Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

For discussing Torment's story, setting, and characters. Ninth World discussions encouraged. Spoilers allowed.

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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by dflatline » January 5th, 2014, 7:15 am

dorkboy wrote:i really like the fact that the game leaves exploration to the player. makes it all the more rewarding, imo.

and, no, you don't have to max wisdom to be able to enjoy PS:T. people who claim so are talking non-sense.
"you have to max energy weapons to the max and then go pick up the second most lethal thistle of goop and take it to the Übermage of Overlords, then the game will become really great!".. yeah ok, if you say so.. :roll:
You do however have to max wisdom and go mage to get the biggest picture of what happened.

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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by Drool » January 6th, 2014, 5:21 pm

dorkboy wrote:+2 to a single attribute doesn't sound that broken, though.. :?
It isn't. Until you exploited the bug and used it to max all attributes.
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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by BlackGauntlet » January 15th, 2014, 9:39 pm

Like Zombra, I loved the setting, music and characters but only felt a lot of "push" factors to get me going along the plot-line. I got to a point of the game and was stuck there. After checking with the guidebook, it seems that I have got myself into a dead-end here I will have to start all over again (if I only have 1 game save - which I did).

That was more than 15 years ago and I never tried to restart it yet.

So, my advice, Zombra (even if it is spoilerish because it's better to be spoiled a little than to suffer through what I did)... NEVER THROW AWAY THE HAMMER!!!

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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by CrackedSash » August 1st, 2014, 5:02 pm

The game is badly designed in many ways and I think that it's best enjoyed with a walkthrough. I played it recently and I would have missed most of the interesting stuff without a high wisdom.

Now, about the story: "I still don't have a reason to care about any of this except curiosity." Curiosity drove my interest in the plot. I wanted to find out about TNO's past and about how he would finally manage to die once and for all.

I think that the story's weakness is more in the last half when the witch sends you to see the angel who sends you to see the demon, who sends you to see the pillar. It all seemed pretty pointless.

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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by Patient Roller » August 2nd, 2014, 1:28 am

I also don't think the main story is that good. I was actually much more interested in it in the beginning. I died? Who's this damn suspicious skull? And most importantly, WHY don't I keep losing my memories anymore? There's something after you, and you gotta learn what's happening before they catch up and it's all over. That was plenty of motivation for me to go through 10 straight hours of boring (if technically well written) conversations with random strangers, and then 5 hours straight fighting things. :) (the pacing is awful)

The late part of the game has some cool things (anything involving your old selves is great), but the story was building towards a big revelation to a big mystery/conspiracy, and then when you do learn everything that's going on, it was just a big let down. You can guess the story long before it gets there, and there's nothing more to it.

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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by Gizmo » August 2nd, 2014, 2:08 am

Planescape is definitely a 'level up over lunch' kind of a game... Make sure to talk to your companions. Nameless [IRRC] was a 25th level ~everything... and has forgotten that he knows these skills; but it's why he picks them up again so easily. Changing class is useful. I consider Planescape to be the best RPG that I've played ~though not the best game among RPGs.

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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by Naurgalen » January 28th, 2015, 10:19 am

I think the problem may be that you are not a very curious person, because you have so many BASE questions when you start (*) that if nothing pulls you I doubt many things in the setting will. In fact, all the "care" thing is totally subjective and needs a predisposition (like the suspense of disbelief), and no game can force that into you... game play mechanics, characters, curiosity, atmosphere, sound, story... almost every aspect of a game can and should make you care. If you are not getting into it, then its not probably a game for you, because all the subtlety's, and details that reflect how good the game and story is, how all the characters and things are there for a reason... are not thrown into your face like most games... are things that you must explore, think or search for. I'm so tempted to make examples, but it will spoil so much that i prefer not to.


(*) Examples:
How did I get into a mortuary?
If I was killed, what killed me?
What does the talking skull and the blue ghost that claims to be my lover have to do with me?
Who the hell I am? At the beginning you shouldn't even know that you had many lives before instead of 1. Eventually why are you immortal and how to end it is a basic question that the character has and is assumed the player 2. -Heck I don't understand how anyone cant feel at least some curiosity about why one is immortal and how that changes your life-
Who the hell carved your back and why are you totally scarred?
Who is this Pharaod?
What is The Lady of Pain?

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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by Gizmo » January 28th, 2015, 3:24 pm

Does anyone play Planescape and actually put themselves in Nameless' place? :shock:

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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by swordnshield » February 19th, 2015, 9:12 pm

Gizmo wrote:Does anyone play Planescape and actually put themselves in Nameless' place? :shock:
Did you not?

In order for Torment's story to work there can't be a character creator like most WRPGs have, but you also need to make decisions as if you were The Nameless One (at least on the first play-through). That's why he's a blank slate at the start of the game and you build up his personality and alignment through your actions.

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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by Gizmo » February 20th, 2015, 10:01 am

swordnshield wrote:
Gizmo wrote:Does anyone play Planescape and actually put themselves in Nameless' place? :shock:
Did you not?
Of course not. :shock:

The Nameless was an immortal; why on Earth would I put myself in his place? I am not there; not in that situation; don't have that kind of emotional baggage, betrayals, and inter-dimensional life experience; nor was I a 25th level character in every class... I wouldn't want to be in his shoes. At most, I would extrapolate on that kind of personality's motives, but I would never consider the choice that I would make in that situation; the Nameless is not me.

*And this goes for any PC in any RPG.

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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by Zombra » February 20th, 2015, 10:39 am

It's weird to see folks who play a lot of RPGs but don't go in for role-playing. :shock:

Not judging! And there are a lot of people like that. It's just weird to me.
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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by Firkraag » February 20th, 2015, 10:50 am

Zombra wrote:It's weird to see folks who play a lot of RPGs but don't go in for role-playing. :shock:

Not judging! And there are a lot of people like that. It's just weird to me.
Same thoughts.

Immersion vs. Observation, I guess. You can play games like Dragon Age, as interactive movie.
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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by Zombra » February 20th, 2015, 12:34 pm

Looking at this thread again, I never did go back to try to finish the game. It looks like there are a few cheats and trainers out there. Maybe I'll try again and just hack the game to give myself straight 25s and a million hit points so I won't have to worry about doing so many very specific things just to be able to see all the dialogue, and I can close my eyes and button mash through the crap combats. Food for thought.
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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by Firkraag » February 20th, 2015, 12:59 pm

Zombra wrote:Looking at this thread again, I never did go back to try to finish the game. It looks like there are a few cheats and trainers out there. Maybe I'll try again and just hack the game to give myself straight 25s and a million hit points so I won't have to worry about doing so many very specific things just to be able to see all the dialogue, and I can close my eyes and button mash through the crap combats. Food for thought.
That's an attitude! Though, as a mage you'll need some time to gather most awesome looking spells. Cheating approach changes your perspective into matter of choice and personal amusement. What you want to wear or do, instead, what you should.

I still wait for a game, that gives you a godlike powers from the start, but gives you choice to act on your principles and not slaughter anyone, who you dislike. Closest to that ideal (of mine) was Dishonored and Shadow of Mordor. It was so fun. Hope, T:ToN will join my list with this whole immortality thing.

- "You're supposed to be dead!"
- "See?! That's what I told them."
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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by Gizmo » February 20th, 2015, 1:38 pm

Firkraag wrote:
Zombra wrote:It's weird to see folks who play a lot of RPGs but don't go in for role-playing. :shock:

Not judging! And there are a lot of people like that. It's just weird to me.
Same thoughts.

Immersion vs. Observation, I guess. You can play games like Dragon Age, as interactive movie.
Indeed.

It's the difference between pretending to [personally] be a wizard, and [for easy example] roleplaying the character Gandalf in Middle Earth. That's not to be there personally, that's Galndalf their personally, and what Gandalf would (or could) personally do. And if not Gandalf, some unknown apprentice from Candle Keep whose foster parent was just murdered, and what they can or cannot do.

I love simulators that generate a fantasy world around the player, but that has nothing to do with roleplaying; roleplaying is not pretending to be in the PC's situation with their personal abilities; roleplaying is to see their world from their situation and see how their abilities (and/or philosophies) either help or hinder their success or their doom.

To do otherwise tends to see players take things personally when events don't go favorably for them. It's why players reload when they get caught picking pockets, or when they fail to unlock the chest... An open system is [ideally] double edged, and it's not fair to the game to accept their successes, and reload on their failures ~that's not how their life played out, and it cheapens the times when they do succeed on their own.

So many players seem to merely want a digital costume to wear in their games, and the point of making a character seems lost on them; it's as much about their weaknesses as it is their strengths... perhaps more so.

To the point that the notion that their PC should be incapable of accessing certain content due to their inability, or a prejudice against them... they find it abhorrent; like they've some how been cheated... when it's the other way around, and the PC that cannot access an area, or isn't capable of accessing a dialog ~should not afford the player the option to ever see that bit of the game; not until they play a PC that can access it, and that one too, should have their own limits to what they can accomplish. When it's viewed as their life, then its their situation; but when the player stuffs them in a box and takes their place, suddenly it's the game saying "no" to them personally; and how dare it. :lol:

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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by Zombra » February 20th, 2015, 2:34 pm

Ah, I see what you mean now, Giz. Fascinating take! I misunderstood what you meant by "putting myself in the Nameless One's place". I never try to insert myself into these stories, as in, what if I lost 40 pounds, took off my glasses, got a bunch of scars, and woke up in a mausoleum one day. I know the difference between player and character.

At the same time, I do not just look at a game conflict as, well, the situation is this and the character has such-and-such abilities, so how is he going to deal? That would make RPGs as passionless as chess or tic-tac-toe. I strive to imbue or infer personality, motivation, character to a character; not as a full-copy insert of my own, but as a full fledged person in their own right.

That's what I mean when I say I put myself in TNO's place: I ask myself, how does this dude feel about all this? What must it be like to be in that situation? Is he going to play it cool or flip out? What kind of guy is this?

I've played RPGs as a bloodthirsty killer and as a terrified pacifist, as a dispassionate scholar and as a driven vigilante. Whatever the game, I strive to play it through a character that is more than a collection of statistical keys formatted in one way or another to bypass the locks between character creation and end credits.
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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by Gizmo » February 20th, 2015, 4:09 pm

Zombra wrote:That's what I mean when I say I put myself in TNO's place: I ask myself, how does this dude feel about all this? What must it be like to be in that situation? Is he going to play it cool or flip out? What kind of guy is this?
Did you do the same with Ignus? Or Xar & Montaron; Viconia? (BG1)

The stats & skills effectively define the character's limitations, but they don't define their complete personalities. Though high and low values for any stat should have a noticeable effect; braniacs, unbelievable extroverts, and intimidating physiques do play a part in behavior.

The RPGs we played as kids included neuroses and phobias for some characters, and you had to play in-character... The only cRPG that I know of that offers that is Realms of Arkania.

What I've often seen in other forums is [players ingrained with] the concept that the PC is like a suit you can wear in the game; such that the PC is a non-entity; there only when convenient, and an irritation to be cast aside when not convenient. I bet everyone has seen the type in MMOs. ;)

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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by swordnshield » February 26th, 2015, 1:11 am

Gizmo wrote:
The Nameless was an immortal; why on Earth would I put myself in his place? I am not there; not in that situation; don't have that kind of emotional baggage, betrayals, and inter-dimensional life experience; nor was I a 25th level character in every class... I wouldn't want to be in his shoes. At most, I would extrapolate on that kind of personality's motives, but I would never consider the choice that I would make in that situation; the Nameless is not me.
He doesn't know that any more than the player does at the beginning of the game. The Nameless One is just as new to the strange and dangerous universe of Planescape as we are as players, and that makes it easy to become immersed. It requires a lot of suspension of disbelief, but it's aided by other aspects of the game, notably the descriptive writing and amazing music (the visuals also play a part; mostly as a template for your imagination to expand on).

Basically what I'm trying to say is that because TNO and the player enter the game with the same information (not much), in order to properly role-play him, you have to role-play yourself in that situation. Obviously the outcome of this is that he might not act like who you are in the real world, but its more of a reflection of yourself than a different person altogether. I know I wouldn't be who I am today if my first memory was waking up on a cold stone slab in the Mortuary.

This is different than the normal take on role-playing in tabletop and cRPGs, where you role-play a character whose personality and traits you conceive of beforehand, whether they're similar to you or wildly different.

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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by Firkraag » February 28th, 2015, 7:13 am

swordnshield wrote:...
+1 to this gentleman.
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Re: Planescape: Torment - Story [Early game spoilers]

Post by dorkboy » February 28th, 2015, 2:00 pm

"Method roleplaying"? ;)

I think another example of that would be the first encounter with Deionarra, where the player doesn't know what they/TNO have done wrong or who that person is, and then chooses how TNO should deal with the guilt/pity/amnesia that the player is [possibly] experiencing vis-a-vis the NPC.

It probably works better if you don't mind being a somewhat captive audience.
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