The game takes place in the Planescape D&D setting, which posits the existence of various planes, or dimensions. If you want a more precise pointer, Faerûn, the world that Baldur’s Gate takes place in, is situated on the Prime Material Plane, but, with the help of a dimensional portal, it’s entirely possible to travel to a different plane. At the ‘centre’ of the planes lies the city of Sigil, which can only be accessed via such portals, and is therefore dubbed The City of Doors. This is where most of the story takes place. After witnessing some rather disturbing visions, you are put into the shoes of The Nameless One (or TNO), a strange man with grey, parchment-like skin covered in scars and tattoos, and reeking of embalming fluid. He awakens on a preparation slab inside the Sigil Mortuary and is immediately accosted by a…floating skull who introduces himself as Morte. He’s a chatty thing and appears to know a lot about TNO that he himself does not remember. You see, TNO is immortal. With a little twist, that is: he can die, but is subsequently invariably brought back to life, usually with severe memory loss, which is exactly what has just happened to him. This is a problem, because TNO appears to be on some sort of quest, and periodically forgetting everything isn’t really conducive to success. Fortunately, it just so happens that Morte used to know him before his most recent ‘death’, and thus proffers his help, notably in reading a tattoo that TNO has on his back to fill him in on the first step of his journey: finding a man named Pharod. The rest of the storyline revolves around discovering what made TNO immortal and how he can recover his mortality. You may be wondering why he would want to do that, but let’s just say there are…compelling reasons to do so.
This is an original plot in many ways. For starters, very few RPGs focus so closely on a personal quest; usually, your task is to save the world. Not so here: neither Sigil nor the Planes are under any major threat, it’s just that TNO’s immortality is a severe problem both for him and for the people around him. This gives the game a tighter focus, but also makes your decisions strike closer to home and puts a great emphasis on consequences: there will be cases where you’ll have to think very carefully about what TNO says or does, unless you want your decisions to come back and bite you in the rear end later on. I do have one strong point of criticism, however: for a game set in a multiplanar universe, PST doesn’t let you go planewalking anywhere near enough. I certainly would have enjoyed seeing a greater variety of places, rather than just being told about them.