Characters

None of the characters can be described as ‘normal’ or ‘generic’, and, in keeping with the game’s title, they each have a personal torment that they must bear. There are eight available team-members, but you can only have six in your party, just like in Baldur’s Gate. However, unlike in BG, you’re not limited by The Nameless One’s alignment. You can also swap party members in and out at will. Every NPC has their own ‘quest’ of sorts, although all it involves is talking to them and navigating the conversations properly. If done right, TNO will gain EXP, and one of several additional things will happen: the NPC may gain attribute boosts or new abilities. Alternatively, they may also give TNO items or teach him new tricks. The only character none of this occurs with is Fall-from-Grace. Additionally, Dak’kon and Annah are able to change TNO’s class on the fly (Dak’kon to either Fighter or Mage, Annah to Thief), which can come in handy if you intend to really wring the most EXP out of your game.

A novel feature introduced by PST, which BioWare would later go on to make its speciality, is the possibility of romance: TNO can woo Annah or Grace (or both, but don’t expect that to work out) if he so desires. Finally, the way TNO treats his teammates (except Ignus, Vhailor and Nordom) has an effect on their morale. This is a stat that reflects how happy they are in his company, and if it gets too low, they may leave. However, it resets to default within a few hours of game time, meaning that raising it is usually an exercise in futility. The one notable exception, however, is Dak’kon. In his case, high morale actually affects his equipment, so make sure to pay extra attention.

The Nameless One: Big, mean clobbering machineHe’s big, he’s ugly, he’s…immortal. Unlike in BG and its ilk, the protagonist of Planescape: Torment is always a scantily-clad human male with grey skin, blue-grey eyes, black hair in dreadlocks and a booming bass voice. And he has problems with staying dead. There are very few clues as to his past, since he’s forgotten most of it, but he will run into several people who have met at least one of his incarnations before. Although that can sometimes cause…confusion, since TNO’s morality also shifts with every incarnation. In effect, he starts out as True Neutral, and his alignment subsequently changes to reflect his actions. Pick understanding and helpful responses, and he’ll eventually shift from Neutral to Good, make him behave irrationally, and he’ll move towards Chaotic, etc. A fair warning: being Lawful Good is more beneficial in the long run, in the purely material sense, so you may want to take this into account. Since you can’t customise his appearance, shaping TNO’s personality and attributes to your liking (mostly via quests and dialogue) is one of your prerogatives as a player. He always starts as a Fighter, but will encounter some NPCs who will allow him to switch to either Mage or Thief, thereby affecting the equipment available to him. Another peculiarity specific to TNO in that department: he can’t wear any armour, but accessories are fair game. To compensate, however, he can ‘equip’ a wide variety of tattoos.

Morte: ChatterboxThe very first companion TNO meets is a floating, talking skull, of all things. Morte approaches him right after he awakens inside the Mortuary and gives him a quick rundown of the situation. Most importantly, he also locates a tattoo on TNO’s back, which he had done to keep track of things should he die and lose his memory again (c.f. Memento). Morte goes out of his way to ensure that TNO sees him as his best bud. Sounds fishy? Maybe, maybe not, but he’s definitely a useful addition to the party. He’s a Chaotic Good Fighter, but he can’t wear any protective equipment, and his only weapons are his (upgradable…) teeth. However, since he’s small and floats, he’s very hard to hit. This makes him a choice tank with good Dexterity and Constitution (both can be improved via dialogue, alongside his Strength), a whopping 75% reduction to damage taken, as well as a special ability called Litany of Curses. This causes him to insult one enemy, thereby lowering their stats and goading them into attacking him. Moreover, if he is present when TNO talks to some foul-mouthed characters, he will learn new insults, thus improving the ability’s effectiveness. His other special ability is called Skull Mob and causes a bunch of skulls to maul one target. Personality-wise, Morte is a bottomless font of sarcasm and the primary source of comic relief in the game. I’m rather fond of him, but he may not be everybody’s cup of tea. He also has a pronounced weakness for the fairer sex…be they alive or undead. And he shares his voice actor with Kivan from BG.

Dak’kon: Tongue-tiedTNO may encounter this austere, taciturn warrior in the Smouldering Corpse bar in Sigil. Dak’kon is a githzerai, a member of a species from the plane of Limbo. He shares his race’s sallow, black-eyed, pointy-eared appearance, their strange way of speaking, as well as their tremendous strength of will, which allows them to literally shape the chaos of their native plane. In fact, his sword is made of just such a substance (karach) and will reflect his state of mind: if TNO gets on his good side, the blade will upgrade to a more powerful version, which is where morale comes into play. Dak’kon is a Lawful Neutral Fighter/Mage, a powerful, versatile teammate with good Strength, Dexterity and Constitution. With high enough Wisdom and Intelligence, TNO can discuss githzerai philosophy with him, which will uncover a lot of Dak’kon’s past, but also enable both of them to learn several unique spells, raise Dak’kon’s attributes and grant TNO hefty chunks of EXP. Additionally, as has already been mentioned, after TNO learns how to be a Mage, Dak’kon will allow him to switch between Mage and Fighter at will. Due to his focus on his race’s traditions, Dak’kon can only use his own sword and armour, but you can change the rest of his equipment. Personality-wise, he’s usually calm, cold and rational, but there are things that affect him deeply, and talking to him can be a bit like walking on eggshells. That said, he’s also unquestionably loyal, whether it pleases him or not. You’ll eventually discover that he’s run into TNO before, although it’s not a pleasant memory. Finally, it you’ve watched some X-Files, Dak’kon’s voice may sound familiar. Why yes, it’s Assistant Director Skinner.

Annah: What are you looking at?This scantily-clad, shapely green-eyed redhead is a tiefling, meaning that she has fiend blood in her ancestry. The physical result is that she has a demon-like tail and a higher body temperature than normal, while otherwise appearing human. You’ll first encounter her right outside the Mortuary, although she’ll only join later on, after you discover that she was the one who found TNO’s body after his latest demise. Annah is a Chaotic Neutral Fighter/Thief and your only source of thieving skills unless you make TNO a Thief himself. In combat, she uses punch daggers, but you’ll have to make her hide in shadows if you want to capitalise on her backstabbing bonuses, which I feel is more trouble than it’s worth. She has high Dexterity and good Constitution, and can modify all of her equipment, but overall, she’s nothing special. As previously mentioned, Annah can switch TNO to a Thief at any time after he learns how to be one. Additionally, talking to her will allow him to improve his thieving skills, and if he reaches a score of 50 in any of them, he can teach her a trick or two in return. Personality-wise, Annah is feisty, fiercely independent, short-tempered and foul-mouthed (Morte can even learn some insults from her), which isn’t surprising for someone with fiendish genes. Her voice is provided by singer Sheena Easton.

Fall-from-Grace: ReformedThis beautiful blue-eyed blonde is a…fallen succubus, hence her name. Or would that be ‘risen’? Whichever it is, she has no interest in seducing and killing people. Originally from the Abyss, where she was sold into slavery by her mother, she managed to bargain her way out and travelled to Sigil, where she opened a Brothel for Slaking Intellectual Lusts. I’ll just let all that sink in. Grace doesn’t have much interest in matters of the flesh, partly because a succubus’ kiss can be lethal, which will be a problem if TNO chooses to woo her. Paradoxically, however, she’s a member of the Society of Sensation, which believes that the multiverse can only be fully experienced via one’s senses. TNO & co. encounter her in her…establishment, and she can be persuaded to join upon completing a quest. Grace is Lawful Neutral and the only Priest in the game (laying the irony on pretty thick, here), thus your main source of healing. Alas, she’s not very practical in combat, despite having good, balanced stats and being completely resistant to lightning, for some reason. First of all, she can only fight barehanded, i.e. in melee range. Considering her limited armour selection and the fact that she can only equip accessories, this is dangerous. Moreover, both of her special abilities–her succubus Kiss, which damages a target, and her Sensate-granted Sensory Touch, which transfers some of her HP to a character–also require her to be in melee range. She does have some offensive spells as well, but as in all oldschool RPGs, they should be used sparingly. Personality-wise, she’s calm, benevolent, sensitive and reasonable. She’s also fond of Nordom and even regards Morte’s constant flirting with indulgence. Her voice is provided by the ubiquitous Jennifer Hale.

Ignus: Eternal flameTNO first encounters Ignus as the main attraction of the Smouldering Corpse bar (hence the name). He was originally a human Mage, apprenticed to one of TNO’s less savoury incarnations, and the experience seriously unhinged him. Either that, or he was already not all there. Be that as it may, Ignus eventually developed pyromaniac tendencies, which led him to set fire to an entire quarter of Sigil. As punishment, he was made a conduit to a plane of fire, condemned to burn forever, although, as you later find out, he actually rather enjoys it. When TNO first tries to interact with him, he doesn’t react, and it takes a sidequest to retrieve the Decanter of Endless Water to finally get his attention. You’re then free to recruit him, although it’s not exactly a pleasant experience. Ignus is completely insane, and his topics of ‘conversation’ revolve exclusively around fire. TNO can learn several unique spells by talking to him, although at a rather painful price. Ignus can only equip accessories, but he has a surprisingly high Constitution and, due to his permanent flaming state, can absorb fire. His default attack involves throwing fireballs, which handily keeps him at a distance from enemies. If your TNO isn’t a Mage and/or you’re in need of a powerful caster, his high Intelligence makes him an ideal candidate, but that’s about it. He doesn’t care about any of the game’s events and doesn’t interact with the other companions, which makes him a bit of a waste of time, in my opinion. I’m also somewhat surprised that he’s designated as Chaotic Neutral.

Nordom: AwakenedThis cubical bundle of joy is a ‘backwards’ Modron (reverse his name). Modrons are strange creatures that look like computer monitors with spindly limbs and wings. They hail from Mechanus, the plane of Ultimate Law, are organised in a hive mind based on a strict caste system and usually have no individuality or emotions. However, blips sometimes occur. Under the influence of Limbo, the plane of Chaos, where the Modrons conducted the Rubikon dungeon-building experiment, Nordom gradually gained self-awareness and went rogue (notably developing an extra pair of arms instead of wings). Rogue Modrons are to be killed on sight by their peers, and while normal Modrons are recreated by the hive mind upon death, rogue ones are cut off from it and therefore have no such luck. TNO can enter the Rubikon maze by using the Modron Cube and save Nordom from certain doom by recruiting him. Just make sure to have a spare party slot, or you’ll be forced to leave another character inside the maze. Nordom is Chaotic Neutral, has high, balanced stats and uses sentient crossbows (…) as weapons, despite being designated as a Fighter. Most of his bolts have added effects, even though finding them in acceptable quantities is a challenge. He can equip special lenses and accessories, but no armour or tattoos. However, he can detect portals and is also one of the most rewarding characters to talk to, as TNO can gain EXP, items, a unique spell and some stat boosts, both for Nordom and himself. Personality-wise, Nordom is like a child discovering the world. His newfound individuality makes him very curious about everything. He notably takes a special liking to Morte, who is somewhat annoyed by this. Oh, and his voice actor? Homer Simpson.

Vhailor: MercilessThe last recruitable character can be found in Curst, the gateway to the Prison Plane of Carceri. Vhailor used to be a Mercykiller: a member of a faction dedicated to pure justice, unimpeded by mercy (i.e. they ‘kill mercy’). Like Ignus, he had a run-in with one of TNO’s less savoury incarnations, who led him to Curst and left him trapped there. Although his body died, Vhailor’s spirit remained bound to his armour in the hopes of someday confronting his captor, and that’s how the current TNO finds him. Fortunately, Vhailor’s memory is foggy at best, so he can be recruited without fear of immediate reprisal, although he will eventually notice that TNO looks familiar, so be very careful when talking to him. Vhailor is Lawful Neutral and a first-rate Fighter, due to his high Strength and Constitution, but his Dexterity could do better, especially since he can’t change his armour (for obvious reasons). He can’t change his weapon either and can only equip accessories. On the other hand, he can teach a Fighter TNO how to use an axe, and, depending on TNO’s Lawfulness score, will grant him an increasing damage bonus and increasing amounts of EXP. However, having him in the party is rather uninspiring. Much like Ignus, he’s obsessively single-minded and doesn’t provide much input on the storyline. Interestingly, however, a TNO with high Charisma can convince him to literally stop existing. Also, if you’re planning to recruit him, make sure to have a spare party slot before going to Curst, or you’ll permanently lose another party member.

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