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#1 Shambelle

Shambelle
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Posted 14 January 2009 - 06:52 AM

This topic is a compilation of different Chris Avellone's interventions at Comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg group about Planescape: Torment (and other topics).
There is some junk, several known facts but also interesting informations and indeed some spoilers.
Warning, it's really heavy.

What Chris Avellone said about...


The companions and their alignments

Morte I can defend as Chaotic Good -- however, you're absolutely correct. Nordom should have been Lawful Neutral (even going "rogue," he still maintains a very ordered view of the multiverse and his place in it). Accept our Torment apologies.

Ignus is kind of debatable. I just always pictured him as insane -- although his actions could be viewed as evil, Ignus' primary motivation is just to burn everything he sees -- not because he hates it, but because he thinks that the way the Planes should be. The fact he drags his "s's" may make him seem more evil than he is.

Still, you could argue Ignus either way. I just chose CN because Ignus was nuts.

Chris


The utility of thieves

For me, it's the pickpocket that does it -- give Annah and the Nameless One a bunch of Dirty Rat Charms, then go visit each city map in turn picking everyone's pocket. Tons of cool stuff and no more problems with money drying up when you hit Fell's store.

Chris




The Gauntlets of Teeth

71Sting...@-ANTISPAM-Home.Com wrote:

Hi,

TNO is equipped with the cursed gloves (made of bone) and is about to level up. I've followed the group's advice for ridding TNO of the gloves:


You know, if I had the power to strip the bone gauntlets out of the game, I would. Those $%%## things have caused more trouble than almost any item in the game because of some oversights on our part.

My suggestion is the following:

1. Get the beta patch. In the patch, Mebbeth now has the ability to *cast* Remove Curse on a player. The patch does not invalidate save games.

2. If you can wait that long (my guess is that it will be too long of a wait), get Ignus or Fall-From-Grace. Ignus has the power to cast 4th level spells if you give him a Remove Curse scroll, and FFG has the power to cast it normally.

3. Try and level Dak'kon up. I *think* he needs to be 7th level in mage to cast 4th level spells (the debate on level of mage vs. level of mage spells they can cast has already been discussed elsewhere in this news group, but suffice to say that your mage level and the level of spell you can cast don't match).

Hope this helps,

Chris


Comment: This was of course before the patch 1.1 solved the problem

And

"Brian H." wrote:

> I've got some cursed gauntlets, I think they came from inside me when I got the seamstress to open me up and look inside, I also got a cursed ring..

Cursed gauntlets? Marta didn't find me about it!


You only get the cursed gauntlets if you lie and tell Marta that you're here to pick up the 'teethies' and thread she's collected. This also shuts off her store (since you cleaned her out), but the gauntlets aren't too bad for that stage of the game. It just costs to have Mebbeth or whoever Remove Curse off of you.

Chris


Chaosmen

Bring Barking Wilder a cranium rat tail and then ask him to show you the "Chaosmen store."

Chris



And

Ask to see his "store," and be sure to be carrying a cranium rat tail. You'll get a cool item.

Chris


Ravel

>I was never able to understand how Ravel could be Mebbeth, Ei-Vene and Marta... Did she take over their minds or what? My confusion was further enhanced when I visited Mebbeth/Ravel and she croaked her last words. Didn't TTO already kill her? Weird.

I *speculate* that Ravel may been able to somehow separate a piece of her existence. Perhaps some small part of Ravel wanted to return to Sigil and also consciously decided to forget who she really was. Such things are certainly possible in the framework of the Planescape universe. Remember the power of *belief*.


Ravel has two peculiar powers -- one, her physical body is like a tree whose branches extend into other planes and places, even breaching time. Once the main portion of her body is destroyed, the rest of her seperate incarnations start unraveling, but they don't die at the exact same time. (Annah explains some of this if you ask her about Ravel before you find Ravel). Ravel's second power (which leads to a lot of her oddities of speech) is that because of her "branching personalities," her senses can see several points at time at once, so sometimes her speech is littered with comments about what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen.

Each of Ravel's branching personalities has the potential to grow into a full Ravel, but usually, each one is a small piece of Ravel's mind (Mebbeth represents the kindly, helpful side of Ravel that Ravel tried to be near the end of her life). They are not usually aware that they are pieces of Ravel. Occasionally, the branching personalities have some small clues that they are not all they seem, but most of them choose to ignore it... assuming they're sane at all (Marta). The commonalities are they usually are women, are partially blind and deaf, and they all will help the NO either in a roundabout or direct way.

So basically, Mebbeth was aware that she was Ravel on some small level, but she hated the idea of being Ravel so much she suppressed it.

Chris
(Who loved writing Ravel and Mebbeth)



the Magic System (and why spells took some liberties with AD&D)

Actually, ever since Wotc bought TSR, they've been pretty cool about liberal translations of spell effects (they didn't have problems with the Planescape spells, which I doubt would have made it past the old TSR hierarchy). I think one of the reasons designers try and stick to AD&D rules is because they think that's what the public wants -- and some of them really do.

Still, the magic system's got some issues, no doubt. It's definitely pen and paper oriented.

Chris


Morte's Curse upgrades

Peacedog1 wrote:

I've beaten the game. I got 2 curses for morte, the litany (which he comes with), and the one where the enemy gets assaulted by a hoard of skulls (and its damage might be level based, because towards the end I got high 30s to 40 with it). Is there another ability? I had three different instances where Morte said he learned a new curse, but I only got these two abilities (though the other might have been the ability to cast the skull one more than once between resting). The statue in the museum, The Sensate, and I think Annah were the three I found. Did anyone find any other instances where Morte learned new curses?


That's the only 2 special abilities he gets. When Morte says he learns "new taunts," he's actually getting a +1 bonus (lowering his enemy's chance to save by-1) to his Litany of Curses.

The bonus for the statue in the musuem is higher than normal, however, +2.

I think someone posted a list of all the curses, which is probably more complete than the list here at Interplay. Three other places for curses I know of are:

Kimasxi Adder Tounge in the Brothel
Craddock in the Hive marketplace (when you tell him Jhelai won't be showing up for work)
Any Harlot in the Hive (when you defend Morte by insulting her)

Chris


And

I think it's:

Craddock (SW Hive, warehouse boss)
Any Hive Harlot
Brokah and Miccah
Kimasxi Addertongue
The Screaming Stone Statue

Chris


The links between Final Fantasy and Torment

*Slight spoilers*

I have played FF7 (and loved it), and I think the influences it had on PST was the spells (which Ken Lee designed, and did a damn good job), and the fact that each type of player character would stick with one 'type' of weapon based on their personality or their personal preference.

As for the amnesia, Annah and Grace/Tifa and Aeris, as well as the three incarnations at the end -- I assure you that was not based on FF7. The amnesia was a plot device that seemed new to me (at the time) and worked well with the plot, Annah and Grace were based on (be prepared for lameness) Betty and Veronica from Archie and Ginger and Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island -- these romantic triangles seemed to work, so we went with characters that were similar (spunky with a few rough edges, vs. prim and proper), and the three incarnations were chosen just because of the Rule-of-Three in Planescape and because they were the ones that had the most impact on the player's life throughout the game.

Hope that helps,

Chris



Montague and Juliette

Dirk Brueggemann wrote:

One thing I found quite funny is that Juliette's Lover is called Montague, which is Romeo's surname, especially since she complains about not having any problems ... and their families get along well.


I was sick of all the Romeo and Juliet adventure seeds that pop up in RPGs.
Why not have a quest where the goal is to mess up an idyllic relationship?

Chris



Sensory Touch

Heals target for 1-10 hit points and drains you of 1-10 hit points. Obviously, it's better if the Nameless One uses this spell on someone else, since he regenerates.

Chris


Chad

Yeah, Colin McComb put in a dig at our pal Chad Moore, one of the artists here at Interplay who was working on SK2. Chad's off working on Arcanum now, but we still poke fun at him when we can. :)

Chris


The lost Incarnation

The incarnation the arm came from (which I'll call "The Lost Incarnation," since not much is known about him) was a thief, so all the tattoos are pretty much thief-based. They won't change depending on the class of the Nameless One.

Chris


A blind archer

Try the sequence with Dak'kon where you ask him:

"I wanted to ask about our travels..."

And there should be a new option under that sub-menu where you can ask about what happened at Fell's parlor.

We had to break up the player responses into seperate question sub-menus because they were getting too long.

You can speak to Dak'kon at ANY time, anywhere about it, but you can only find the Blind Archer in Sigil.

Chris


Alignment Change

Annah's stealing does not affect your alignment. Only by making vows and promises (and keeping them) is it possible to become Lawful Good. Keep in mind that there's a lot more chaotic things you can do in the game than lawful things, unfortunately, so here's some advice:

1. If you ever have an option where the response is something like "well, that sounds fair," or "I don't respect your decision on this, but it seems fair," these are lawful options.

2. Anytime you tell the truth when it's obviously a bad thing or might harm your character (like telling creatures of myth who tried to lock blades with the lady of pain that they are perhaps the ugliest things you've ever seen) this gets you major lawful points, since you consider telling the truth more important than your well-being.

Hope this helps,

Chris


Ignus

username wrote:

Couple of questions for Planescape:Torment vets...

I feel like I'm missing something in my conversations with Ignus. I read about Ignus giving NMO bonus spells, resistance, and XP. My gut feeling is that Ignus should be the party's Mage Instructor, since I already have Dak'Kon for Fighters & Annah for Thieves. However, I get *nothing* from Ignus. All I found out was that NMO was Ignus's formerly evil teacher, but NMO's apologies don't do anything. Am I missing a branch somewhere in the dialogue tree? The lack of a mage instructor in the party is escpecially annoying.


Although he can teach you spells when you are already a mage, Ignus can't switch you to a mage like Dak'kon can -- he doesn't have the patience to teach you the subtler aspects of the Art. Dak'kon can only switch you to a fighter or mage when you have *already* become a mage by being taught by someone else (like Mebbeth or Lady Thorncombe, for example).

Chris


Old Copper Eye

He's killable, but it takes a LONG time. He's a very powerful character...
well, hit points wise, at least.

Chris


And

He was supposed to be the proxy of some god of death, like Charon, but all he ended up being was some silent guy with copper eyes and 32000 hit points. Just another normal day in development.

Chris


Special Abilities

Unfortunately, only Morte's Litany of Curses is described in the manual, and (again, apologies) there's no way to bring up descriptions of the abilities in the game. Here they are:

S.1. LITANY OF CURSES (MORTE)

Type: Special Ability
Name: Litany of Curses
Description: Morte can draw upon his repertoire of insults to taunt an opponent into lowering his guard and attacking. The target suffers penalties to hit and damage when enraged.
Not usable by: Anyone except Morte.
Minimum Caster Lvl: N/A
Ability: Instant
Range: The effect can target any single living target on screen. I do not know what this range translates into.
Speed Factor: 1

Effect: When Morte?s special ability is selected, the targeting cursor appears and the player may click on one living opponent on screen. This spell cannot target undead creatures. Magic resistance does not affect this spell. The target does get a saving throw vs. Spells to resist the effect, however.

When a target is selected, a brief insult from Morte plays (ttaken randomly from a list of voice files). If the Litany of Curses is unsuccessful, then nothing happens. If it is successful, the target freezes for two seconds, turns a pulsing red (pulsing like a heartbeat, the effect similar to the Strength spell) and then moves to attack Morte as quickly as possible. The number of taunts that Morte has accumulated will penalize this saving throw.

While the target is ?taunted,? the following effects occur:

1. The target suffers a ?2 to hit and a ?2 to AC and a ?2 to damage as long as the Litany of Curses is in effect.

2. The target?s AI is overridden so the target will always attack Morte with a physical hand to hand attack, no matter what. This lasts only for the duration of the taunt effect.

This special ability can only be used by Morte.

S.2. SKULL MOB (MORTE)

Type: Special Ability
Name: Skull Mob
Description: Morte can summon an avalanche of his friends from the Bones of the Night to come and take a bite out of a target.
Not usable by: Anyone except Morte.
Minimum Caster Lvl: N/A
Ability: Instant
Range: The effect can target any single target on screen.
Speed Factor: 1

Effect: A Morte-only ?spell.? When it is selected, the targeting cursor appears and the player may click on any one opponent on screen. Magic Resistance does not affect this ability. The target gets no saving throw against this effect.

When this spell occurs, everyone on the screen pauses, Morte turns to look off screen and whistles. There is a distant rumbling, the screen shakes, and a horde of skulls bound in from off screen (they don?t fly, they bounce like a skull avalanche) and swarm the chosen target, biting and head-butting, then leave by the opposite side of the screen.

The skulls do 1-4 hit points of normal piercing damage/Morte?s level. Morte can use this ability three times per day.

S.3. STORIES-BONES-TELL (NAMELESS ONE)

Type: Special Ability
Name: Stories-Bones-Tell
Description: A lot of corpses have something to say? if you listen carefully enough. This ability can be used on most undead creatures as well as corpses you may find during your journeys. The spell has no effect on the recently departed.
Not usable by: Anyone except Nameless One.
Ability: Instant
Action Target: Dialogue only.
Missile Animation: Dialogue only.
Range: Dialogue only.
Speed Factor: N/A

Effect: This effect can only be used by the Nameless One. This power can only be used in dialogue. This spell allows the player to initiate dialogue with a specific undead or dead creature (Mortuary zombies or special scenery critters) he was not normally able to do so with before.

S.4. SENSORY TOUCH
(FALL-FROM-GRACE/NAMELESS ONE)

Type: Special Ability
Name: Sensory Touch
Description: With a touch, you can bring another?s pain into you, helping them at the cost of your own health.
Not usable by: Anyone except Nameless One and Fall-from-Grace.
Minimum Caster Lvl: N/A
Ability: Instant
Action Target: One target.
Range: The range for this spell is touch range.
Speed Factor: 1

Effect: This effect can only be used by the Nameless One (if he joins the Sensate faction) or Fall-from-Grace. This spell can only be used at touch range upon a living creature. Magic Resistance does not affect it. When it occurs, a light pulsing white glow surrounds the target (similar to what occurs with other healing spells), then a series of sparkles travel from the target to the caster, who glows a pulsing red as he suffers the damage from the spell. This ability can only be used once per day. It heals 1-10 hp of damage on a target, but the caster suffers the same amount of damage.

S.5. RAISE DEAD

Type: Special Ability
Name: Raise Dead
Description: The most precious gift is bestowed upon all who were lost to the living.
Usable by: Nameless One only.
Ability: Instant
Action Target: Dead Party Member Ally *still in party.*
Range: Portrait.
Duration: Permanent / Instant
Speed Factor: 5

Effect: This spell restores life back to any slain individual chosen. No saving throw is required. The Nameless One is able to cast it 3 times per day and is replinished when he rests. To use it, the target must be in the Nameless One's party and dead -- if the party has been reformed and the dead character kicked out, then they cannot be raised.

When cast, the screen darkens, and a simple, glowing rune appears on the ground below the body and goes to bright white intensity. A glowing non-descript form descends down and fades into the body. A glowing stream of white-hot particles rise up from the rune and bathe the body (the particles should rise up pretty high and fade).

There are three other special abilities:

NORDOM'S WARP SENSE: 90% of the time when Nordom hits a portal trigger area, he will chirp up with "Portal detected."

FALL-FROM-GRACE'S KISS: This drains 1-10 hit points from a target and gives them to Grace. It works on critters only affected by magical weapons, it is touch range only, and she can use it ten times per day.

DEAD TRUCE: This power gives the Nameless One (when he joins the Dustman) a +4 AC bonus vs. any undead creature. (This ability functions somewhat differently than the normal Dead Truce, as the Nameless One has committed many unpardonable crimes against the undead in the past).

Hope this helps... sorry about not being able to put them in the game,
Brian.

Chris


The game interface

k...@tsoft.net wrote:

After playing Baldur's Gate all the way through and starting Planescape, I have a few questions about the interface and how to do some things that I could do in BG.

(1) In BG, you could tell a character to defend an area or another character. I only learned this option late in the game, but it's really handy -- you could click the "defend" button and draw a circle around a whole group of monsters, and just let your fighter go walloping without having to click on each target in turn. Is there a way to do this in PST?


Yes, choose the shield icon from the quick action menu, then hold down theleft button and draw a circle. This should work.

(2) In BG, if you paused during combat and clicked on a character, that character's target had a little blinking X on its circle. This doesn't seem to be the case in PST. Am I missing something?


It isn't in the game -- the quick menu should show you which guy you have selected.

(3) Another missing feature is auto-pause when an enemy is spotted. This one seems to be well and truly gone, but is it possible that I've missed something?


This one I'm not certain about. If it isn't in the options screen, then it's most likely gone for good.

(4) In BG, there was an icon to tell you that a thief was in "find traps" mode, which was very useful because sometimes it seemed that thieves would go out of that mode at the drop of a hat. Is there any way to keep track of this without constantly right-clicking and looking at special abilities?


Unfortunately, no.

Chris



The Axe of the Jester

One of the designers, Jason Suinn (who did a bunch of Hive stuff as well as doing time on the item editor for months) was playing around and discovered that he could assign random effects to an item. As I understand it, the Axe modifies some of your stats randomly the more you hold it (sometimes positive, sometimes negative), and it also inflicts random damage and effects when it hits. I *think* it does the following:

+1 Luck
+3 Hit
Random "bonuses" to INT and WIS
Has a less than 20% chance per hit of doing additional fire, cold, acid,
electrical and so on damage.

I'll check with Jason.

Chris


Games with voice acting

I think spoken dialogue is way overrated. Even if you HAVE got it, after a while you'll just find yourself reading the subtitles ahead of the speech, and then clicking through the speech. At least, that's how I always play....

Plus, the development problems are very real as well....it would've cast SICKENING amounts of money, especially if you wanted to use good voice talent. Wanna bet Michael Weiss's or Dan Castallanetta or Sheena Easton's salary would've been *much* higher if they had to record several hours of dialogue? So, if you then want to stay within budget, you have to hire third-rank voice actors, resulting in the complete suckage of voice acting most of the time. (I mean, REVENANT, come ON!!!)


Clicking through the subtitles: I'm with you on this one. I was playing Septerra Core last night, and while the voice acting is cool, I caught myself interrupting it halfway through after I finished the subtitles.

Aside from the expense of voice acting, there's another danger in voice acting which popped up in Fallout and Fallout 2 -- you have to make sure everything the voice actors say is *rock solid* before you go to the studio. Unfortunately, you have to record sound months before the game is released in order to process it and implement it into the game properly. This means that if any quests or story information changes (the farm where the raiders are holed out suddenly has to be moved to the north or to the east to fix a map bug, say), or QA discovers any quest or information bugs in the last few months, the voice acting might end up being incorrect. Sometimes it's better that the voice actors only say a few things, or (in the case of F1 or F2) point you to someone to talk to to assign a quest or other information ("go talk to my lieutenant -- he'll tell you everything you need to know.")

Written text is far easier to modify when fixing bugs. Not to say voice acting isn't cool, but we're rarely provided with the luxury of having all the bugs nailed down before we have to go to studio.

Just some thoughts,

Chris


Specialisations for fighter and mage

1. Fighter specialization at 7th level should allow you to have 4 slots, and 7th and 12th level specialization allows you to get 5 levels. As for mage specialization, there are a few dialogues that check to see if you're specialized (Ravel comes to mind), but the only real benefit for mage specialization is the tattoos, really. Your choice.

2. Here's the specialization tattoos for mage and fighter:

===============================

TATTOO OF THE WARRIOR

Availability Note: This tattoo is available only if you reach 7th Level in the Fighter Class before reaching 7th Level in any other class.

+1 to Armor Class
+1 to Strength
+3 Maximum Hit Points
Restrictions: Fighter Only

Description: This tattoo enhances your natural talent for combat, making you more difficult to hit and raising your damage with every strike.

TATTOO OF THE SUPREME WARRIOR

Availability Note: This tattoo is available only if you reach 7th Level in the Fighter Class before reaching 7th Level in any other class and if you reach 12th Level in the Fighter Class before reaching 12th Level in any other class.

+3 to Armor Class
+3 to Strength
+9 Maximum Hit Points
Restrictions: Fighter Only

This tattoo represents the fact you have achieved the pinnacle of your skills in the warrior arts. This tattoo enhances your natural combat skills, making you more difficult to hit and raising your damage with every strike.

TATTOO OF THE ART

Availability Note: This tattoo is available only if you reach 7th Level in the Mage Class before reaching 7th Level in any other class.

+1 to Intelligence
Grants 1 Additional 1st Level Spell
Grants 1 Additional 2nd Level Spell
Restrictions: Mage Only

This tattoo enhances your natural talent for the Art, heightening your reasoning and deductive abilities, and increasing your spell memorization capacity.

TATTOO OF THE MAGI

Availability Note: This tattoo is available only if you reach 7th Level in the Mage Class before reaching 7th Level in any other class and if you reach 12th Level in the Mage Class before reaching 12th Level in any other class.

+3 to Intelligence
Doubles 1st Level Spells
Doubles 2nd Level Spells
Restrictions: Mage Only

This tattoo represents the fact you have achieved the pinnacle of your skills in the arts of magic. This tattoo enhances your natural talent for the Art considerably, heightening your reasoning and deductive abilities, and doubling your spell memorization capacity for minor spells.

=================================================


Vrischika's store

It's impossible to steal from Vrischika's store, I believe. She's got all sort of fiendish wards around her shop.

Chris



Comment: It's true but you can always do a critical.

Eli Havelock and the Brothel

* Eli Havelock (the thief trainer in the Clerk's Ward) has a name that reminds one of Havelock Ellis, the late 19th-century proto-sex-researcher.
Mere coincidence? Or a sly attempt on the part of BIS to send subliminal messages to our precious children, causing them (the children, not BIS) to fornicate wildly in the streets? Although, seeing as how one cannot swing their arms in Sigil without hitting a pro, perhaps the BIS people do fornicate in the streets...


Eli --> Ellis. No relation. I wished we known about Ellis, though.

* "Brothel of Slating Intellectual Lusts" doesn't make sense, unless they were talking about covering intellectual lusts with sheets of slate. I really think the word they wanted was "slaking." I was initially wondering if this was just some weird use of the verb "to slate" that I had never seen before, but then I noticed that FFG's journal biography said that she ran the "Brothel of Slaking Intellectual Lusts," which is probably what they meant to use throughout. Geez. What are those liberal-arts QA types over at BIS being paid for, if not to correct silly mistakes like this?


One of the QA guys pointed this out one month before we shipped. Suffice to say we are idiots -- not to mention the fact we *really* didn't want to go back through reams of text to change it because we were functioning on coca-cola and jolt fumes at that point.

Apologies,

Chris


Himself

Thrasher <spectre...@hotmail.com> wrote in message <news:gta1fvk1vkqv6pa14l288polp2rmp48vjm@4ax.com>...

On Fri, 13 Jun 2003 23:41:35 GMT, ZZZYYno_m_anZZ...@yahoo.com (noman) wrote:
Are you sure he was the lead designer of Torment? I don't have my manual in front of me with the credits, but it seems to me that a lot of admin people in the PC game industry seem to get lead designer/lead programmer credits somehow. Warren Spectre comes to mind as a pencil pusher who became a game guru for no apparrent reason.


I'm pretty sure he was the lead designer on Torment. He was probably a paper-pushing hack, though. You know how those lead designers get.

Interplay has had problems since they decided to not follow up on Fallout/Fallout 2 and instead bet the bank on Bioware. Wasn't Chris Avellone involved somehow with Fallout:Tactics? I didn't care much for that game.


Nope, don't think Avellone had anything to do with Tactics. That was Chris Taylor, another designer named Chris. There are far too many of those, quite frankly.

Chris Avellone
Black Isle Studios (T minus 1 Day)


And

Rohit Saxena <ro...@lager.engsoc.carleton.ca> wrote in message news:bdaf84$r3u$1@driftwood.ccs.carleton.ca>...

Chris Avellone <CAvell...@blackisle.com> wrote:
> Nope, don't think Avellone had anything to do with Tactics. That was

You were the Mayor in the Springfield Bonus mission, I thought.

-R.


I was also a bounty hunter in Fallout 1, and I didn't have anything to do with Fallout 1, either. :)

Chris



Planescape: Torment

"Hermann Hesse" <hr_he...@yahoo.com> wrote in message <news:PBV99.6428$HY3.1600037@newsc.telia.net>...

Say, since I haven't seen you post here for months (if not years?) would you mind terribly if I took the opportunity to ask you to share your thoughts about the creation of game and how it was received?

It becomes quite apparent from the posts here that although not as commercially successful as Black Isle's other titles, Torment is one of the most loved and appreciated games in all categories. The script alone is regarded as the finest ever to appear in a computer game.

Yet the game didn't seem to appeal to the majority of the gaming community because the delicate script. What were the goals when writing the game compared to who it was received?


I think there was a lot of factors why it didn't sell as much as Baldur's Gate, and most weren't really surprising. It was an atypical setting, it didn't have a lot of comfortable RPG elements about it, it was very text heavy, the main character put people off, it started out pretty slow, and I don't think the box helped either.

That said, I regret nothing. :)

Our directives when we were told do the game were to "do a Planescape game using the IE engine," and that was pretty much what we did. Team-wise, we totally lucked out and got a nice combination of people all across the board who all worked well together, and all the designers we had kicked ass.

The goals when making the game were:

- No traditional fantasy elements if at all possible, including swords.
- We wanted the game to be as much of the character generator as possible, and tried to have the player learn to be a class rather than choose a class right from the start. Ideally, it would have been nicer to expand on some of the class-training stuff in the game, especially the magic, but it didn't make it in.
- What your character believed in meant as much to the game as your actions, in accordance with the whole belief = reality in Planescape.
- Everything in the game revolved around your character. You weren't out to save some world or some false sister/father figure you knew next to nothing about - you were out to save yourself. You were the goal of the entire game, your character was the puzzle, your character was the focus. No saving the princess, no saving the world, no
retrieving the artifact, no destroying the artifact.
- We wanted your actions to affect your alignment, not the other way around.
- We wanted a really deep story.
- We wanted NPC allies that had problems outside of their inventory and class level restrictions.

...and me, personally, I wanted a puritan succubus. And a pregnant street. And the ability to shape planes with my mind. And talking weapons. And a guy who is a living conduit to the elemental plane of fire. And a living forge that wants to kill the universe. And a cube-style dungeon you can carry in your pocket that basically mimics the trend of some hack and slash RPGs. And "rats" that defy the basic rules of "rats" in most RPGs and turns them into the most dangerous monsters you can fight. And undead that are friendly and more sympathetic than most people you talk to.

Loved the team we had, and I loved working on it. :)

Chris Avellone



#2 Echon

Echon

    Planewanker

  • Member
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Posted 14 January 2009 - 10:34 AM

Great stuff! Thanks. :)

#3 Tyr Vedra

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 10:28 PM

So it *was* suppose to be the "Brothel of -Slaking- Intellectual Lusts" - perhaps that could be in the next fix pack? :shifty:

Great reading, thanks Shambelle. My time at CSIPGR must have been after he was posting there, but that would've been pretty cool to see him trading words with the lower plane citizens. ;)

#4 Shambelle

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 01:04 AM

See below...

Edited by Shambelle, 15 January 2009 - 01:55 PM.


#5 Shambelle

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 01:05 AM

He was mainly posting around 2000.

You can find some interesting things.
For example this article about Planescape: Torment and Fallout tie-ins talking about references from Sharpe's Rifles.

Edited by Shambelle, 15 January 2009 - 01:07 AM.


#6 Qwinn

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 11:12 AM

So it *was* suppose to be the "Brothel of -Slaking- Intellectual Lusts" - perhaps that could be in the next fix pack? :shifty:


I fixed that in version 1 ^_^

Qwinn

Edited by Qwinn, 15 January 2009 - 11:15 AM.


#7 Tyr Vedra

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 10:33 PM

I fixed that in version 1 ^_^

Oh, cool! I'm not up to there yet, though I'm sure Grace would be pleased. :D

#8 Shambelle

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 04:53 AM

Some more...

What Chris Avellone said about...


Luck

Luck is perhaps one of the most powerful stats in the game. In short, it gives you +1/pt of Luck for everything the lucky character does, and -1 to anything done to harm the lucky character. This is one of the reasons that Morte seems much more effective than he should be -- he's naturally lucky (1 or 2 points, I believe).

If you want specifics, Luck does the following:

1. Modifies the duration of the Friend spell.
2. For randomized Charisma effects, luck will modify the bonus.
3. For randomized Damage effects, luck will modify the amount.
4. For randomized Heal effects, luck will modify the amount.
5. For randomized Hit Point bonuses, luck will modify the amount.
6. For randomized Luck effects, luck will modify the bonus (Whoa).
7. For randomized Heal Transfer effects, luck will modify the damage taken by the provider.
8. For randomized Embaling effects, luck will modify the hit point bonus.
9. For projectiles, Luck is added to the attack roll.
10. For detecting secret doors, Luck modifies the detection roll.
11. For stealth mode, Luck modifies the chance to succeed.
12. When swinging a weapon, Luck modifies the speed factor of the weapon.
13. When attacking (non-projectile), Luck is added to the attack roll.
14. When applying damage, Luck modifies the amount.
15. When removing traps, Luck modifies your skill.
16. When picking locks, Luck modifies your skill.
17. When bashing doors, Luck modifies your skill.
18. When removing traps, Luck modifies your skill.
19. If an item has been set up as a Random Destroy item, Luck modifies change to destroy.

Chris


the Modron Cube

Dave wrote:

Whats the correct combination to open up the modron cube? I can't seem to get it right. I even got the combo from the walkthru book. I've already talked to the modrons in the brothel about the cube. Any info would be apprectiated.

Dave


Some things:

1. Opening the cube will only work in Sigil. So if you're in the Outer Planes, it may not work.

2. The cube should let you know when you've performed a "right move" with a new description. Just keep following the pattern until it opens. The pattern does not change, so just do trial and error until you get it right.

Chris


Abusing the LoP doll

> >Lastly the fact that I seem unable to get the LoP to maze me. I haven't
> >tried killing any dabuses but I've abused both LoP dolls to no avail.

>How much did you abuse the dolls?

A lot, multiple dolls, multiple times. I think I spent five minutes abusing those dolls (after I picked up the 2nd one). To no avail.


*Where* you abuse the dolls plays a big role on whether anything happens or not. Basically, it works like this:

1. You must be in Sigil. You can't be in any maze, Rubikon or any of the Outer Planes.

2. You must know about the Lady of Pain (i.e., Morte or Annah must have explained her to you when you talked to a dabus or Fell).

3. Then you worship the doll. Do it until the description changes -- and you'll know you're ready to be mazed.

Chris


Followers with ranged weapons

The missile weapon wasn't removed. It's just limited to one specific character.

Quatoria
--


Actually, two, if you count Nordom (crossbows) and Ignus (his normal flaming hand attack actually hurls non-spell fireballs).

Chris .


Enhancing thieves skills when not a thief

Ok, I found that guy, the one who is pretending to be a dustman, and I saw him trying to pick my pocket and got the option to just watch him to study his technique, but nothing happened from that... Do you have to have someone switch your class to thief, and then watching this guy just makes you better at pick pockets? Or is watching this guy supposed to somehow allow you to switch to thief?


Watching his technique will give you a bonus to your pickpocketing skill, even if you aren't a thief yet. When you switch over to a thief, you should notice that your pickpocket skill starts out a little higher than normal -- that's what you get from watching him.

If you have a high Wisdom, you get more out of watching his technique than if you had a normal Wisdom, and more XP, too.

Chris


Dialogue

More choices than BG and just plain better ones. Usually 3 to 5 different things to say or do at any one point in the conversation. The choices -- think Fallout, but more mature. Another change from BG is that clicking on objects on the game screen brings up floating descriptions. Much easier to find than the descriptions in the text window in the corner of the Fallout interface.

You can solve the first area with almost no combat, because its possible to kill creatures through the choices. (they're often *action* choices not just speech)


We tried to include a lot of options in dialogue beyond the good, bad, and neutral response -- glad that you like the variety. We were worried the action choices might seem a little weird to get in the dialogue action box, so I'd be interested to hear your opinions on it.

Thanks for the kind words -- the programmers and designers worked a long time on the dialogues and the journal to make them easier for the player.

Chris Avellone


Edited by Shambelle, 20 January 2009 - 04:53 AM.


#9 Darvon

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:37 PM

Epic thread.



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