View Full Version : Planescape: One step behind

Zen Master
2010-05-21, 07:17 AM
Ok - I've toyed with the idea for years, and ... well, sometimes the best solution is not to try and mess with perfection.

Which, in this context, is Planescape: Torment. However ... is it not mans destiny to destroy himself in the pursuit of the divine?

I want to take the events of the game, and somehow make them playable. Not as the main character - but as someone following behind him. Possibly with the aim of destroying him. Lets say an evil incarnation of him.

I've no experience with this sort of thing. Luckily I know a group of players who are completely ignorant of the game, so at least I don't have that to contend with.

Two questions.

Is this a valid idea - does anyone have experience with this sort of thing?

And do any of you have ideas, inspiration, hints, whatever?

2010-05-21, 09:17 PM
I suggest taking notes and playing through the game, recording names of NPCs and any info you can about them first. Then you can work on statting out anyone important. Record a timeline of events.

After that decide what to do. I know its blasphemy but I never got around to play Torment because my PC at the time wasn't good enough, and now I couldnt stand the graphics. I guess you should decide if the events of the game have already happened, and if so what the aftermath is. If the PCs are to be following one-step-behind then you need to take the timeline of events and plan encounters/clues/etc for the PCs to follow in.

The biggest danger are the players deciding to do what players often do; foil the GMs carefully laid plans. Any players familiar with the story might decide to leap ahead or take unexpected turns. This could be fun or terribly frustrating as they end up altering the timeline you planned out.

2010-05-21, 09:28 PM
Four words:

TALK TO YOUR PLAYERS. Impress upon them that you'd prefer if they didn't screw your stuff up for giggles or whatever. It's not railroading, not really, it's more that you have a specific tale you wish to tell, and would like them to play along with you. If they're good players, they'll respect this wish and do things according to the story.

2010-05-22, 11:25 AM
My opinion, from DM:ing games inspired by PsT, is that it is easier to get right something where the players instead are the amnesic immortals. It wouldn't be the exact same story, but you could borrow as much as you liked.

In fact... imagine just that, a group of epic adventurers once bargained with the mightiest of the Night Hags to become immortal, just as she had once done with a yet more ancient mythic hero. They went on to successive incarnations, adventured together or apart, relating at different times as rivals, friends, lovers, comrades or bitter enemies. Each of them have gradually gone on to lose more and more of their memories during the last series of incarnation.

Now they meet again. They somehow know they have met before, and will recall facets of their previous meetings every now and then, as well as encounter the legends of their own previous incarnations.

In my opinion, this kind of shared problem is the best way to keep a group cohesive, regardless of what the characters are. Also, by putting the glory and horror of amnesic immortality center stage WITH the players, everything is bound to feel more important than if it is a property of some cool or horrific NPC. Moreover, the plot will tend to flow wherever you want it to go, because it becomes very sandboxy - since the main plot is tied to a property of the PCs, it will follow them wherever they go.

The thing I tried, which worked well for me, was having a group of Dark Sun adventurers becoming vessels for those Sorcerer-Monarchs who died before the modern age. They would level up quickly and gain strange abilities, and I did the return of memory thing by periodically shifting to having the players play out events in their backstory. So effectively two ongoing games, one before the catastrophe, one after it. The ancient story was, of course, much more scripted, and after every installment, the modern-day characters would remember their old personalities up to that point.

Of course, your mileage can and will vary. :smallsmile: