Sanctum and Sigil is a book about Mage society and politics, and if we’re honest, I was expecting this one to be a bit of a tedious read: a book in a game line not best known for being a great read, and one that focuses on internal organization and politics. Well, I’m happy to be proven wrong; while there are some slightly tedious bits here, it’s mostly very interesting and well-written.
The first part of the book focuses on the internal organization of a typical “pentacle mage” society, with various titles and areas of responsibility. Maybe more emphasis could have been placed on this being just a template, not a uniculture (a big problem in the whole game line, in my opinion), but ignoring that it’s an interesting enough discussion. Next up there’s discussion on how mages choose their sanctums, with various options and some rules crunch. Lots of good stuff here for PC groups wanting to flesh out their “home base”. The book finishes off with some example sanctums, and also includes some antagonist groups along with their own home bases. We also get an example nutshell of an initial political setup to throw your players into, with some NPC groups and their motivations detailed. Very nice for kickstarting a new campaign, and quite easily portable to whatever location you want.
I found this to be a surprisingly interesting book, with lots of information directly usable in a game. It does a good job in filling in lots of useful information about the day-to-day life of mages and the practical side of things.