Mar 22, 2005
Like the title says; my memories of the wonderful 2nd edition game "Planescape: Torment" were recently jogged. Although I know 4e is on its way out, I really enjoyed the rules and the setting, so I figured trying to establish how to incorporate one of my favorite D&D computer games into a 4e tabletop game couldn't really hurt anyone, could it?
Now, the way I see it, the two main areas that need "converting" are prominent characters and prominent locales. So, I'll try and work with those first - that said, if you have arguments against my brainstorming a particular outcome, or feel I've missed something important, please feel free to comment.
The Nameless One - The Nameless One, in 4e, would require a fair bit of kitbashing to work. My personal thought would be male Human (yeah, I know about the debates, but he's described throughout the game as "human" so that's what I'm going to go with) of probably mid-Epic Tier, what with Planescape and planar adventurers being aimed more towards the upper levels of character ability. Obviously, his ability to cheat death is the foundation of a homebrewed Epic Destiny, the "Unmortal". Base class is trickier, given that the Nameless One in the game could switch freely between Fighter, Mage and Thief. One way to adhere to at least the spirit of that would be to make him a Swordmage with Skill Focus (Thievery). An alternative would be to create a new paragon path based on the racial one for... I think it's either the Changeling or the Half-Elf... that allows the character to mimic the powers of other characters in the party.
Morte - Morte is a tricky character to handle because, honestly, he couldn't really be handled by the rules even in 3.x or 2e. Instead, under 4e, I would build Morte using the Monster rules, not the PC rules. I would make him an Immortal with the Undead subtype; this reflects the fact he is a unique variant of a Baatorian Petitioner (read: soul of a dead man). Combat Role I would pick as Brute with the Controller sub-role; this reflects that in the game he was considered to be of the Fighter class, and fought mainly by biting his enemy to death, he still had the rather Controllery Taunt and Skull Mob special attacks.
Annah-of-the-Shadows - Annah is a fairly simple character to handle; a tiefling dual-classed fighter/thief in 2e, under 4e she becomes a simple tiefling Rogue. The only slight difficulty is figuring out what kind of Rogue to build her as, given the options. To me, Annah's game background and persona - a tough, back-alley scrapper who relies on threats and bluffs and then brutal retaliation if pushed - suggests the Cutthroat Rogue build. However, that's not actually associated with any specific Rogue Tactics class features, which makes things easier and harder. Annah can work equally well as a Brutal Scoundrel or a Cunning Sneak; I would probably choose the latter, given how Hide In Shadows and Backstab were the most important of Annah's skills.
Dak'kon - Dak'kon is another fairly simple character to translate. A dual-classed githzerai fighter/mage in 2e, under 4e's ruleset, I feel he works best as a githzerai Battlemind. Gith of either race have always been associated with psionic powers, and 4e has the easiest time integrating psionics into a campaign setting - unlike 2e and 3.x, where it was so complicate that all psionic creatures ended up having psionic and non-psionic stats. Furthermore, Dak'kon's blend of fighting skills and mysticism, combined with the nature of his karach blade, which hones the mind and willpower into a fighting edge, to me blends naturally with the warrior-psion nature of the Battlemind. Dak'kon is the first of our classic party who needs background adjustment; as we all know, Dak'kon's eventual binding oath to the Nameless One came about because his doubts caused the destruction of Shrak'at'lor - literally, because it created a weakness that allowed the plane itself to tear the city apart. This was back in 2e, when githzerai lived in Limbo, whereas now, they live in the Elemental Chaos. So, what needs changing? Funnily enough, in this case, nothing but window dressing; the exact same laws by which githzerai were able to build cities in Limbo is how settlements can be forged from nothingness in the Elemental Chaos. So, other than the difference in planes responsible, Shrak'at'lor and the destruction thereof remains unchanged.
Fall From Grace - Fall From Grace is one of the more complicated characters to convert. She was a True Neutral Succubus Sensate Cleric in 2e, which poses a number of questions on how to handle her. My personal method of doing so would be simple; homebrew a Succubus Bloodline, akin to the Dhampyr from Dragon 371, and apply this to a tiefling Cleric. Add a Sensate Faction Member paragon path, and, ruleswise, she's done. Now, however, there comes the problem of background lore; in 2e, succubi were Tanaar'ri (Demons), and Grace herself became a redeemed demon after being sold to the Baatezu (Devils) and tortured in Baator for an unspecified period of time. But, in 4e, succubi are devils, not demons. So, how to adapt? My idea is this: Grace was born in Baator, and sold to slavery to a non-Succubus at a young age. Somehow, Grace was traded, bartered or otherwise given over the ungentle attentions of a demon in the Abyss. To survive, Grace had to adapt, learning to embrace chaos in order to better amuse and please her demonic master before he could devour her. Eventually, this enabled Grace to outwit her captor and escape to Sigil. The experience, as in 2e, changed her; it proved to her the futility of Evil, and made her shy away from it in any form. Alignment wise, the closest to her game writeup would be Unaligned; personally, though, even under 2e's laws, Grace always seemed more the alignment that 4e calls simply Good.
Nordom - Nordom is easy to handle, stat wise; he's an Unaligned Rogue Modron Ranger, of the Archery Fighting Style. The only trick is establishing what changes, if any, are needed to justify where the "Modron Dungeon Experiment" was constructed and what eventually corrupted it; putting it in the Astral Sea and having the result be Far Realm contamination makes a certain sense to me.
Ignus - Ignus at first glance seems like he could be fairly complicated, but upon reflection, he's actually pretty simple. Take a human Wizard, build him towards the Pyromancer style complete with the Master of Flame paragon path (from Dragon 388), give him a Reward that grants him Fire Resistance as per the tiefling racial feature, and voila.
Vhailor - Vhailor is a little harder to do than Ignus. My personal recommendation would be to take a Revenant, reflecting the whole "Ghost possessing a suit of armor" thing from the games, give him the Avenger or Great Weapon Fighter class, and add in a custom-brewed Mercykiller Faction Member paragon path.
Curst - Curst is the hardest of the locales to figure out how to do, as the Outlands and Gate Towns of the Great Wheel pretty much don't exist any more in 4e. Fortunately, the game Planescape Torment never actually went to that many places outside of Sigil, so it makes the load fairly easy to handle. The main idea I have for handling Curst is to to make it an earthmote (or whatever the proper term is, I can't recall off the top of my head) in orbit around Carceri in the Astral Sea. During the events of Planescape Torment, "planar sympathy" (or whatever it's called, from Manual of the Planes) occurs and, just like its equivalent on 2e, Curst is pulled into Carceri, escaping only thanks to the machinations of the Nameless One.
The Fortress of Regrets: The only other major planar locale visited in Torment is also the only other one that doesn't mesh neatly into the 4e Cosmology - Trias' home in the Outlands becomes a lonely earthmote in the Astral Sea, Carceri is identical even though it changed from plane to astral dominion, and Ravel's Maze is in the same nebulous area that the Lady of Blades' mazes have always been and will always be. With the non-existence of the Negative Energy Plane, the Fortress of Regrets is probably hidden somewhere deep in the most inhospitable reaches of the Shadowfell, or some "Deep Shadow" transitory plane that connects the Shadowfells of the multiverse to the wider multiverse.
I actually did a simple conversion of Morte for a Planescape one-shot Morte (aka "L'petit morte", aka "Mortimus")
Level 14 Soldier (undead)
Tiny immortal animate
HP 140; Bloodied 70
AC 32, Fort 26, Ref 28, Will 25
Speed fly 6 (hover)
Immune disease, poison
Resist 10 necrotic, 10 slashing, 10 piercing
Perception +15 Darkvision
Bite (melee basic, at-will)
+16 vs. AC; 3d8+8 damage
Skull Mob (close blast 5; encounter 2/encounter)
+18 vs. Fort; 4d8+8 damage and immobilized until end of their next turn
Litany of Curses (ranged 5, at-will)
Litany of Curses does not provoke opportunity attacks
+18 vs. Will; the target is marked by Morte and attempts to attack Morte if possible until the end of their next turnon only one target may be effected by Litany of Curses at a time
Skills: Stealth +15, Bluff +15, History +15, Intimidate +15
Str 16, Con 20, Dex 16, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 16
Alignment chaotic good
Mar 22, 2005
Hmm... Revenant for the Nameless One could work, I hadn't thought about that.
That's a very interesting writeup for Morte, Aaronil; out of curiosity, why did you make him a Soldier rather than Brute? Or did I get my Monster Roles mixed up again?
Hmm... now that you say that, Svendji, I guess some very, very heavy refluffing of a melee-orientated hybrid-classed Pixie Fighter/Bard (recall that, in the game, Morte's actually one of your best straight-up melee fighters) could be used to represent Morte. Also, isn't there a Rogue Modron race somewhere in Dragon EZine? I'd get a subscription myself, but whenever I try, it keeps telling me I need to connect a new credit/debit card to my Paypal account, so I can't.