Fargo To Detail “Torment” Game In Numenera Universe

By Jim Rossignol on January 9th, 2013 at 3:30 pm.


In an interview to appear on this website at 1700 UK time today, inXile’s Brian Fargo reveals that a new Torment game is really definitely happening, and explains that it will be made in conjunction with contributing writer/designer on the original Planescape pen and paper RPG and assorted other Wizards of the Coast projects (as well as PS:T itself), Monte Cook, as well as a number of other key individuals from the original Planescape team. The game will be set in Cook’s ambitious pen and paper Numenera Universe, which was Kickstarted last year to the tune of half a million dollars. As well as explaining how this setting constitutes a new Planescape Torment game, without actually being a Planescape Torment game, Fargo says stuff like: “We won’t have faeries or devils, but we’ll have diabolical creatures from far dimensions with schemes beyond human imagination. We won’t have gods, but we’ll have creatures who have lived for millennia with the powers of creation and destruction at their fingertips, with abilities honed over countless lifetimes. We won’t have other planes per se, but we’ll have pathways to hostile worlds and bizarre landscapes and ancient machines that catapult the players into places where the ordinary laws of nature no longer apply.”

Come back at 5 for a lot more of that sort of thing.

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63 Comments »

  1. pakoito says:

    At 5 you will announce the date of the interview?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I’m announcing my announcement of my likelihood of commenting on that article

      • Hoaxfish says:

        I will probably comment on that article

        • Belsameth says:

          I hereby announce that I will laugh at your comment. And this one, for that matter.

          LOL!

          • solidsquid says:

            I feel I must respond to this, stating that I will make an unhelpful grammatical correction to your response to his comment, lamenting the reduction in quality of comments on RPS. I will also incorporate some manner of play on words, likely relevant to the future interview, into my criticisms

          • mike2R says:

            And I’m afraid I’ll be “that guy”, who points out and corrects the grammatical error in your grammatical error correction comment.

            But will there be a mistake in my own comment, despite my proof reading it five times? Tune in a 5 to find out.

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            my

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  2. Ciergan says:

    New Torment game had my interest. Now Monte Cook and the original team have my attention.

  3. mouton says:

    No Avellone, no point.

    • luukdeman111 says:

      you do realise that they have Colin McComb, the guy who first came up with the torment thing one month ago?

      He actually did most of the writing for Planescape: Torment and I think we can all agree that the writing was really the strongest part of Planescape

      • Cerius says:

        No

        ColinMcComb didn’t come up with Planescape: Torment or the Planescape setting in general. He was a major designer on both though.

        Avellone DID write the vast majority of Planescape: Torment himself and was the lead designer. According to Colin himself.

        • Cerius says:

          As for Planescape (short history)

          -Was created by Zeb Cook
          -Monte Cook and Colin later took over

          I think Zeb actually worked at Interplay for a time. I know he was the Lead Designer on the City of Villians MMO.

        • luukdeman111 says:

          I said he came up with it a month ago… Not the setting or the original game…. I obviously mean this new game.

          So indeed, Chris Avelone was the lead designer but Colin McComb was the main writer and to me the strength of the dialogue was what made Planescape: Torment special

          Edit: Just to clarify, I mean the pleasure without planescape article here on RPS. That’s what Colin came up with, not the planescape setting

          • Cerius says:

            No ColinMcComb wasn’t the main writer.

            Avellone was. He wrote by far the majority.

            The main writer job back then was just included in Lead Designer. JE Sawyer also wrote the plot to Icewind Dale 2 for example.

            Here’s the article where its even mentioned

            http://www.rpgwatch.com/show/article?articleid=55

          • Cerius says:

            “Colin McComb: Avellone had at least a broad outline of the entire game from start to finish, with all of the major characters sketched out, by the time I’d joined the team. The rest of the design team added minor characters, stuff not exactly crucial to the main quest, and other fun stuff, and fleshed out the stuff he couldn’t get to. Avellone is a madman, I’ll tell you that – it was only with the greatest regret that he passed off Fhjull and Trias to me, and I heard him weeping bitter and solitary tears in his office when he assigned the Brothel to Dave Maldonado.”

      • dethtoll says:

        No we can’t.

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          Thirith says:

          “He actually did most of the writing for Planescape: Torment and I think we can all agree, except dethtoll, that the writing was really the strongest part of Planescape” Better?

    • TCM says:

      The ability of the internet to reduce the quality of games down to one name, ignoring everyone else involved, is astounding.

      • Cerius says:

        Yes, they do that sometimes. Though, in this case, most of the quality is actually Avellone’s doing. The guy did a nightmarish job on planescape.

        Here’s an interview

        http://www.rpgwatch.com/show/article?articleid=55

        Who doesn’t get mentioned often (and also really deserves it) is the Lead Artist Tim Donley (now working at Vigil)

    • ninjapirate says:

      Yea, I hear you. I didn’t bother reading “The Hobbit” either after I realized that it wasn’t written by Peter Jackson, but by some other guy with an obscure name.

    • Cerius says:

      There’s plenty of point. InXile has hired some good writers and the team is fantastic.

      Colin and Kevin are a dream team, imo.

      • mouton says:

        I agree, actually, my post may have sounded a little bit too ultraorthodox. My bigger reservation is making any kind of sequel to PS:T at all.

        But, we don’t know anything yet so we will wait and see.

  4. MuscleHorse says:

    Very exciting. Despite it not being set in the same universe, I wonder if there’ll be any connections to the events and characters of the previous game. Does a game being called Torment only have thematic similarities?
    I’m somewhat confused by his way of saying ‘We won’t have x, but we’ll have (goes onto describe all the attributes of x)’.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Intriguing, eh?

      But yeah, there’s more elucidation on that stuff in the interview. I am surprised and excited.

    • Mimir says:

      Numenera is a “Dying Earth” thing, set in the future. So the demons are extra-dimensional aliens and the magic is advanced technology that the races of the day no longer understand.

  5. DrGonzo says:

    It should be set in planescape in all but name. Just rename things but have them the same.

  6. InternetBatman says:

    So much of Torment was Chris Avellone. The themes, the character, the incredibly heavy prose. I think a new Planescape game could be neat. I’m not as sure about a new Torment game. Either way, I’ll probable skip funding this and see how good Wasteland 2 is before funding. Fargo should cash in on some of the promises he has already made before making more.

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      Lars Westergren says:

      I think it will be fairly likely that Avellone will be part of the team, plus many more from Obsidian.

      • Cerius says:

        Nope, he’s at Eternity and will stay there. He’s given his blessing though.

        Who is working on it though, is Kevin D Saunders as the Project Lead/Lead Designer. Kevin was the Lead Designer of Mask of the Betrayer as well as the cancelled Obsidian Snow White game.

  7. lordcooper says:

    Yes! Jesus fucking Christ yes! This is absolutely brilliant news, music to my ears!

  8. megazver says:

    Ehhhhh Monte Cook. Ehhhhh.

    • gritz says:

      As long as he’s only involved in the setting and not the actual gameplay, it might not be too bad.

    • King in Winter says:

      Yeah, I think they mean Monte Cook as in Monte “I got kicked out of D&D 5th ed. development team” Cook and Monte “wizards should be superior” Cook. His name always makes me a bit… wary.

    • jumblesale says:

      Iron Heroes was brilliant.

      • megazver says:

        And the only thing he did there was put his name on it to boost sales. It was written by Mike Mearls.

  9. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    Now wait just a second. This all means it’s another Planescape. Not another Torment.

    • TCM says:

      Planescape’s a defined RPG setting, Torment is a concept.

      If it’s not set in the Planescape setting, it’s not Planescape.

      • Squirly says:

        Would they be able to call it Numenera: Torment without enraging the gods of copyright? I’m guessing that might depend on who owns the original Planescape: Torment licence.

        Still, I’m all up for a spiritual sequel to one of my favourite RPGs, because a direct sequel wouldn’t work in my eyes. Maybe that’s just me.

        • Premium User Badge

          Lars Westergren says:

          inXile owns the rights tp PS:T the game. The D&D guys own the rights to Planescape the setting.

      • Premium User Badge

        RedViv says:

        Well, yes, but Fargo here is listing and connecting similarities of things that make Planescape, and were not all that important to the main struggle in Torment.
        Not that we’ll miss out on Avellone writing about the struggles of eternally reincarnating souls anyway.

    • Crosmando says:

      I’m pretty sure D&D doesn’t have a copyright on the fantasy concept of plane/dimension jumping.

      Numenera isn’t a strict fantasy setting either, it’s “science fantasy”, a hybrid of science-fiction and fantasy.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    Now I have Eternity, Wasteland 2, Shadowrun, Banner Saga,”PS:T Sequel”, Chaos Chronicles + more to look forward to. RPG/strategy fans rejoice!

  11. Demiath says:

    As far as manpower goes there’s presumably a strong Obsidian dimension (and not just a distant Black Isle echo) to this project, and that part is hopefully addressed in a convincing way in the interview itself. Otherwise this is a bit like Burger King announcing a new Big Mac without addressing the McDonald’s-sized elephant in the room…

    • Cerius says:

      Obsidian will probably help out in the sense of critic and so on. Both studios have pretty good communication. Though, they are focusing on Eternity and will probably not send manpower.

  12. Vinraith says:

    Hmm. Well, I always said Planescape was an absolutely terrible D&D game, so divorcing a spiritual sequel from both the settings and mechanics of that system can only be a good thing for all parties involved.

    • Crosmando says:

      I never really minded that PS:T had a shoddy combat system, because depending on your play-style actual combat was like 5% of the game, the other 95% being puzzles and talking (mostly talking).

      In fact, there’s only like 4 fights in all of Planescape Torment which are totally unavoidable, that includes Ravel and the zombie worker in the first room you need to kill to steal the key from.

      I really want more RPG’s like PS:T with less combat and more TEXT, but I guess I’m in a minority on that viewpoint.

      • TCM says:

        I’ve said Planescape would have worked better as a Lone Wolf-style stat-based CYOA, with graphics and FMVs. I don’t think I am wrong on that point.

        • Crosmando says:

          I don’t agree, CYOA interface is too impersonal, you need that isometric perspective in my opinion to really experience the architecture and environment of Sigil. I think PS:T was pretty much perfect in terms of what it set out to be, the only real flaw in the game was the combat system, which was obviously neglected by the dev team because combat was such a small part of the game.

          PS:T had somewhat of a hellacious development cycle, Fallout 2 released in 1998, PS:T in 1999, also it’s well known Chris Avellone almost worked himself into an early grave on that game.

        • DrGonzo says:

          Well, you are. FMVs certainly not. Exploration makes up a huge amount of the game and is necessary.

          Instead of making it something it wasn’t, it would have been better if they’d just made the combat fun, as well as less frequent in certain places.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I’ll be controversial and say you don’t understand D&D then!

      D&D is about a sense of place, adventure, characters and plot. I’ve probably missed a bunch there, but the last thing it should be about is dice rolls, they come well after all that other stuff.

      So I say, Torment is by far the best D&D game ever made.

      (I get that probably wasn’t what you were getting at, but this seemed like a decent opportunity for me to rant)

  13. Premium User Badge

    Thirith says:

    I wouldn’t want to lose the feeling that you’re in a place and not just a collection of setpieces. Just by having maps to explore relatively freely, the feel of the game becomes different. CYOAs, while fun, don’t tend to feel like you’re exploring a world that exists to the same same extent.

    • DrGonzo says:

      A CYOA with exploration and a map then? Which would really just be Planescape Torment with the combat removed.

  14. gritz says:

    Planescape wasn’t created by Monte Cook, it was created by David “Zeb” Cook (no relation, AFAIK).

    I keep seeing versions of this article today, and they all say Monte Cook was the original designer of PS:T, which is baffling since he had nothing to do with the game as far as I can tell, and was only responsible for some of the later Planescape setting material.

  15. eleclipse says:

    We won’t have a game but it’ll be a game.

  16. JFS says:

    I just realized that “5″ is not always 5, depending on timezone. Dang.

  17. JackDandy says:

    This is kinda neat. But shouldn’t they be done with WL2 before moving on to this one?

    • Infinitron says:

      Only if you want them to have to fire their crack writing team in the meantime, who may possibly never return.

    • Zaphod says:

      The writing on Wasteland 2 is finished. Without another project to move onto, the talented group of writers that InXile assembled for WL2 would have to be let go. Which would be a waste.

  18. megazver says:

    Also, Monte Cook didn’t create the Planescape setting, he worked on some supplements for it afterwards.