The BEAMBLOG

Thursday, April 20, 2017

PST:EE Steam Achievements and Trading Cards


Unlock achievements, obtain and craft Steam trading cards to move from clueless to cutter.
As the team returns from the Easter holidays, we’re happy to show off a few Steam achievements and trading cards available in Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition! Let’s take a look at both.

Steam achievements

Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition holds a total of 50 achievements, all written by PST & PST:EE Lead Designer Chris Avellone. The achievements are a mix of short and long term challenges, designed to reward natural progression. Achievements unlock for reaching a certain level in different classes for the Nameless One, your end-game choices, and for joining different factions of Sigil. Not all of them can be unlocked during one playthrough though. You’ll have to experience the amazing story of PST:EE more than once to get them all!

Here're a few examples of different achievements you are able to unlock in Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition:

Advance any attribute score of the Nameless One to 25.
Train the Nameless One to become a Mage.
Maintain a True Neutral Alignment until the end of the game.
Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition offers 39 hidden achievements. (Spoilers!) Find them by exploring all of Sigil, joining every faction, and crossing paths with an enigmatic Power.

Many Steam players already have discovered few Steam achievements for Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition and ways to get them, while some of you have already managed to unlock all available achievements for this game. That’s the spirit!

Trading cards

We've also added Steam trading cards for Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition. Each trading card displays one of the Nameless One's companions: Morte, Dak’kon, Ignus, Annah, Fall-from-Grace, Nordom, Vhailor, - and the main character himself. The full-sized trading cards come in the wallpaper format, and look spectacular in high definition 4k!

New to Steam trading cards? Here's how they work: Steam Trading Cards are virtual cards earned by playing games on Steam, and sets of cards can be turned into game badges and tradable Steam community items. You’ll only get a few cards by playing though. To collect a full set, trade with others or get cards from the Steam Community Market.

Grow strong and collect them all!
When you're done collecting an entire set of cards you can craft them into a badge. Crafting badges unlocks special profile backgrounds and emoticons for Steam.

Each of our profile backgrounds were created based on the original Planescape: Torment art by Tim Donley and Eric Campanella. They make for iconic wallpapers that any Planescape: Torment fan would enjoy! Steam forum users will enjoy adding Morte, the Nameless One, and the Lady of Pain to their emoticon repertoire.

Your friends on Steam will envy the Nameless One on your background!
New to the planes? Find out more about Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition at planescape.com.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and the Beamdog Forums to get the latest PST:EE news and reviews. Have feedback? Reach out to us there or send a note to support@beamdog.com.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Highlights from the Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Official Soundtrack


Can music change the nature of a man?
Planescape: Torment is a cult classic for many, many reasons. The bizarre city of Sigil is a joy to explore and you’ll encounter some of the oddest characters ever found in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, engaging in conversations with demons, devas, and everything in between. Throughout it all, the Planescape experience is buoyed by this amazing soundtrack which adds depth to the setting.

In Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition The Nameless One wakes to find himself in central hub of the universe, a place where every turn leads to something amazing and dangerous. Step through portals if you dare. Will it lead to a mechanized plane or to a demons' domain? Like the game, the Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Official Soundtrack transports the listener to the very heart of Planescape. Each track leads to a new discovery and sensation.



Composed by Mark Morgan, an American score composer for video games, television and films, the music in the Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Official Soundtrack is critically acclaimed and considered by fans among the best soundtracks for computer games.

The music of Planescape: Torment is not only substantially dark and eerie, but emotional as well. Mark Morgan combined ethnic and industrial sound to create 37 tracks fitting the unique Planescape setting. Each track tells a story about the multiverse and those who live within it, mixing wonder and horror in equal measure. The main theme alone is enough to send chills down your spine.

The Mortuary theme is full of muffled ticking undertones, with occasional scrapings and whispers to reflect on the nature of that building. In the Sigil theme, one can almost hear the dangers lurking around every corner. Fortress of Regrets is a grandiose and doleful melody which ties in perfectly with the story told in the final area of the game.

The Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Official Soundtrack is not only about ambient environmental music, companions themes are what makes this soundtrack truly outstanding. Profoundly sad and beautiful, Deionarrra's Theme is often named the best track composed in a game. The mechanical beats in Nordom's Theme makes it fitting for this character. Although never used in-game, Morte's theme is the most humorous track and not without good reason, this floating skull's personality is conveyed in his theme perfectly. Morte’s theme underlines that, for all its dark tones, Planescape: Torment retains a lot of humour, and the game's soundtrack follows this mix. 

The Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Official Soundtrack can be purchased along with PST:EE from Beamdog, GOG, and Steam.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tips On Character Creation in Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition


You don’t roll abilities in Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition, you forge your own destiny.
Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition is very different from other Infinity Engine games and the distinctions start right at the character creation screen. Let’s take a quick tour of some of the character creation differences you’ll see between PST:EE and other IE titles.

Warning: This article contains minor spoilers for Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition.

Character class
Your adventures in Planescape are influenced less by preset abilities and more by your actions and in-game choices. The Nameless One wakes as a fighter and later acquires the ability to become a mage or thief further in the story. After unlocking each class, you’ll be able to switch between roles by speaking with trainers or party members who are skilled fighters, mages, or rogues.

Alignment
The Nameless One begins his journey as True Neutral and your alignment towards Good, Evil, Law, or Chaos will change depending on your behavior, speech options, and quest decisions. Perform kind and unselfish deeds and your character will become Good. Lie to everyone you meet and use force to take that which is not freely given, and your character may end up as Evil. Your actions also influence whether the Nameless One is Lawful, Neutral or Chaotic. For example, if you go through PST:EE fulfilling promises, you’ll likely acquire a Lawful alignment.

Attributes

Attributes in Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition will be familiar to all Dungeons & Dragons players: strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom and charisma. However there’s no ability-rolling in Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition and at the start you distribute a limited amount of character points (21) between your stats. No attribute can become higher than 18 points at the character creation, but as you play the game it will become possible to increase attribute scores further. During your travels, you’ll discover items, tattoos, and spells that can modify the Nameless One’s  stats. As well, attributes in PST:EE can be gained through levelling, exploration, and self discovery.

Pump up Strength to successfully bash chests and locks.
Strength

Traditionally, this is a priority attribute for a Fighter. Strength determines how successfully your character hits opponents (THAC0) and the damage you inflict. Strength also determines the ability to break locked objects. If your character gains Strength 15+, you will see new lines in dialogues, which mostly serve to intimidate others. It can be a good choice to increase Strength if you’re going to become an Evil or Chaotic character.

There're plenty of items to steal in Sigil and a high Dexterity can help with that.
Dexterity

Dexterity is a priority attribute for a Thief. It affects a character’s ability to avoid enemy strikes and aids all thieving skills. A high Dexterity (14+) can provide several unique opportunities, such as catching pickpockets trying to rob you or allowing the Nameless One to snap the neck of a nosy Dustman. Thieves and thugs are all over the place in Sigil, and increasing Dexterity is a benefit to any who wishes to travel the planes as a Warrior, Thief, or Chaotic character.

A high Constitution increases your regeneration rate.
Constitution

Constitution is the attribute responsible for a character’s Hit Points (including how many of them you get at level-ups) and regeneration speed. The regeneration rate in Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition is higher than in Baldur’s Gate. At 9 Constitution, you can regenerate 1 HP every 60 seconds. Considering there’s very little access to healing in Planescape, Constitution is an important attribute for any character.

Intelligence makes possible to understand other creatures.
Intelligence

Intelligence is the most important attribute for Mages. In Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition, an Intelligence of 15+ can influence available dialogue choices with inhabitants of Sigil. Also, a high Intelligence allows Mages a more successful chance to learn a spell, as well as increases the amount of spells they can memorize. In addition, Intelligence increases Lore, allowing for the free identification of magical items.

According to PST & PST:EE Lead Designer Chris Avellone, a high Wisdom can reveal what can change the nature of a man.
Wisdom

Wisdom is arguably the most important attribute for the Nameless One in PST:EE. It uncovers new lines in conversations, offers unique opportunities for solving various problems, unlocks new ways to persuade other characters, and helps the Nameless One discover memories of the past. It also substantially increases the speed of gaining experience and new levels. Wisdom should definitely be a focus for any player wanting to explore the depth of Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition.

Make friends of Sigil merchants and Outland enemies with Charisma.
Charisma

The Nameless One’s face and body is covered with scars and the consequences of lifetimes of hardship. However, Charisma is not only physical beauty, it also encompasses a character’s force of personality. By increasing your Charisma, you can greatly improve your interactions with Sigil’s dwellers and other creatures you meet. This attribute also affects the attitude of merchants and prices in stores.

In the end, don’t be afraid to create a character you gravitate towards the most. The rich story of Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition will give you countless opportunities to roleplay and improve your character.

New to the planes? Find out more about Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition at planescape.com!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Is Here!


The day is finally here! The Beamdog team is proud to release Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition.

The journey from PS:T to PST:EE has been an interesting one. From acquiring the license, to deciphering the source code, and working through the unique solutions put in place by the original team, the journey has been filled with valuable lessons, some of which we may bring to our other Infinity Engine Enhanced Edition titles.

We’d like to thank the original Black Isle team for bringing Planescape: Torment into this world. We’re all fans of the original and having the chance to bring games like this to both a new generation of players and back to fans who were there at the beginning is why many of us are here at Beamdog. A special thanks goes out to original Black Isle team members Eric Campanella, Kenneth Lee, and Tim Donley for taking the time to answer questions and point us in the right direction.

Everyone  at Wizards of the Coast have been amazing throughout the development and release of Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition. They're as excited as we are to see more Dungeons & Dragons fans experience Sigil and the phenomenal Planescape setting for the first time or revisit to the planes to relive one of the greatest stories ever told. 

Chris Avellone, as always, has been a joy to work with. Chris, you’re a master of your craft and we cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to bring one of your best works from 1999 to 2017. We loved your work as Lead Designer on PS:T and to have you reprise that role on Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition has helped us stay true to the spirit of the original game. 

To Qwinn for giving us permission to incorporate your work into Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition, you are a pathfinder. We’re excited to see what you and other modders do with PST:EE and all of our other Infinity Engine titles.

To the Beamdog community, we hope you love Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition as much as we do. Have fun! Oh, and if you see someone with a PST:EE Beta Tester badge on the forums, give them a high five! They’ve put an incredible amount of work in and their names in the credits are well-deserved.

We would also like to thank our family and friends, all of whom have supported us through this incredible experience. You help us stay grounded and push us to be better. Our success is yours.

Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition is available now on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. Head over to www.planescape.com today to purchase your copy from Beamdog, Steam, GoG, Mac App Store, iOS App Store, and Google Play.

See you on the planes, cutters.

The Beamdog Team
Writer

Monday, April 10, 2017

PST:EE Launch Livestream




We're ready for PST:EE. Are you?
The wait is nearly over! Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition is only a day away from being released onto the planes!

Join us April 11th on Twitch from 1:30pm to 2:30pm PDT as we launch Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition!

Beamdog Design Director Philip Daigle will be hosting a variety of team members as they show off features, share stories about PST:EE’s development, answer questions, and give away prizes!

Come for the lore, stay for the chance to win Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Steam keys, Lady of Pain t-shirts and… wait for it... a highly-coveted Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear Collector’s Edition.

See you then cutter!
Writer

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Companions of the Nameless One


Gather your party. Sigil awaits.
Planescape: Torment is known for many things; the strange setting, dark theme, rich story, and memorable companions. While travelling, you may encounter a ghostly guard with a distorted sense of justice, an imprisoned mad sorcerer cursed to burn eternally, a succubus who runs an intellectually brothel, and more! Read on to discover who your possible companions are in Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition!

Warning: Article contains spoilers

Morte only takes 25% of physical damage plus this skull packs a mean bite.
Morte
The floating skull Morte is the first companion to join The Nameless One and your introduction to the weirdness of Planescape. Morte is the source of PST:EE’s humor, even his special ability reflects that: hurled insults cause opponents their lose temper and get to-hit and damage penalties.

Morte is voiced by Rob Paulsen, whom Baldur’s Gate fans may recognize as voices of Kivan and Anomen.


Dak’kon wields Zerth Blade - a weapon shaped by its user's will. Based on Dak’kon’s morale and fighter levels, the Zerth Blade will acquire special effects and enhancements.
Dak’kon
Fighter/mage Dak’kon is githzerai, a race whose people live in Limbo where the form of matter itself can be held together by concentration. Dak'kon is a scholar of githzerai mysticism, and travels to better understand the special teachings hidden in the Circle of Zerthimon. A player character with high Wisdom should read the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon, found in Dak'kon's backpack, and discuss its contents with Dak'kon to discover the history of githzerai.

Mitch Pileggi, best known for his role as Walter Skinner on The X-Files, voiced Dak’kon.


Annah grew up in the Hive and knows all the ins and outs of this place.

Annah
Annah-of-the-Shadows, also known simply as Annah, is a tiefling (part human, part demon) rogue. She is one of the more notable voices in Planescape as she speaks in the thick accent of the cant, a mix of rhyming slang and local dialect native to Sigil. 

Through initially abrasive, Annah is sincerely attracted to the Nameless One, although she'll be hard pressed to admit it. With Annah, you get a chance to understand the tiefling's point of view of Planescape. She sees Sigil as harsh and unforgiving, but at the same time, it's home. Affairs of the hearth are difficult for Annah, making this usually brash and insulting tiefling become confused and hesistant.

Annah is voiced by Sheena Easton, a Grammy-award winning Scottish singer recognized for such hits as "Morning Train," "For Your Eyes Only," "Strut" and "Sugar Walls."

The Nameless One can’t become a priest in PST:EE, so Fall-from-Grace is vital to the party.

Fall-from-Grace
Fall-from-Grace is a succubus, a tanar'ri created to seduce mortals. And yet, Fall-from-Grace chose to follow a different path instead. She is the only party member who can use divine magic to heal companions. But it won’t be easy to find her, you first must speak to all nine intellectual "prostitutes" in the Brothel of Slating Intellectual Lusts. The lore skill is Fall-from-Grace's specialization and can identify many magical items thus saving you copper and the need to use spells. 

Jennifer Hale, well-known to Baldur's Gate fans as Dynaheir and Mazzy, voiced Fall-from-Grace.

Like fire spells? You’ll love Ignus!
Ignus
Ignus is an insane magician who tried to set fire to all of Sigil. He has been doomed by other magicians to burn eternally. Speak with Ignus to learn the secrets of his past and to make sacrifices to flame. In battle Ignus flings fire and casts fire-based spells. Ignus cannot equip or wear any kind of armor or tattoos, but his high constitution score allows to regenerate lost health. Ignus is, of course, immune to fire attacks and spells.

Ignus is voiced by Charlie Adler, known for voicing Buster Bunny in Tiny Toon Adventures.


Nordom is able to recognize portals which are hidden from the eyes – as soon as Nordom is near a portal, you’ll immediately hear usual “Portal detected”.
Nordom
Nordom Whistleklik, or Nordom, is a Modron – a mechanical creature from the logical and lawful plane of Mechanus, where Law and Order are taken to extreme. Nordom is the only party member who use missile weapons – in this case, two crossbows. Nordom a hidden character. Here’s a hint to find him: visit the Curiosity Shop and check the list of exotic items there.


Dan Castellaneta, famous his long-running role as Homer Simpson The Simpsons, voiced Nordom.

Haunted armor, helmet and axe. Vhailor's favored weapon is the executioner's axe, "Final Judgement".
Vhailor
Vhailor is a restless spirit inhabiting the rusting armor of a Mercykiller. There’s only one truth for Vhailor – justice, and he’s ready to cast judgement on everyone. He is a fighter with powerful attacks, a substantial supply of hit points, and resistances to both physical and magical attacks. You can find Vhailor later in the game in a magically sealed prison cell.


Vhailor is voiced by Keith David, known for his role as Childs in John Carpenter's The Thing. Vhailor's Helm appears in Baldur's Gate 2, and grants Simulacrum once per day.

New to the planes? Find out more about Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition at planescape.com!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Q&A With Chris Avellone


Chris Avellone has returned to Planescape as the Lead Designer on Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition.
Planescape: Torment may have been released nearly two decades ago, but its status as a beloved genre classic remains untouched largely due to its amazing setting and unique story.

Chris Avellone, Lead Designer on Planescape: Torment, went on from PST to work on many other popular titles, including Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, Wasteland 2, and Prey. Now he’s returned to his roots to help Beamdog bring Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition to life.  

We’re glad Chris has found time to share insights about the original game and PST:EE.


Warning: Interview contains spoilers.
1. What was your involvement in Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition? Was an enhanced edition something you always wanted to do?
CA - A lot of people have mentioned Torment to me over the years, and the chance to do an updated version of it was appealing – not to change the core content, but with the goal of re-introducing  a new generation to the RPG and allow them easier access to playing it without having to jump through hoops to make it happen.
While I love the original game deeply, I recognize that both interface design and tech across platforms have come a long way since ’99. I believe the Torment experience can be kept while taking advantage of the technical achievements over the past 15+ years, so when Beamdog contacted me to gauge my interest, I told them I was absolutely interested… especially if they allowed me a chance to do a real grammar fix of the discrepancies in the original, of which there were many (we weren’t able to hire an editor, who could have helped back then, so I am happy to have a chance to do it now).
Before anyone thinks editing was a lot of changes to the text, it was more along the lines of fixing basic errors, establishing naming consistency and formatting consistency, and elements that were never intended to make it into the final product (narrative bugs).
2. Take us through the development of the original Planescape: Torment. What makes this game different from other RPGs you’ve worked on since?
CA - I suppose it was largely the Planescape setting that TSR/Wizards of the Coast had established – it was a very freeing license, so it allowed for departures from mainstream fantasy tropes which was welcome. (See below for additional motivation.)
3. How did you come up with the idea of an RPG where combat is not a focus? Was it difficult to create a game where most of the quests can be talked through instead of just fighting?
CA - Unfortunately, I was so focused on dialogue interactions/verbal combat that actual combat in PST was something of an afterthought. Yes, that is my fault. Was it hard to do a narrative-focused game? No – it was one of the things I liked about designing the game in the first place, as I’ve always seen conversations as both dungeons to explore and also conflicts and challenges to resolve.
4. How did the name of the original game come up? Why Torment?
CA - The original name was “Last Rites,” but it didn’t pass marketing (if I recall – it may have been b/c of a name conflict with something else, but it’s been so long, I don’t remember).
So Planescape: Torment was the next choice – and once we knew what the title was going to be, we worked on reverse engineering the title into the theme of the narrative (esp. the player’s existence and the reason his companions join him/gravitate to him).
5. What inspired you to write a game in a (at the time) relatively obscure and strange universe a long way away from other popular, but more generic, fantasy world settings?
CA - The inspiration came from being exposed to several fantasy RPGs in quick succession that seemed to follow the same conventions (system and narrative) without even trying to break the mold or even the basic gameplay loop – I thought Planescape was a way to experiment with deviating from the design norms of fantasy RPGs all in one fell swoop. :)
6. Which parts of Planescape: Torment are you particularly proud of?
CA - I loved the Modron Cube, and kudos to our Lead Programmer, Dan Spitzley, for architecting the mechanics. I also enjoyed the final battle moments (esp. your companions squaring off against the antagonist), and the final sequences that followed – including the meeting of the other NPCs near the end of the game as well (no spoilers, but one of them I enjoyed writing immensely for reasons that are likely obvious to those in the know).
7. What parts of the game would you go back to rewrite or expand (if any)?
CA - Probably the Buried Village, as we didn’t have time to flesh it out in as much detail as we wanted. Also, we would have loved to include more plane-travelling in general, but we just didn’t have the resources and time.
8. Have you thought about extending the Planescape: Torment universe in the past or did you consider this story finished?
CA - While Planescape: Torment’s storyline is done (it reaches a definite conclusion in my eyes), I think the rest of the Planescape universe (multiverse) is ripe for further exploration – there’s countless planes and settings to explore, it would be a shame to let them go to waste.
9. With which character in Planescape: Torment do you feel the greatest connection?
CA - I care for them all in different ways – even Ignus and Vhailor, who have their own emotional moments where they go beyond their outward obsessions.
Each CNPC and NPC was designed to represent a certain story or emotional arc to inform the player about the Planescape universe – and the player’s role in it. I care about them all in different ways, so I couldn’t choose only one.
10. Which Planescape faction would you choose to join?
CA - None, actually. The factions (forgive me) were one of the things I didn’t like about Planescape because none of them really seemed to “fit” me (even the Indeps and Anarchists).
I did think they were great “foils” to test a character against, however, and were the source of fun narrative and political challenges.
If I had a “faction,” I suppose it would be a follower of Aoskar, since I always imagined his deity portfolio represented the true theme of Planescape – the ability to connect all the planes together and provide access to all of them through portals (and the secrecy of the portals and the nature of the keys to open them was another nice narrative layer).
11. What led you to keep the true name of the Nameless One secret from the player, even though the protagonist himself finds it out eventually?
CA - Spoilers! ;) I thought whatever name we chose would never be as cool as the one players themselves imagined – and in the end, it’s not what you’re called, it’s who you are, which the game has already shown you through your actions. The actual name wasn’t important anymore, and I thought it was more literary if it was a secret that only 2 people in the multiverse knew for certain.
12. If given the opportunity, would you cosplay as a PST character? If so, which one?
CA - I’d try for Morte, because I could just wear a black robe and put on a skull mask.
Of course, then people would likely mistake me for Darth Nihilus and challenge me to duels.


13. This is the second time you’ve worked with Beamdog (Chris was a Narrative Consultant on Siege of Dragonspear). Would you be interested in collaborating with Beamdog again in the future?
CA - Of course. And have! Secrets!

14. What can change the nature of a man?
CA - The high Wisdom response at the end of the game is the “true” one (and there’s an Achievement for it to boot, in case there was any doubt).
From there, it’s up to the player to interpret what that truth is for them, I don’t feel it’s the game’s place (or any game’s place) to choose an answer for you.