Deadbook: Torchbearer in Planescape

Ever thought to yourself that the Torchbearer rules would pair exceptionally well with the AD&D Planescape setting?

I give you: Deadbook.

In short, planar characters use the factions of Sigil in place of their Hometown, whereas the Clueless retain the hometown they would have had on whatever backwater prime they hail from. We added four classes to cover the most iconic planar PC races.

It’s a work-in-progress that hasn’t actually progressed in a few months, so I’m happy to hear any feedback.

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Very impressive!

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Imagine my surprise as I review The Planewalker’s Handbook– one of the few Planescape sourcebooks I haven’t yet read-- and I come upon page 144, which details “The Power of Beliefs.”

Anyone familiar with the setting would find this understandable. But then in the next section, it outlines the rules for defining three beliefs for your character and a point system for rewarding players who portray those beliefs.

So now I must ask: was this a parallel development or an early inspiration for Burning Wheel?

If it’s a parallel development, that only serves to underscore why Torchbearer is the perfect system for Planescape, with it’s emphasis on beliefs and it’s adherence to old school D&D logic, culture, and ecology.

But anyway, here’s some news about the hack:

We’ve made some minor changes to the classes, and they probably still need a little work. I’ve added a number of sections that offer guidance on: joining factions, faction benefits, navigating Sigil, navigating the Outlands, navigating the astral plane.

I’ve also begun work on converting the Monstrous Compendium entries, but that is something I plane to do piecemeal as the creatures feature in my campaign. I may post some works in progress here. Have some Cranium Rats to whet your appetites:

Cranium Rat
Might: 1 Nature : 2
Descriptors: Spying, Ambushing, Spellcasting

Convince: 3
Telepathic whispers: +1D Attack

Drive Off: 4
Cunning Skill: +2D maneuver
Mouse Guard: +1D Def

Pursue or Flee: 5
Scatter brains: +1D attack

Armor: none
Instinct: Watch from the hidden places.
Special: Swarm: A group of five or more Cranium Rats counts as Might 2, rather than 1. Group Intellect: For each fifteen cranium rats, increase their base Nature by 1, to a maximum of might 7 at 105 rats. This effect works in conjunction with helping dice. Each bonus Nature Die counts as a Magician Level for determining Spell Slots. Randomly determine the spell when enough rats congregate.

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In honor of the release of Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition, here are some rules for modifying Jared Sorensen’s Death Knight (from Denizens of the Dark) into a wandering amnesiac immortal. Still all corpsified, though!

Immortal Amnesiac
The Immortal Amnesiac class is a modification of the Death Knight class that attempts to capture a forlorn search for identity instead of a hell-bent quest for revenge. Use the rules for the Death Knight with the following changes:

Health must be higher than Will (the reverse of the Death Knight limitation).
Will cannot be raised normally, but Health can. Will can be raised with the Retrospective trait in place of the Relentless Trait.
If killed by a failed test or due to the grind, reduce Will by 1 and ingore the fatal blow… for now. Immortals lose all sense of identity if their Will is permanently reduced to zero and are removed from play.

Write Nature: Immortal (Undead) on your character sheet. Your Nature descriptors are Forgetting, Abusing and Regenerating. All Immortal characters have a base Nature of 3. Answer the following three questions to determine your final starting Nature score, and possibly some traits.

Immortal Nature Questions
Do you seek to learn the mystery of your past identity, or do you let the mystery be for fear of what you might find?
• If you seek to learn of your past, you may replace your home trait with Curious or Repentant.
• If you break from the past and start anew, increase Nature by 1 but reduce Will by 1.

Are your companions merely tools who will perish in due time, or are they valuable links to your knowledge of self?
• If allies are nothing but a means to end, increase Nature by 1 but reduce your social graces skill by 1.
• If you rely on others to remember yourself, your Nature is unchanged.

Do you try to keep yourself intact as though you were living, or do you exploit your ability to survive lethal dismemberment?
• If you try to stitch things up on occasion, increase your Nature by 1.
• If dismemberment is merely a momentary inconvenience, increase your Cadaverous trait to level 2.

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