Planescape: Torment

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"What can change the Nature of a Man?"

This is thread for one of the greatest RPGs ever.

I feel this game to be the peak output from the Fallout 2/Black Isle guys, the ones who went on to form Obsidian Entertainment and put out KOTOR 2. Yeah, the game was initially buggy like most other Black Isle releases, but those have since been patched by everyone to vastly improve on the basic game.

The thing about this game is the story, the dialogue, and the characters. The amount of depth that went into the writing is one not seen in many other games(except, say, Gabriel Knight, Kotor 2, and Grim Fandango). Characters like a psychotic human cinder, a protagonist who can't remain dead(and even has to die to advance the story at certain parts), a Steve Buscemi-style smartass floating skull sidekick(with eyeballs), an insane weapons droid(voiced by Homer Simpson), and even a cameo from the Dungeon Master(in one of the mega-spell animations that they admitted borrowing from FF7/FF8).

In a promo interview for KOTOR 2, lead designer Chris Avellone even mentioned how PS:T was designed from the start as to have narrative as the primary focus of the game. The game itself isn't really that hard. You can pick your class, and the story changes due to it. For example, if you go as a mage, you get far more bits of the story that for a fighter.

How many other games are you cursed with a burping spell, or have a literal "backstory", where your character's history was actually carved into his rear flesh?

And yes, and this was the game with the foresight to cast Sheena Easton to voice the foxy thief chick.

kingfish superman ice cream (kingfish 2.0), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 18:13 (fourteen years ago) link

this avail for mac you?

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 18:16 (fourteen years ago) link

ahem.

is this available for mac, yo?

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 18:17 (fourteen years ago) link

The supporting characters for this game were so outstanding it isn't even funny. Also, the world you inhabited was imaginative on a level I haven't seen outside of an Infocom game.

The Ghost of Black Elegance (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 18:17 (fourteen years ago) link

TS: Planescape: Torment vs Baldur's Gate 2

The Ghost of Black Elegance (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 18:23 (fourteen years ago) link

Also, that your NPCs would talk shit to each other during the course of the adventure(which is where both KOTOR games got the idea)

PS:T runs on Win95, so i guess it's however you can hack it to run that way.

however, i did find that you can buy BG2 from Macplay

kingfish superman ice cream (kingfish 2.0), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 18:28 (fourteen years ago) link

BG2 has wider choice(what, 8 classes you can pick?), but I think that PS:T had the deeper story and better characters/dialogue.

tho much of PS:T would influence bits of BG2(same engine & all).

kingfish superman ice cream (kingfish 2.0), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 18:29 (fourteen years ago) link

O.

Gravel Puzzleworth (Gregory Henry), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 18:31 (fourteen years ago) link

"Brothel of Slaking Intellectual Lusts"

like a GbV songtitle or somethin'

kingfish superman ice cream (kingfish 2.0), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 18:37 (fourteen years ago) link

Okayokay I think this game gets loads of unfair credit for being set in, y'know, Sigil, which was actually an amazing beautiful evocative wonderful setting from before they made it glow (I mean I was reading the D&D 30th anniversity book and the dude ws saying all how PS came about cos he'd stopped reading fantasy a while and started readin' like Invisible Cities and Dictionary of the Khazars an' shit) but that doesn't remotely change at all that there are moments and ideas and specialnesses in this that are just so so way above and different any other game I've played (the birthing alley!) and I am kinda curious about DP's claim that BG2 holds a candle to it 'cos for me it really doesn't, couldn't.

x-post haha I was about to post about how much I love the brothel!

Gravel Puzzleworth (Gregory Henry), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 18:40 (fourteen years ago) link

Also, the aspect of revealing plot(Memento-like) by an amnesiac character leaving notes for himself that you won't discover until like 2/3rds of the way thru the game.

kingfish superman ice cream (kingfish 2.0), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 18:41 (fourteen years ago) link

Also, i like how it's pretty much agreed by former TSR and Black Isle folks that the "Lady of Pain" referred to whatshername who controlled TSR during the mid-90s and HATED gamers.

The rumor was quietly confirmed not too long ago by a few of the principals...

kingfish superman ice cream (kingfish 2.0), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 18:44 (fourteen years ago) link

Also this game uses difficulty so well! Like, the hard bits are never around where the story is, where there's story flowing the gameplay flows too, rushes you along, lost on fire.

xp: yeah I love how at the beginning morte goes on about the journal for ages and you just assume it's in yr inventory or will be soon but NO...

Gravel Puzzleworth (Gregory Henry), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 18:44 (fourteen years ago) link

The subplots in BG2 and the way they revealed are just as compelling to me as the main plot of P:T (which, granted, is way more original). Also, the character interaction in BG2 completely outshines the character interaction in P:T.

The Ghost of Black Elegance (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 18:48 (fourteen years ago) link

http://fourfatchicks.com/Reviews/Planescape/Torment.shtml

a neat little review about the game, tho kinda inaccurrate in parts(intelligence isn't the chief skill; WISDOM is)

also, it mentions one thing i forgot: that you can use tattoos for drastic stat changes.

kingfish superman ice cream (kingfish 2.0), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 19:52 (fourteen years ago) link

Dude, intelligence is totally the most important stat in the game! Intelligence lets you outthink every puzzle in the game and gives you gonzo awesome spells!

The Ghost of Black Elegance (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 20:22 (fourteen years ago) link

Wisdom unlocks more plot and dialogue, tho.

But you do find a way to eventually get both stats up to 25.

kingfish superman ice cream (kingfish 2.0), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 20:25 (fourteen years ago) link

Doesn't Wisdom also mean you squeeze more XP out of the fixed amount of battles?

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 20:27 (fourteen years ago) link

i think so, i can't remember. it's in most of the faqs.

kingfish superman ice cream (kingfish 2.0), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 20:29 (fourteen years ago) link

Wisdom unlocks more plot and dialogue, tho.

So does intelligence!

The Ghost of Black Elegance (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 21:10 (fourteen years ago) link

I must dig this game out very quickly. I got about halfway through it before but my pc virused up and died and when i got my new pc the discs were too scratched to install it again.

jeffrey (johnson), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 18:42 (fourteen years ago) link

five years pass...

Out on GOG for ten bucks.
If I get and play this is it too outdated to enjoy or...?

Muscus ex Craneo Humano (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 28 September 2010 21:22 (nine years ago) link

bear in mind it'll be my first time trying it.

Muscus ex Craneo Humano (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 28 September 2010 21:22 (nine years ago) link

I haven't played an rpg in a while but I would think that there still would be a lot of fresh elements in this game, which by the way owned when I played it yrs ago

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Tuesday, 28 September 2010 21:23 (nine years ago) link

The game is a serious, all-time classic. But I will break it to you, the gameplay itself is not the greatest, it wasn't even back then. The combat and character progression (in terms of D&D rules and stats) is not as strict or complex as Baldur's Gate and not as fun as Fallout's. Torment leans much more towards BG, though, one of the game's chief mechanics is how far along you want to go on the good/evil and lawful/chaos scales. There's a conscious design decision that you can avoid a lot of the combat, and I'd even recommend you go straight to a magic/high wisdom or intelligence build for the best dialogue options; in some ways it's better to treat this as an adventure game.

Also, do you like reading in RPGs? This has an absurd amount of text - but what's crazier is that a lot of it is really good, as are the story and characterizations. You can click on lots of things and get lots of descriptions. There's lots of secrets and alternate paths to take, though it's more linear than the two mentioned titles.

My hesitation is that, if I remember right, you couldn't really get into Fallout, which uses a similar same 2D point-and-click engine and also had a dark, sometimes over-serious tone. But Torment has so much more going on creatively, in terms of fiction, thematically, and the variance in environments and people. The world of Sigil itself is so much more interesting than 99% of fantasy settings.

Short version: this game is really awesome and yes you should play it. I don't think Torment's story or inherent ingenuity will ever become outdated (ironic considering it starts with the old amnesiac cliche). I might pick it up in a few months just to not have to ever dig out my 6-CD swapping retail version.

(Actually this seems like a decent choice for a IPC revival, if you wanna put in the work again lol)

Nhex, Tuesday, 28 September 2010 22:04 (nine years ago) link

Yeah there is a fucking shit ton of reading and the resolution leaves alot to be desired. It should be smaller but its not and the screen looks kinda awkward compared to todays standards. But its still an amazing game and should be fun to play when you dont have to switch all the fucking discs out back and forth.

mayor jingleberries, Tuesday, 28 September 2010 22:07 (nine years ago) link

I'd try it. It's really dear to me - as someone who loves the fantasy genre and has reservations about how it's usually deployed it was pretty startling, and if you feel the same way, I don't think it'd date particularly.

I couldn't get into fallout either, but that's because the setting didn't do much for me - to enjoy this you basically need "reading a lot of weird cool fantasy literature" to be a big draw.

Gravel Puzzleworth, Tuesday, 28 September 2010 22:21 (nine years ago) link

i played through it with a really high intelligence/wisdom and the amount of reading got to be too much. if i played it again i'd go with more average smarts so i wouldn't get so bogged down.

my sex drew back into itself tight and dry (abanana), Wednesday, 29 September 2010 01:36 (nine years ago) link

thanks for the heads up nhex et al; i'll put this on the list of future potential time sinks.

Muscus ex Craneo Humano (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 29 September 2010 04:16 (nine years ago) link

Also good positives: the character interaction is really interesting and fun to explore, cool plot twists and hilarious ways to kill yourself.

mayor jingleberries, Wednesday, 29 September 2010 15:48 (nine years ago) link

I couldn't get into fallout either, but I've made a start on this now, and am totally loving it.

JimD, Tuesday, 5 October 2010 19:41 (nine years ago) link

i haven't tried this, but i saw it linked in various places:

http://thunderpeel2001.blogspot.com/2009/01/planescape-torment-fully-modded.html

you can skip the first two steps if you have the GOG version

Nhex, Tuesday, 5 October 2010 20:03 (nine years ago) link

i miss having a pc :(

goole, Tuesday, 5 October 2010 20:10 (nine years ago) link

alright, i'm gonna give it a try with the nhex changes and see where it gets me

high speed p-diddy-esque shrimping vessel (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 5 October 2010 20:39 (nine years ago) link

Downloaded the GOG version and went through all the steps from Nhex's link and the resolution is great, the game loads smoothly and I'm gonna roll up a character here in just a sec. Kinda excited! How long of a game is this? A week? Two weeks?

high speed p-diddy-esque shrimping vessel (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 5 October 2010 21:57 (nine years ago) link

I was going to say it's really really long, but then I realized my memories are totally colored by the crappy summer during which I played it, so maybe it wasn't as long as I thought. Also, all the disc swapping for each area made it feel longer too. Perhaps someone else could objectively assess it...

Nhex, Wednesday, 6 October 2010 05:15 (nine years ago) link

right at the very beginning, this is instantly awesome
also it's great to play a game that has NO LOAD TIME and is still fun

high speed p-diddy-esque shrimping vessel (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 6 October 2010 16:00 (nine years ago) link

yay

I got yr comedy modding right here (HI DERE), Wednesday, 6 October 2010 16:03 (nine years ago) link

This is probably my favorite game of all time

I got yr comedy modding right here (HI DERE), Wednesday, 6 October 2010 16:03 (nine years ago) link

urg and it just crashed when i got out of the mortuary... hopefully not a replicable bug.

high speed p-diddy-esque shrimping vessel (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 6 October 2010 16:33 (nine years ago) link

damn this thing crashes a lot

high speed p-diddy-esque shrimping vessel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 7 October 2010 04:33 (nine years ago) link

Really? Mine's been fine so far (apart from a recurring crash-on-exit, but that doesn't seem to do any harm).

JimD, Thursday, 7 October 2010 10:21 (nine years ago) link

yeah, i've had four crashes when i go into buildings.

high speed p-diddy-esque shrimping vessel (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 7 October 2010 14:06 (nine years ago) link

my cd copy used to crash when I tried to enter the mortuary from the front door. easily gotten around, of course :)

my sex drew back into itself tight and dry (abanana), Thursday, 7 October 2010 15:35 (nine years ago) link

two years pass...

WTF

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/01/09/planescape-torment-sequel/#more-137374

What can change the nature of a sequel?
Post-Planescape: Fargo Reveals The Future Of Torment

By Alec Meer on January 9th, 2013 at 5:00 pm

...RPS – Where are inXile up to in terms of designing this thing, given you’ve presumably incredibly busy with Wasteland? Will you be working on it concurrently with Wasteland or saving it for later?

Fargo: We’re very early in Torment’s preproduction right now. We have a basic story outline, design sketches of the major characters, and thematic concepts defined. Wasteland 2 is in full production and we don’t want to detract from that focus. But with that said, the writers on Wasteland are complete for the most part and the concept artists are not involved at this stage in the game. The guys working on Torment are no longer working on Wasteland 2 and I want to keep these talented guys busy for us. Typically we do begin design of the next game while the production team is working on the current one. This allows the team to take a nice break once they are complete on the current game and then come back to roll onto a design that is thorough and polished. The last thing we want to do is break up a winning team.

"It's the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Drunk!" (kingfish), Thursday, 10 January 2013 03:45 (seven years ago) link

no kickstarter no credibility

What am I, in France? (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 10 January 2013 04:26 (seven years ago) link

read the link, they mention their plans

"It's the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Drunk!" (kingfish), Thursday, 10 January 2013 04:50 (seven years ago) link

just bein sarcastic. but yeah, seems the time's right for it.

What am I, in France? (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 10 January 2013 05:44 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

no kickstarter no credibility

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/torment-tides-of-numenera

the europan nikon is here (grauschleier), Wednesday, 6 March 2013 14:31 (seven years ago) link

damn you, kickstarter.

Nhex, Wednesday, 6 March 2013 15:18 (seven years ago) link

honestly i'm a little burned out on these

Nhex, Wednesday, 6 March 2013 15:22 (seven years ago) link

no way am i funding another kickstarter from these dudes when they haven't shipped wasteland 2. the give-us-money email very patiently explained the nature of game dev cycles or whatever but fuck yall for real, where's my game and yall want more of my money?

adam, Wednesday, 6 March 2013 15:25 (seven years ago) link

let's see one of these games come out first b4 i chip in cash to a new one - so far is ftl the only kickstarted game to be a real success?

Mordy, Wednesday, 6 March 2013 15:26 (seven years ago) link

"This is better news than the PS4."

— ScruffTheNerfHerder

the 'dirty sprite' is implied (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 6 March 2013 15:38 (seven years ago) link

there's a ps4?

attempt to look intentionally nerdy, awkward or (thomp), Wednesday, 6 March 2013 16:55 (seven years ago) link

not really

the 'dirty sprite' is implied (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 6 March 2013 16:59 (seven years ago) link

Turns out they don't need adam's money now.

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:17 (seven years ago) link

oh shit, that was quick

"Bellini." (DJP), Thursday, 7 March 2013 15:34 (seven years ago) link

So, if they get enough K$ dosh, can they just buy the damn Planescape name and be done with it?

The New Jack Mormons! (kingfish), Thursday, 7 March 2013 21:55 (seven years ago) link

nah, they already asked Wizards of the Coast for permission and were rejected, i believe

Nhex, Thursday, 7 March 2013 21:58 (seven years ago) link

so kickstarter gets kicked back like 5%? is that how it works?

adam, Thursday, 7 March 2013 22:02 (seven years ago) link

four years pass...
three years pass...

Chris Avellone just got cancelled:

https://kotaku.com/multiple-women-accuse-games-writer-chris-avellone-of-se-1844135498

pomenitul, Wednesday, 24 June 2020 15:16 (three months ago) link

A digest of the accusations that are being levelled against him:

https://www.reddit.com/r/pcgaming/comments/he4fhh/chris_avellone_no_longer_working_on_dying_light_2/fvp5at8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x

pomenitul, Wednesday, 24 June 2020 15:19 (three months ago) link

Ah Christ, what a schmuck

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Thursday, 25 June 2020 04:46 (two months ago) link


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