Planescape: Torment

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What can change the nature of a man?

Planescape: Torment is a CRPG which is set, oddly enough, in the world of Planescape. The protagonist wakes up in a mortuary with a talking skull floating next to him, which proceeds to read the tattoos on his back and tell him what they instruct him to do.

The game is incredibly text-heavy, and most fights can be successfully talked out of with the exception of the occasional random encounter with street thugs and a couple of bosses.

Despite poor sales, this game has since gained a massive cult following among roleplayers. A spiritual successor called Torment: Tides of Numenera, set in Monte Cook's tabletop setting of the same name, was recently announced on Kickstarter and proceeded to get shit done. It finally came out in early 2017, although quite a bit of the promised content is either missing outright or delayed until a free DLC.

An Enhanced Edition of the game, done by the same studio that did Enhanced Editions for Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, was revealed to be coming out on April 13 2017. Much shit promptly was thrown, with complaints about how the game would obviously be ruined by this. It's fine. Nice, even.

Basic Plot[edit]

After waking up in the mortuary the main character known only as 'The Nameless One' can adventure out to find himself in the fabled City of Doors itself, Sigil. From there he must gain allies and eventually find out about himself; particularly why he is unable to stay dead. The game begins in the Hive portion of Sigil and later into the Clerk and Upper wards as well as into The Lady's Mazes, Carceri and the hells themselves. All the while you get to enjoy thugs around every corner, demons, shadows that are trying to kill you (again) and the general charm of Sigil's varied peoples.



"Women were the reason I became a monk - and, ah, the reason I switched back... "

A floating skull (male fighter) that greets you when you first wake up in the beginning of the game. Best kept around for amusement as who can resist constant lecherous remarks, the eyeing of your female cohorts in crime, or his sarcasm? Also not too bad for muscle back-up and has some ridiculously low AC, making him the best tank in the game. His insult abilities fuck enemy casters up the ass, which is especially gratifying if you've gotten tired of spending a million years fighting every two-bit sorcerer with a dozen protection spells in Baldur's Gate, and he upgrades them via hilarious sidequests that teach him new insults and offenses. Install that content restoration mod and watch him get in an argument with his own teeth.

Annah. Yes, we'd hit it too.


"Quit starin' at my arse!"

A female tiefling rogue, a member of the indeps. Annah has a sharp tongue and some equally sharp punch daggers. She has a pale complexion, red hair, literal hot blood, a rather distinctive tail, and the Scottish-accented voice of 80's pop sensation Sheena Easton. She is a possible romantic interest in the game, and the person to talk to if you're allergic to effectiveness and want to class-change to thief. Pretty good at the job herself though. She starts out working for a minor villain, but stick with you afterward because she's tsundere as Khorne.


"Endure. In enduring, grow strong."

A male githzerai zerth (fighter/mage) whom you may recruit in the Smoldering Corpse Bar within the Hive. Dak'kon is good for spell support or as a meat-shield should you happen to be a mage yourself, and he can help you swap out classes to either of his, so most playthroughs will include him one way or another, if only for utility's sake. He says little, but his quotes have almost single-handedly shaped the modern fluff around the githzerai, to the point where he has gone from an unusual aberration of a largely chaotic race to the iconic example of his kind in D&D, and a major reason for them gaining enough popularity to end up core by 4e. He's got an amazing personal quest too that practically stretches the length of the game, and his sword, made out of chaos bonded to metal, will reshape itself depending on how you resolve it.


"I’m afraid that if you were to remove that… I would be naked."

Female succubus cleric who is a Sensate. Grace has leathery wings, blonde hair, blue eyes, and runs The Brothel for Slaking Intellectual Lusts in the Clerk's Ward, which, rather than covering more base senses, trades in discussion and exercises of the mind. Also abstinent. Fudgestockings. The only cleric in the game, despite being agnostic, due to her certainty that there's some kinda bigger meaning out there, and probably the closest companion to being good-aligned, stated alignments aside. She can't actually use any weapons (apparently cold iron is everywhere, even when the weapons are made of wood) so she fights in melee with her flesh-splitting touch and her insta-killing kiss. Whether she's an alternative love-interest or not really depends on who you ask.

Nordom Whistleklik[edit]

"I think, therefore I am... I think."

A rogue Modron fighter that has just a little chaos in him, cutting him off from the modron collective and buggering up his previously-functional programming. He has four arms, wields gear-spirit crossbows, and at times makes about as much sense as a certain 4e rules regarding level 15 rogue's special abilities. Good thing your character's an amateur programmer... Hilarious, and probably the best ranged buddy in the game, though the actual quest to recruit him is infamous for being a real motherfucker, hard to find, easy to miss even if you do, and annoying to complete even if you know everything you're supposed to do. Voiced by Homer Simpson.


"It is time to add some FIRE to the flames!"

A male human mage you can awaken later in the game (he can be found heating the Smoldering Corpse Bar early on, but needs something special to shock him out of his reverie - a bottle of infinite water from the cemetary-catacombs does the trick, if you can find it). This one-time arsonist happens to be on fire. Rather permanently, as his body now contains a gateway to the elemental plane of fire, after all the poor people he used to torture via acts of arson combined their money and magic to curse him with ironic punishment. He's not very talkative (and almost completely insane) but he provides great magical support, and he can give a mage Nameless One a lot of spells and restored memories if you've got the right mental stats (and willing to suffer some permanent HP losses).


"JUSTICE is not blind- for I am her eyes!"

Animated suit of armor who used to be a Mercykiller sent after one of the Nameless One's incarnations (most likely the Practical One). The Nameless One managed to fool the guy, and he died of hunger in the dungeons of Carceri. But his will to dispense justice was so strong that he couldn't stay dead, and animated his own armor suit. He's still down there, waiting for him. Really likes justice. Like, in THAT way. Tough as nails, and the brutal melee skull-cracker to Morte's invincible bone-shield. A fighter Nameless One can learn justice-fu from him, which actually works better the more Lawful Stupid he is. Try not to let him learn about your old selves' crimes, or he'll turn on you double-quick. Alternatively, if you've got the right stats, you can make him relax, let go, and move on, though doing so, obviously, makes it impossible to keep using him as a companion.


The Novelization[edit]

In the official novelization of the game, which is only loosely based on its plot, supposedly having been based on an early draft, The Nameless One was once a human man who made a pact with the Baatezu, Fhjull Forked Tongue, (an NPC encountered late in the game), offering his service as a soldier in the Blood War in exchange for not destroying his home. He then sought a way to become immortal to avoid the Blood War entirely, and all of his most recent struggles are, in fact, the culmination of the machinations of Fhjull to finally claim The Nameless One's soul. In the book, The Nameless One's ability to recall memories from his incarnations (beginning with the one that wakes up in the Mortuary) is due to being dosed prior to awakening in the Mortuary with an elixir derived from the waters of the River Styx by Fhjull Forked-Tongue.

It's really not good. Much like the Baldur's Gate books, it was rushed out early to try to time in with the release. As such, a lot of details are missing, different, or just plain (plane?) wrong.

One enterprising fan took a comprehensive transcript of the game's dialogue, added a pragmatic minimum of narrative continuity (pretty much assuming a pacifist run for most of the game) and it turned out a LOT better.