 1500 words (2 pages). I'll need a title for the article, a short introduction for the tables (about 1 paragraph, discussing use cases or whatever), and the name you want to be credited with.

Quickleaf's picture
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2012-02-03 14:47
Anetra, sorry I missed your

Anetra, sorry I missed your comment.

What's your email address?

I'd be happy to send you the document. However, the Sigil Encounter Tables are about 2,000 words. The Portal Tables are maybe another 1,000. That's in excess of the guidelines you listed.

Lastly, I made these for fifth edition. So if the zine is focused on 3e/Pathfinder, then you may want to edit a couple things, notably:
* References to the "(MM)" after monster names refer to the 5e MM. And after larvae "see DMG Chapter 3 description of Hades". You may want to change that.
* Cosmology is 5th edition, so you may want to – as elderbrain suggests – change to include Para/Quasi-Elemental Planes, etc.

Anetra's picture
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-04-03 08:06
My email address is

My email address is

It is currently primarily Pathfinder because currently the only other people creating crunch for it are people who focus on Pathfinder (such as myself). I think, ideally, it would be best for the zine to cater to both. I think it's great to include a table for 5th edition, and people who want to use it for other editions can make whatever changes they need to.

Regarding the word counts, I guess just send it to me and I'll see if I can make the tables fit on a reasonable number of pages or not. In general it seems like 750 words is about the number that fits on a single page, but I don't know if that will fall apart with tables or not, I'm just basing it off of the other articles we have right now. I've never done this before.

Quickleaf's picture
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2012-02-03 14:47
OK! I just sent it to you.

OK! I just sent it to you. About 3,000 words by my count. Let me know if you need a hand with formatting or if you want help converting it to Pathfinder – don't know much about Pathfinder, but I could try.