Pleasure Without Planescape: A New Torment?

By Alec Meer on December 3rd, 2012 at 11:00 am.

Despite all the talk over the years, I think we’d all long ago given up on there ever being a proper, official, original team sequel to the RPG that can change the nature of a man, Planescape: Torment. However, one of its original devs has expressed his interest in a follow-up and come up with an intruiging way around the licensing issue.

Colin McComb, who played a major design role in PST, now works at InXile, where the bulk of his work on the upcoming Wasteland 2 is now complete. So he’s wondering what grindstone to put his nose to next. “Of all the games I’ve written, the one that I keep circling back to is Torment.”

The internet has long demanded a follow-up so it’s doubtful there’d be a lack of interest, but the problem is that the Planescape license belongs to D&D owners Wizards of the Coast and apparently they’re not keen to lend it out again. However, “let’s say I’ve got an in with the Torment IP. Planescape itself, not so much – but I think I’ve got something equally as cool lined up.”

Update – and that in is that Brian Fargo, Inxile boss, has acquired the Torment IP as November 27th. This was dug up by copyright sleuths at RPGCodex, which appears to be offline at the moment (too many stories linking to it, perhaps). So yeah, we can read a lot into the fact that Inxile now owns the Torment name, I think.

Planescape is a fascinating setting, but I think it’s fair to say that the ‘Torment’ part – the grim exploration of identity and nature – is what made PST PST, rather than the setting. “I think there are many settings that could host the Nameless One’s story or a similar one. Any setting that rewards the player for internal exploration (certainly deeper than, “Can I hit it? How much loot does it have?”) could host a similar story. As long as there’s a fantastical element to the world–whether straight fantasy or science-fantasy–these questions become possible and desirable.”

For McComb, the questions may have changed too in the years since PST: “I have children now, and I look at the world through their eyes and through mine, and that’s changed me – in fact, the intervening years have changed me so much that I have new answers for the central story in the original Torment. So now that I know what can change the nature of a man, I ask: What does one life matter? … and does it matter at all?”

This is only at the drawing board stage, but he’s also talking about using different roleplaying systems. Probably necessary anyway, given WOC don’t seem to want to license Planescape. “I’d use a system other than D&D, because I’d want to align the player’s story axes along different lines than Good/Evil or Law/Chaos to something more subjective. The core of Torment is, after all, a personal story, and while we can be judged by others on the basis of our actions, arbitrarily aligning those actions on an external and eternally fixed line removes some of the agency from the player’s game.”

An intruiging but as yet unaddressed possibility is that Planescape lead Chris Avellone, now of Obsidian, has recently worked with inexile on Wasteland 2, so if he’s not too busy with Project Eternity perhaps the old gang could get back together for new Torment.

Assorted additional brain-thunks from McComb about this possible new game may be found in the comments of his post, and he cropped up on RPG Codex to field questions there (where he also confirmed that Wizards of the Coast turned him down for the Planescape license back in February).

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112 Comments »

  1. povu says:

    But you don’t need the Torment IP to do a story similar to Torment. I don’t see any benefit to owning the license to that.

    If it’s not the Planescape setting, and it’s not D&D, then you can tell whatever interesting Torment-esque story you want without needing the Torment IP.

    • Toberoth says:

      Which is something that Obsidian have suggested they might be having a crack at with Project Eternity (although they also make plenty of references to Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, which had decidedly less dark storylines).

      • soundofsatellites says:

        Precisely. Wasn’t Project Eternity the spiritual sequel of Torment?

        • Cerius says:

          No, it could still come after though.

          A plane jumping universe connected to Eternity’s world is certainly possible.

          • jessicahutchins7 says:

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        • D3xter says:

          Not really. They’ve never even said that, it was just Avellone pondering a possible “spiritual sequel” to Torment before that was even covered on RPS that makes people think so.

        • Infinitron says:

          Chris Avellone has actually explicitly stated that Obsidian considered a Torment spiritual successor, and decided not to pursue it in favor of another idea. That idea was Project Eternity.

          • DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

            Yeah I think a lot people misinterpreted that “how we would do a sequel to planescape torment” article and think project eternity is that game, when they actually said they wanted to do other things than another planescape. I know sites like Kotaku completely left that part out and even presented project eternity as the “spiritual planescape sequel.”

        • emertonom says:

          I’m surprised at how unified the response is here–I also thought Eternity was supposed to share elements with Torment, based largely on the description on the kickstarter page: “Project Eternity will take the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment.”

          • Slinkyboy says:

            I was shocked after reading this article and I’m not the only one who seriously thought Project Eternity was going to a spiritual sequel to PST… RPS, was it you who made me think so? I don’t read Kotaku, just RPS.

            I already put cash into PE, so this is what I get for diving into kickstarters without thought. Obsidian is gonna fuck shit up and I’m only saying that because I just looked at a games of games made by those pricks. Pure shit, but I did enjoy a bit NV.

      • Qwallath says:

        In my mind’s eye P:E will try to find a sort of golden middle between the story and thematics of Torment and the more streamlined CRPG experience of BG et al. Perhaps a bit what they tried with Mask of the Betrayer?
        As long as it has good companions, interesting (interactive!) items, and lots of different gemstones (think about it!) it’ll go a long way in the right direction.

        Oh, by the way, how was the Baldur’s Gate storyline not dark? Coming to terms with the divine lineage of a God of Murder?

        • Toberoth says:

          I’m not saying it wasn’t dark, but that it’s less dark.

          For the record, I think the BG storyline was absolutely excellent in that it played around with the whole “chosen one” mythos that so many games use: in BG you’re just one chosen among many, and you claw your way to dominance over the heaped up bodies of your half brothers and sisters. Clever stuff. Kinda reminds me of Ripley’s character in Alien: Resurrection, where she’s the one “successful” experiment amongst so many failures.

          • Infinitron says:

            *cough* Highlander *cough*

          • Toberoth says:

            Haven’t seen it! Feel like I should though. Also Jet Li’s The One I suppose.

          • TsunamiWombat says:

            You really, really should see the original Highlander. It’s cheesytastic good fun. And The Kurgan is perhaps one of the best movie villains ever, and Clancy Brown clearly had a blast playing him.

            “I’ve got something to say! It’s better to burn out- *claps hands and spins* then to fade away~”

          • Arglebargle says:

            The original Highlander? Anyone with any sense of game creation would look at their story, and think….Who designed this stupid game? Horrible, horrible, flawed story seed. Worth the viewing, though.

    • Inigo says:

      F.A.T.A.L: Torment?

    • AmateurScience says:

      S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Torment?

    • Cinek says:

      TORMENTFACE!

    • DMStern says:

      Having a recognizable name does make the marketing easier.

      Anyway, a story about internal discovery of why the Vanu are a bunch of dicks. PlanetSide: Torment.

  2. Meat Circus says:

    What can change the nature of a man? Intellectual property law.

    • The Random One says:

      What is a man? A miserable little pile of intellectual property. But enough talk – my lawyers shall contact you!

  3. Infinitron says:

    “let’s say I’ve got an in with the Torment IP”

    Why don’t you go ahead and mention what that “in” is, RPS? We’ve already done the work for you.

    EDIT: Well done. ;)

  4. zain3000 says:

    This topic has been brought up a number of times in the past. The sad truth is that the Nameless One’s story pretty much came to an end in the original PST. There really is no need to make a true sequel/prequel to that particular story arc.

    What I would prefer is more of a spiritual successor to PST. A deeply personal story-driven RPG that explores similar themes to Torment and with the same emphasis on dialogue and story over combat. It doesn’t have to be set in the Planescape universe (although that is one of my favorite RPG settings along with White Wolf’s The Masquerade) and it doesn’t have to have any of the same characters especially The Nameless One himself.

    • Whitmore says:

      White Wolf’s setting for Vampire: The Masquerade is known as the Old World of Darkness.

      Planescape and Forgotten Realms are both excellent DnD campaign settings.

      Golarion is not bad either.

    • frightlever says:

      Sure the background was great, but which background? A smattering of different planes were shown of an infinite possible variety.

      Every party NPC in PS:T had a fairly deep back-story that you were actively driven to explore. That’s what I found so memorable.

    • arisian says:

      It wasn’t an *official* sequel, but there was an NWN module that took a crack at actually making a narrative sequel. You don’t play as TNO, but you meet several of the companions, and the “what happened next” after the end of PS:T was much more satisfying than I would have thought was possible for such a “finished” story.

      Ah, found it:
      http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=Modules.Detail&id=3396
      and part 2:
      http://nwvault.ign.com/View.php?view=Modules.Detail&id=3383

    • SavageTech says:

      Yeah, I don’t really see the point in acquiring the Torment IP when getting rights to the Planescape setting would allow for approximately a hojillion good games that don’t involve any of Torment’s characters.

      I guess there could be a prequel, a sequel involving non-Nameless One characters, or perhaps a remake of the original. Beyond those I can’t see any reason to need the rights to Torment at all, and they aren’t exceptionally good reasons either.

      Or maybe they’ll retcon the story of the original by going “LOL THE FIRST GAME WAS SET IN ONE OF THE LADY OF PAIN’S MAZES, NONE OF IT WAS REAL BUT NOW HE’S OUT OF THE MAZE” [/itwasalladream]

  5. D3xter says:

    You missed the part where Brian Fargo has apparently acquired the “Torment” IP, whatever that means for inXile as the Codex found out too xD http://www.rpgcodex.net/#8650

    There’s also a comment by Fargo:
    “I commend the sleuthing abilities of the Codex. There are many other pieces to the pie on this project that I can’t speak to yet which prevents me from much comment. I need to get the other elements in order so you can fully understand the detail, team, approach and reasoning first. There will lots of pleasant surprises but I had not planned on talking about it yet.”

    Personally, what I loved the most about PS:T was its setting, the concept of different “planes of existence” with different laws of physics, species and cultures one had to interact with and Sigil as a Hubworld to it all (it’s also why I loved a similar game in the Adventure-genre called Sanitarium), so while they apparently can’t have “Planescape” as a world set by TSR I very much hope it’ll take place in a very similar setting…

    • golem09 says:

      I have only played Planescape Torment for the first time this year, and I also loved the setting,but was at the same time pretty let down by the execution of it.
      What I would love to see is a sequel with a much more open world, where you find many keys to all the portals, and roam around through many planes, experiencing semi-connected stories.
      There is so much potential in finding and gathering keys and portal info, and such a wide variety of mini stories that could be told in completely different settings. My favourite example of this is still Dragon Quest VII, and Planescape could go a lot wilder.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        That wouldn’t be a spiritual sequel to PS:T, but to Dragon Warrior or whatever.
        PS:T needs to have extreme focus, not be some huge open world game with hundreds of character stories. Everyone and their mother are making open world games, that’s why fans of PS:T have been crying for a new one, because it’s something unique that we miss. Something no one else is trying to do as they emulate Mass Effect or Elder Scrolls or JPRGs.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        It is not possible with the resources available to game developers to make a game as deep as torment but much wider and more open world. There isn’t enough time or energy to pull that off.

        You open world people need to understand that without some huge insane budget a giant open world where you can do anything and go anywhere means a world of bland to non-existent story with badly done one dimensional characters.

        There is room for both things, but I am so sick of all the blind wishful thinking that is: I want all the good thigns of every genre and I want it for $5 or I will steal it, than so many gamers seem to have.

        • golem09 says:

          I said a “more” open world. Especially if the game is about the meaning of life.
          I would just want Sigil as a Hub, with mini chapter that can be played in any order, once you’ve found the key and the portal for it’s setting. I don’t want to explore the world in an epic journey, but I want to discover portals in Sigil.
          I would have that rather than another macguffin chase along a straight line.
          Sigil just offers the best potential for that you can find.

        • NathanH says:

          You could perhaps save resources somewhere else for this, for instance by not bothing with a combat engine.

  6. Revisor says:

    It’s also of note that Mr. McComb worked in TSR on the Planescape setting itself before working on Planescape: Torment.

    And he has a degree in philosophy.

    And Brian Fargo, Mr. McComb’s employer, has registered the trademark Torment.
    http://en.thewitcher.com/forum/index.php?/topic/33219-torment-rights-acquired-by-brian-fargo/

    I’m looking forward to it.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      From the sound of it he is the one responsible for the strengths of PS:T – the writing.

  7. Qwallath says:

    While the story and its fascinating moral dimensions are indeed not dependent on the Planescape setting, I think the setting does deserve some (or a lot!) of credit. I feel that by virtue of its design and priorities placed on mythology, cosmology, and ethics, Planescape already wrestles itself loose from its Swords & Sorcery origins, and stimulates DMs (and game writers) to tackle mental and moral topics.

    Sure, you *could* do it in any setting, but few existing settings push you to do so as much as Planescape does.

    • D3xter says:

      Yep, it’s lovely in the way of the creativity and imagination that went behind it as a setting: http://nwn2planescape.com/images/goldfish/planes.jpg

      And while some others have tried similar, especially when “game designers” are trying to think of a setting instead of working within one that is based on literary work with dozens of writers participating it often boils down to fit around the gameplay and be mostly functional around killing things or some great evil that one has to combat.

      I remember an older Online comic trying to detail the “planes”: http://www.wizards.com/dnd/DnD_PS_Comic.asp

      Since McComb has actually written parts of it and the Campaign Setting while working for TSR, at least his Wikipedia has these listed I hope he still has similar ideas:
      “Planescape Planescape Campaign Setting (monster design)
      Planes of Law
      Planes of Conflict
      Players Primer to the Outlands (Audio CD script)
      Well of Worlds
      Hellbound: The Blood War
      On Hallowed Ground
      Faces of Evil: The Fiends
      The Great Modron March”

      • Qwallath says:

        Argh, don’t get me started on my love for Planescape… There were lots of nice fan writings bouncing around the net as well (mimir.net!). Too bad the books and boxes are pretty expensive second-hand, or I would be collecting them.

        But yes, if McComb is aiming for a new game, as he says here, that seems like something to look forward to! It’s funny, it’s pretty easy for him to dismiss Planescape, because he wrote lots of it! But indeed, as you said, good luck to others coming up with a similar setting and gripping stories like Torment to go along with it.

      • Spinks says:

        hi5 Planescape fans. I actually started collecting the boxed sets after playing Torment the first time around, still have a few around the house. I love them. I love the art, I love the writing, I love the setting.

        I don’t even know what it means to have the Torment IP without the Planescape one.

    • InternetBatman says:

      For my first time DM attempt I’m doing something in a Planescapeish setting and it is balls hard to do. I have to wonder what the IP acquisition means without the right to use Planescape though.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        It just means they can title the game something like Torment 2 or Setting: Torment

    • Randomer says:

      Qwallath: I concur completely.

  8. Ansob says:

    What does one life matter?

    This would be a pretty fantastic question to build a game’s theme around.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Maybe… seems a little mystical vs. biology. As long as they don’t answer the question in the game it could be cool.

      • cpt_freakout says:

        Well, they never answered the ‘nature of man’ question in PST (you did! hooray for videogames!), so I’d trust them to do well on that department.

    • mouton says:

      You can find games that are more or less philosophical. Alpha Centauri comes to mind, just off the top of my head.

  9. Prokroustis says:

    How would a new Torment game work? I’d give anything for another Planescape game, but a Torment sequel couldn’t work, Nameless’ story being done and all. A spiritual successor doesn’t need the name Torment slapped to it surely? Also, I think the setting deserves far more credit for the excellence of PS:T than it gets.

    • Belsameth says:

      I agree with this. The whole story was made possible by the world, basically.

    • Jackablade says:

      It’d have to be a prequel, which is a concept a little too scary for me to deal with.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        He could spend the whole game knowing exactly who he is, and would know exactly when people were talking to him so they’d never have to say his name.

    • Brother None says:

      Valid point on the setting. But realize two things:

      a) they couldn’t get the Planescape setting. McComb has noted WotC just didn’t have any interest in licensing it out. He’ll talk more about it later.

      b) if you like Planescape, be happy. The reason McComb was hired by Interplay was as a kind of liaison for AD&D, because he was the main writer, together with Monte Cook, responsible for the Planescape setting at TSR. After Zeb Cook, the original creator, McComb and Monte Cook are the most important people for Planescape’s lore and rules, at that time.

      No one would do a direct sequel to Torment’s story, with The Nameless One. Not MCA, not McComb. Both have said as much. That story is finished.

      • Prokroustis says:

        That’s fair. Of course I’m excited at the prospect of a true spiritual successor, but is the Torment name only for recognition value then?
        And still, dat setting.. :( Damn WotC..

        • Brother None says:

          Recognition is a factor, no denying that. But it’s also about getting a similar team with some of the same people, and similar design goals in the scale of the story, the uniqueness of setting, subverting RPG tropes, etc. etc.

          Certainly not a “typical” sequel, though.

  10. Cinnamon says:

    The setting was a major hook in PS:T. The exploration of identity may have been a coherent thread that tied the whole thing together but RPGs are always about the worlds. Anyone who forgets that has forgotten how to make or enjoy an RPG.

    • mouton says:

      Fantastic worlds are simply about giving more options. They are neither a guarantee of nor a requirement for good deep writing.

      • Cinnamon says:

        RPGs do not need deep writing as much as they need deep worlds or deep mechanics. They are not the same things as fantasy novels based on RPGs.

  11. Beybars says:

    While I have to commend Planescape Torment on it’s griping and mature story, I was a bit dismayed by the boring, sluggish combat mechanics, which is the only reason why it’s not my best cRPG ever made. I regard Kotor as the best RPG ever, considering how well the story and the gameplay (combat) were balanced.

  12. Kem0sabe says:

    I disagree with the author of the post and a lot of the comments here. There can´t be another PS:T without the plancescape setting.

    What allowed the amazing story to playout was the amazing world behind it. Sigil was a character of it´s own right, as important as the main character itself.

    Whenever the main character left the city, the game lost most of its appeal. That´s why many people consider the later chapters of the game to be the weakest in terms of story and gameplay, because they are set outside of sigil.

    • Infinitron says:

      The late chapters of the game aren’t worse because they’re outside of Sigil. They’re worse because they’re a typical rushed endgame sequence.

      • Kem0sabe says:

        Rushed yes, and devoid of any and all character, by the point your going through the motions.

        But imagine if the final showdown was set in Sigil and involved all the characters you came to know during the course of the game, instead of setting it in a rushed badly designed dungeon/castle?

        • Infinitron says:

          That may be so, but all the same I feel the game needed to put you through some kind of plane-travelling adventure. It’s Planescape: Torment, not Sigil: Torment.

    • RedWurm says:

      Not knowing much about the writing of the game, I’d find it hard to quantify how much the setting and preexisting lore helped make the game so good, but it never struck me as the reason I enjoyed the game.

      The reason I still love it is the way the design and writing explored the characters and the impact of your choices in-game and from previous lives. The reason I felt some of the excursions to other planes fell a bit flat is that they tended to move the focus onto more traditional dungeoneering and I never really enjoyed the combat in PS:T.

      If the setting can be considered a character in its own right, I would suggest that they did a pretty good job inventing all the other characters, so one more might not be a bad thing.

    • d4rkn4zgul says:

      I agree that the setting had a lot of character and added a lot to the success of PS:T. Sigil and its denizens provided an environment quite unique to the game. I didn’t find the other planes lacking as you did, but that’s a matter of taste.

      However, I’m less interested in a PS:T sequel (or spiritual successor ,whatever) than I am in seeing the people that made the game back in action making excellent RPGs (fingers crossed for Project Eternity). Sequels to 20 year old content, even loosely based, seem to lean too heavily on nostalgia and fan impressions. While the D&D universe certainly has a lot of depth and I think could be explored more, there has been enough success in original IP to warrant investing the talents of top tier writers and developers in new worlds and adventures. The big studios may not believe this, but maybe kickstarter and similar ventures will start proving them wrong.

  13. Bhazor says:

    “[T]hat I have new answers for the central story in the original Torment. So now that I know what can change the nature of a man, I ask: What does one life matter? … and does it matter at all?””

    That. That is the missing the target so damn hard it breaks a hole through the wall.

    Given that Avellone has gone on record saying he wrote just about everything in PS:T (including the story, all the lore and all the party member and major NPC dialog) I have to question how valid McCombs writing claim is. There is a big difference between “I wrote X” and “I wrote for X”.

    As for the Planescape setting. Its the same as D&D, you can tell a fascinating story in the setting or you can tell a terrible story in it. D&D is a setting with space travel, steam punk, time travel, dimensional travel and thats capable of any reality bending you can hand wave with magic. The fact that everyone using it just sticks to elves, dwarfs and orcs is why we’re stuck with all the cliche D&D and D&D like settings. Point being the quality of the setting does not automatically transfer to the writing. In fact I’d say a crap setting encourages more imagination to work with leading to better writing, just look at KOTOR 2.

    • Cerius says:

      He didn’t say that?

      Ever?

      Avellone wrote the majority. Colin IIRC did Dak’kon and a few areas. Previously, Colin also wrote for the Planescape Setting itself.

    • mouton says:

      I really don’t think this calls for a contest who’s got the biggest writer.

    • dethtoll says:

      It’s really shocking that Avellone wrote PST, because I’ve come to expect a lot better from him.

  14. FhnuZoag says:

    Let me just say that I’ll be very annoyed if they start kickstarting this before Wasteland 2 is released.

  15. Banana_Republic says:

    They should look at Glorantha as a back drop for a new Torment. No other game world has as much depth.

    • Snids says:

      Star Trek: Torment?
      Warhammer: Torment?
      Star Wars: Torment?

      Imagine the possibilities!
      In Gloranthia: Toment you could have a duckman companion!

      • Hoaxfish says:

        What are you going to do with those nipple-clamps: torment

  16. InternetBatman says:

    Torment doesn’t need a sequel. Not everything does. I would love to see a different game in Planescape though.

    • MistyMike says:

      But Planescape the setting was discontinued by Wizards of the Coast (it was perhaps too weird?) so they probably won’t be willing to license another title, since it wouldn’t serve their cross-promotion purposes. Planescape is dead and buried.

      • dethtoll says:

        Where it should stay — the CREEPYCOOLDARK 90s fantasy freakshow setting was ridiculous and I could never take it as seriously as it took itself.

        • Arglebargle says:

          Yes, back to good proper elves and dwarves, like Gygax intended!

    • Otherwise says:

      I’m surprised that more wasn’t made of the Dark Sun setting. A cleverly & beautifully imagined world I thought . Its survival mechanics and general ruthlessness seem quite on trend at the moment too.

      EDIT: ahem, especially as it was re-released a few years ago.

  17. Thirith says:

    My 2p on the setting vs. story/theme thing: I disagree with Alec’s statement for one main reason – the Planescape setting was uniquely suited to telling this particular story and exploring these themes. Planescape, at least as presented in the game, is very much a world that asks questions about the nature of reality, in a way that more traditional, less metafictional/postmodern/weird settings don’t. It’s exactly because the Nameless One is in a world that keeps asking what reality is, what identity is and how they both keep shaping one another that PST works so well IMO. Torment in a world like the Forgotten Realms or whatever Dragon Age’s world was called? Wouldn’t work nearly as well.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      I think you’re completely right. The setting was also constantly at odds with itself, which made the story even more interesting. Remember the closed iron siege tower at the center of the hi-class sector of Sigil? The one with the gigantic iron god-like character that was forging the end of existence? I thought that was an amazing piece of story, this “nice” part of town holding a deeply embedded war machine, suggesting that there was more to it than just a reflection of ‘politics as usual’, privilege vs. underprivilege, etc. I loved that kind of stuff, and I believe that’s all Planescape, nothing else. Same goes for Dakkon’s story. Or the “O” guy you encounter in the ‘tavern’ where Ignus is burning. It was just some pieces of dialogue, but it was incredibly awesome – I even remember reloading just to read it again.

      If anyone wants to do a Torment successor, they also have to create a context as compelling as Planescape was, at least as deep and full of possibilities.

  18. imagine says:

    While it’s natural to say “I want more!” when we find something we like, Torment is clearly designed as a stand-alone story, to the point that touching again a storyline that has acquired “cult” status might actually do more harm than good. A “spiritual successor” of the game would not require the word “Torment” in its title, either (although the marketing potential of a “Torment 2″ as opposed to “Yet another RPG” is clear).

    On the other hand, as also said above, I believe that the setting was not entirely inconsequential to the merits of the game, and I would love seeing other good games (not necessarily linked to Torment’s storyline) based on that D&D scenario.

  19. pilouuuu says:

    They should make another game about another character in another setting.

    A sci-fi game would be great!
    Galaxyscape Torment!

  20. caddyB says:

    Tell me there won’t be any combat. Or it will be good. Torment is a darling, but the combat in it is a .. torment.

  21. mr.black says:

    Arcanum: Torment. Go!

  22. Wizardry says:

    It would be awesome to see a new Planescape CRPG, but a good one with mechanics that aren’t throwaway and without terrible combat. Planescape: Torment was all text and little gameplay. On any level outside of reading text from the screen it was a diabolical CRPG and definitely among the worst ever created. I was rummaging around the RPGCodex after clicking on the above link and came across a thread where someone said that Planescape: Torment would have worked fine without a computer, and perhaps as a visual novel. I can’t really disagree with that at all. The best thing about the game happens to be reading text and picking text options. Hardly thrilling gameplay.

    I don’t see any value in “Torment” though. If you want to make a similar game then you can do so without the IP. It’s Planescape that has any value.

  23. TsunamiWombat says:

    But even if they have the ‘Torment’ IP, do they have the Planescape setting the game took place in, or the d20 liscence?

  24. aliksy says:

    Would be nice to have a big plot-focused rpg without a terrible rules system like D&D running it. Also less trash combat, more story and choices.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Very much this. Toss out the D&D dross, use some sort of reasonable game system.

  25. islipaway says:

    The burning wheel would be my vote.
    It’s a system of as much storytelling as roleplaying and it’s just enough left of generic a setting to keep it interesting.

    I disagree with the original statement that the setting wasn’t important in planescape torment, I think it was as important as the writing to have such an interesting setting.

    http://www.burningwheel.org/?page_id=2

  26. Keyrock says:

    Kickstarter is already making many of my seemingly impossible dreams come true, but this would be the ultimate of ultimate dreams. I love Planescape: Torment like I love no other game. I’m practically ready to burst out of my skin right now I’m so happy.

  27. ElElegante says:

    If WotC were any smart, they wouldn’t just license D&D to them, they would let them use the new forthcoming edition for free. If the game (the Torment sequel, that is) turns out to be any good at all, it would be an excellent way to pull back in a lot of old grognards who have never forgiven them for 4e.

  28. Slinkyboy says:

    I was shocked after reading this article and I’m not the only one who seriously thought Project Eternity was going to a spiritual sequel to PST… RPS, was it you who made me think so? I don’t read Kotaku, just RPS.

    I already put cash into PE, so this is what I get for diving into kickstarters without thought. Obsidian is gonna fuck shit up and I’m only saying that because I just looked at a games of games made by those pricks. I did enjoy NV a bit.

    • Bhazor says:

      If you really want a spiritual successor to Planescape Torment then Obsidian’s already done one. Twice.

      • Veracity says:

        Mask of the Betrayer, obviously, but…oh, KOTOR2? Ok. Old women in video games.

  29. Hedenius says:

    So now that I know what can change the nature of a man, I ask: What does one life matter? … and does it matter at all?”

    CRINGEFACE

    • Venkman says:

      I am pleased that not all gamers are children who think trite “philosophical” questions such as “what can change the nature of a man?” and “does one life matter?” are anything remotely approaching interesting or relevant.

      • Emeraude says:

        I don’t know, I found the Project Eternity premise (“One good life.[...] What levy must be paid for such a thing ?”) something that would be incredible to explore in game form.

        Truly those questions aren’t anything in themselves if you expect them to be treated in discourse.

        But in *game* ? Properly so ?

        Yes, I do find the prospect fascinating at least.

  30. Azriel says:

    I HATE the term spiritual successor, that usually translates into bait and switch. A game that has very little to do besides have the name in the title. PST was a fantastic game, the story was fantastic, however from what I understand, WOC has no interest in allowing use of a planescape setting, which honestly is one of the coolest and most memorable settings out there. I do not think any true spiritual successor/sequel will work without the planescape setting. Without that, just call it something else and let it be a new IP, do not call it (something..something…torment) just to sucker people into buying a game that has nothing to do with PST in any way.

    While I would love a continuation of the nameless one, I would be cool with a new game set in the planescape universe.

  31. Jackablade says:

    Oh man, I just remembered Chris Avellone made some quip on Twitter about having difficulty getting in contact with Sheena Easton…

  32. 8inchnails says:

    Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jamp : Torment would be nice or maybe Massescape: Torment Effect exclusive for xb0x 360.
    But seriously ,as a 2 time finisher of Plane(?t?)scape : Torment the game world and the creatures and monsters desgin had as much appeal as the amazing writing. There are Hive Mind super rat popping out on about every rpg anyway right?!, and modrons, and talking skulls and dabus and…….?! Certainly PLS:T merits have nothing to do with the setting, not one thing…..right…….

  33. Venkman says:

    I strongly disagree that the Planescape setting is of little importance when considering a spiritual sequel. If not using the actual Planescape license, it needs to be an exotic multiverse (or one odd, diverse universe with fantastical elements) that is non-traditional fantasy or sci-fi. Many other games explore philosophy, but bad Final Fantasy games and BioShock should certainly not be considered “spiritual successors” to PS:T just because of that. The setting is important.

    “What can change the nature of a man?” strikes me as a prime example of the faux-complex “college dorm room discussion at 2 AM” philosophy that games are good (and by “good” I mean “bad”) at exploring. What does that question even mean? “What factors can make somebody change the way they are?” Isn’t the answer pretty simply “any number of things”? There’s no deep truth to be found there, and the question is tremendously uninteresting and irrelevant.

    The game may as well have asked “what can clean a person’s hands?” Uh…some possible answers being “soap”, “water”, “towels”, “other liquids”, “hand sanitizer”. Who the hell cares?

  34. RProxyOnly says:

    Put down the Keyboard and step away from the desk!

    As a HUGE fan of PS:T (it’s never been off any of my computers since it first came out, played it countless times), I have to say….. There is NO NEED for a new story with TNO, his story is finished, it was self contained and there is nothing left to say that wouldn’t crap all over first and original game.

    SECONDLY, it’s NOT the ‘Torment’ IP that’s worth anything, as said that story has been told, it’s the unobtainable ‘Planescape’ IP (the setting of the city of doors and her lady, part of the D&D franchise, hence the ‘unobtainable’) that still has life to play out, and that will not be happening.

    So let PS:T rest in peace in the minds and hearts of the gamers. It TRULY was a one-off unique original, quit trying to milk it like a cow……and BEAMDOG can stay the hell away from it too.

    Anyway as far as I’m concerned McComb and Avellone haven’t put ANYTHING together that has even come close to being as good as PS:T, so I certainly wouldn’t trust either of them with a sequel.

    Just leave it alone, and at least attempt to have a new idea, stop trading on your past glories and prove that you still have some relevance to the present gaming market..

  35. luukdeman111 says:

    so wait…. you don’t want a sequel to PS:T but just a game like it, but when a game gets announced that will be in the same spirit as PS:T but in a different universe, you are dissapointed that it isn’t in the same setting?

    That seems contradictory