A short Planescape story

Planescape: Torment is one of my favorite games, yet so complex. In an effort to make something short, that I could actually finish, I tried my hand at writing a small reflection piece, based on the main character’s defining trait.

You may have to play the game to get the story, but that is true for almost all fanfics. Just hope its passing.

Another Wasted Life

I… I have no clue who I am. I only know I am here, staring at a dark, dusty ceiling, cold stone on my back, and the smell of death all around me. With great effort, I lift my head, ignoring the pressure behind my eyes, the weight in my skull, asking for me to rest. But, I cannot. I want to, but somehow, I know rest is never possible.

My weary eyes look upon my body, and take in my features. My skin has taken a greenish hue, and my skin looks like an artist tried to etch an abstract painting into my features, with a dull, yet long life. If my head didn’t hurt, I would of thought I was dead.

Dead… just thinking that word brings painful longing throughout my being, like its something missing. Curious… why would anyone want to die? Did I want to die? I shake my head of such thoughts, and stagger around, trying to get the most of my surroundings. I see scalpels, knives, saws… covered in blood, but not my own. No, the red on these instruments had crusted over; whoever was cut by these was long gone.

I look at my reflection in the scalpel, and see a face to match my body. Worn, like he lived a thousand lives. Scarred, beyond all recognition, and stitched like a zombie. Maybe I really was dead… but an ache reminded me I was still living.

I spied an apron in front of some papers, both splattered in old blood. A quick glace through the documents confirmed my thoughts. I was in a morgue, most likely assumed dead. I just nodded, almost wistfully, and continued my journey, my senses, if not my memory, returning.

But, I just got out the door when I heard a scream. I turned, and saw another creature… human, perhaps, clothed in a dirty, brown ragged robe. Even underneath the torn hood, I could see the fear. I tried to calm him down, but that only seemed to make things worse. “No! You’re supposed to be dead!”

Dead? I really was dead? But… no, I… I just stared at the man in confusion, with a puzzled expression, and asked but one question. “Am I really dead? Is this… the afterlife?”

The fearful man’s gaze turned from fear to compassion, and he just breathed. “I see… you are denied true death, and still forced to walk.” He walked toward me, and in a low, but not menacing voice, spoke these words. “Let me help you rest.” I then felt a prick, and my body go limb, the strength to stand leaving me. As my vision left, I saw my… was murderer the right word? Could I be murdered? Whoever he was, he left me alone, to be replaced by a strange looking woman, wearing similar clothes, muttering the last words I heard before I collapsed. “Stufid zomfie.”

I… I have no clue who I am. I only know I am here, staring at a dark, dusty ceiling, cold stone on my back, and the smell of death around me. My mind hurts, weighed down by several lives, but I will endure. I feel driven to find out about myself, at any cost.

No matter who dies, who I use, or who I have to kill, I will find out. The world contains many answers, many tools to use for said answers.

I look around, no useless emotions getting in the way. I have things I need to do.

PC Glenton’s typical realistic prose + PS: Torment’s grim take on the afterlife make for a chilling combination. Good work, PC.

I myself don’t know much about PS: T. I was a big fan of D&D until my previous local bookstore closed down; we have a new one now but I haven’t gotten back to reading the D&D books yet, I feel literally years out of touch. From what I remember, Planescape was about the afterlife planes of the D&D multiverse, which were based on known mythologies (plus several invented for the game’s races, such as the Elven Gods. I always thought that was cool) except reinterpreted in D&D alignment terms, that is, the influence of good, evil, chaos and order in your life determined where your soul ended up, not your particular religion. And of course, the whole thing was more mundane than metaphysical (it’s an adventure game after all.) I always thought it would make a great setting for stories, though Torment doesn’t exactly sound very positive. So, how about some background details? Does torment only involve damned souls?

Thanks for the comment, Wil. You’re opinion is always welcomed.

And, to describe Torment… is, well, complicated. Its not you’re average RPG.

The rest goes in spoiler tags. Read at your own risk. Repeat, read at your own risk.

The main character in Torment is an immortal, not in the sense that he can not be killed, that happens, and happened, a lot. More in the sense he keeps recovering. And, until recently, (the start of the game, in fact), he kept forgetting what happened in his past lives. This cycle repeated at least a thousand times. And each incarnation is widely different. The game itself is not about saving the world, but self-discovery. Its very philosophical, and rather zen. I think you would like it, Wil.


3.5 conversion of the Planescape setting. Absolutely excellent. Furthermore, allow me to take this opportunity to force everyone who is reading this to play through PS:T, because it’s pretty much the best western RPG ever made.

You get to talk someone OUT OF EXISTENCE.

After a horrifying Baldur’s Gate experience I can’t bring myself to play an AD&D game. The thought of minmaxing/making an effective character makes me shudder and I recall the game being hard.

You’ll be pleased to know that PS:T is about as difficult as minesweeper. The combat is there largely for atmosphere, you can’t actually die. Just make a character with high wisdom, intelligence and charisma and you’re good.

Wil: It’s not the most cheerful game you’ll find, and yes, you’ll basically be dealing with pretty much the lowest layers of the multiverse’s scum and downwards, but you can actually make a difference on many cases and the aftertaste is, despite all that goes on, pretty fulfilling. Of course, I’ve only ever played “good guy”, dunno how things may go if you play as an ass.

And forget about the D&D “system” as a whole. It is very much present plotwise, and you can learn A LOT from several NPCs, but the gameplay is basically just for show as TD said.

The Nameless One: “Well I, for one, plan on discovering the secrets of the multiverse by rubbing cottage cheese on my belly and eating vast quantities of fresh-water fish. Mmm… cheese.”

Hm, great. I’ll put it on my list again. Thx