Posts Tagged ‘hacks’

Planescape meets S/Lay episode 1: The characters

I have talked about making Planescape hacks of indie games. This post and the one or two to follow, contain my attempt at a hack of Ron Edward’s S/Lay w/Me. Or rather, this isn’t so much a hack as a “mission pack,” I guess – I don’t change any of the rules of the game, I just suggest appropriate ways that the Planescape world might fit the (very world independent) system of S/Lay w/Me.

S/Lay shortly

S/Lay is a a swords&sorcery storytelling game for two players. One person will be “you” and the other will be “I,” the “you” controlling the protagonist of the story, the “I” controlling the Monster and the Lover. “You” start the game by stating who they are, where the story takes place, and what the protagonist’s Goal is. “I” then decide the nature of the Monster and the Lover. In order to make this game work with Planescape, then, what is needed is some new protagonist concepts, and some new locations.

The protagonist can vary a whole lot. Looking at the ones in the book, they are all written around a contrast, indicated by a “but” in the description: “I am a young warrior, fierce and feared, but my hair is grey.” Most of them are constructed like this: “I am a [type of person], [description], but [sentence about me].” Only one falls outside of the template: “I am lamed and sick, but my iron will commands even the dead.” The types of person varies a lot, but they have the common denominator of implying hardened, tough and able people.

I am thinking that for the hack, I will make characters from all the factions in the book, and add some for some of the planes. It would be most typical S&S to have only humans, but I think for Planescape, some almost-humans are acceptable – in a very wide sense of that word.

The locations in the book are stated in a single phrase, often very generically: “The cemetary that is also a city.” A lot of them imply beauty and civilization, but all of them contain a hint of something sinister and dangerous.

For the hack, I may write them a little longer than the ones in the book, as I’ll want to tie it to specific places in the setting. I will probably try to avoid some of the Good planes, as I don’t think the whole concept of the “monster” would fit too well there. Apart from that, I will try to get as far about in the cosmology as possible.

Who are you?

Ok, so here goes. First the characters:

I am an Athar, out to spite the Gods, but I still have faith / I am a Beliver of the Source, certain of better things to come, but I can take care of myself / I am a bleaker, living a life I know has no meaning, but my laughter is warm / I am a Doomsguard, a believer in decay, but I am compassionate / I am a Dustman, living among the dead, but I only kill when I must / I am a Taker, my eyes calculating, but I don’t care much for wealth. / I am a wizened Guvner Lawyer, but I know how to fight dirty. / I am a Hardhead, crusading for Peace and Truth, but I have vices. / I am a Mercykiller, out to punish the guilty, but I can be gentle. / I am an Anarchist, and I live to free the enslaved, but I cannot free myself. / I am a Signer, bending the world to my will, but I long for company / I am a sensate, feeling everything around me, but I can be callous. / I am a Cipher, in tune with myself, but my face is gaunt and hollow. / I am a Xaositect, riding the chaos of the world, but my mind is focused.

I am a tiefling, decended from fiends, but my bearing is noble. / I am a Githzerai hunter, grim and brooding, but a fire burns within me. / I am an Aasimar, bearing the marks of celestial ancestors, but my attire is less virtuous. / I am a mighty mage, bending the planes to my will, but I can still see wonder. / I am a seasoned freelance, having served both Heavens and Hells, but I am my own master./ I am a veteran from the prime material plane, a stranger to the planes, but I can rely on my instincts.

Here are the characters. I am not entirely satisfied with them. Not all of them are quite concrete enough, being a little too much about the ideology and the general idea, and less about how they appear in the story – Edwards’ character are very viceral. I do think I achieved that a bit more in the non-faction oriented. Oh, and I could have gone on, but this is where I chose to stop. Feel free to suggest additions or alterations below.


Next time, I’ll take a look at some locations.