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D&D 5E [D&D 5e] Planescape- In Through the Out Door (Full)

Unsung

First Post
[MENTION=6755061]Kiraya_TiDrekan[/MENTION] Robe of Useful Items would make a lot of sense, given Drone's infinitely changeable nature. :) Great backstory, too, [MENTION=6776473]Pembinasa[/MENTION].

Everybody looks to be in playable condition. We can get the rest sorted out as we go. I'll try to have the OOC thread up tomorrow or the next day, people.
[MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION] I think [MENTION=11146]CanadienneBacon[/MENTION] was looking for your feedback on Picayune's chosen spells earlier in the thread. :) With two bards and an illusionist in the party (and just a lot of spellcasters overall-- snobs :p), there's a chance for some great synergy when it comes to playing the 'face' role. This works very well with Planescape-- powers of persuasion are powerful powers indeed. As noted, 5e encourages ruling by fiat, so don't assume that a spell as written isn't open to more creative uses.
 

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Unsung said:
[Shayuri]I think CanadienneBacon was looking for your feedback on Picayune's chosen spells earlier in the thread. :) With two bards and an illusionist in the party (and just a lot of spellcasters overall-- snobs :p), there's a chance for some great synergy when it comes to playing the 'face' role. This works very well with Planescape-- powers of persuasion are powerful powers indeed. As noted, 5e encourages ruling by fiat, so don't assume that a spell as written isn't open to more creative uses.
I definitely would like feedback on Picayune's spell selection, but I'm not in a rush, and am content to wait until people are free and/or inclined.

A note on my thought process when selecting his spells: I took spells that I thought had cool/interesting mind-altering or fear effects. My thinking is that Pic can scare away foes, thus protecting the party. I'd like Pic to be an expert in getting inside someone's head and mucking around. His buffs should therefore be more subtle than outright bonuses to ability scores. Deflecting foes, eavesdropping for intelligence, and blackmailing foes are ways Pic can "help" the party. To that end, I think I can have a lot of fun with illusions like phantasmal force.

One spell that I took that I am not sure was a good choice is detect thoughts. When I took it, I thought I could use it to sense how many and what kind of foes might be lurking behind doors. But then I remembered that Pic is incorporeal and if he wants to know who is in a room, he can just pop through the wall! Still, detect thoughts might be useful in ways I hadn't thought of, and since it fit the mind-fudger image I have for Pic, I kept it. I'm curious to know if there are, however, spells you think I should take for Pic other than what I chose.
 

Shayuri

First Post
Yep, sorry it took me a bit, had some other stuff to do, and then some mulling...like unto wine.

So I only have a couple of suggestions, CB, and I will provide a little explanation of my reasoning.

First, I suggest replacing Tasha's Hideous Laughter with Thunderwave or Charm Person. This is because THL is a spell that offers a save every round to negate the effect of. Your save DC is not going to be very good at the start of the game. It won't be terrible, but it's likely THL wouldn't last more than a round or so, which undercuts its potential. Thunderwave gives you a spell that targets Constitution saves, and provides a physical effect, which could be useful. Perhaps flavor it as a powerful telekinetic burst, or a sudden attack of jazz? :) Charm Person targets Wisdom, but has some real advantages over THL. First, it allows one save, but lasts up to an hour...without Concentration! As long as you can get the spell off before a creature is attacked, it gets no advantages to save. A charmed creature will leave you alone, if not necessarily your friends. This spell also has some noncombat utility, though be aware that any target will know it was charmed once the spell wears off, so be prepared for any consequences.

Detect Thoughts looks pretty interesting. Of special note is that the basic level of effect does NOT allow a save. If you limit yourself to surface thoughts, not only does the target not get to save, but it doesn't notice the eavesdropping. This is quite useful potentially! Keep it.

Phantasmal Force is not a bad selection. It targets a different attribute (Intelligence), and has a quite versatile range of effects. One thing to beware of is the possibility for a creature to use an Investigation roll against your save DC. This only happens if they carefully scrutinize the illusion, but it will give some targets an enhanced ability to beat your DC.

Other possibilities to consider at 2nd level are Suggestion, which can be quite nasty if phrased correctly, and Calm Emotions. The second spell I mention here has dual uses, which make it a good value. You can use it to suppress fear and charm effects on allies, or you can use it to force hostile creatures to become indifferent for the duration. Fear and charm can be really disruptive in a fight, so having that option is great by itself. But on top of that is the potential to defuse combat situations temporarily, giving allies a chance to regroup, flee, or do something clever while the bad guys lose interest in attacking for crucial moments. Oh, and it's got a pretty good area effect on it. :)

You could also take a look at Heroism, but I think that's a second-tier choice for your build. You have better options available to you.
 

goatunit

Explorer
[MENTION=6781406]Unsung[/MENTION] - As resident outer planes and undeath expert, I figure Eurid should have the answers (or maybe just be aware of a few competing theories) to a couple questions. I'll be speaking from a by-the-book understanding of 2E AD&D Planescape, so of course don't feel like I'm trying to pressure you to rule a certain way. I'm not a rules lawyer--I just like to know what's up.

So, we know that ghosts can exist in Sigil (as seen in Planescape: Torment), which can easily be attributed to Sigil's magical wonkiness. However, incorporeality, even for ghosts, is generally achieved via coexistence on the Prime Material and Ethereal Planes. As there is no connection between the Ethereal and Outer Planes, incorporeality tends not to work out there. At least, not in the way it does with ghosts. Air-type creatures are of course effectively incorporeal/gaseous. I've always understood the existence of ghosts, just from my own puzzling it out, to be a matter of Prime Material spirits with unfinished business or particularly violent or unjust deaths essentially taking a wrong turn. Instead of traveling to the heavens or hells via the Astral Plane, they end up in the border Ethereal.

I imagine that [MENTION=11146]CanadienneBacon[/MENTION] intends for Picayane to be incorporeal at all times, regardless of the location and local metaphysics. I also assume that this was your intention. So, my question is, is this just how ghosts work in your game? Do you play with incorporeality as a feature or power independent of planar mechanics? Is it distinguished from "etherealness" in any way? Or is Picayune very obviously unique to anyone who knows how this stuff usually works?

I think if it's the latter, then it would make sense for Eurid to take an interest in him. No better way to understand the fundamental laws of death than in watching what happens when they break. Even if this isn't the case, I think Picayune's unique circumstances will merit Eurid's investigation.

Along a similar line of thinking, I'll be interested to hear what the Guvners think of him (with their obsession over physical/metaphysical laws and the loopholes therein).
 

Unsung

First Post
No surprise that Shayuri's wealth of experience puts him in demand. He's probably played more 5e (and seemingly quite a few other games) than the rest of us. Not trying to rush, but it's easy for that kind of thing to get lost in the shuffle as the thread continues. :)
[MENTION=21379]goatunit[/MENTION] Picayune is definitely a special case.

Some DM fiat applies at this point. Ghosts and other incorporeal undead are a rarity on the Outer Planes, and one of the few such rarities-- the relative closeness of their intended afterlives acts as on them like a lodestone, pulling them onward. I won't say you've never seen a ghost, because if anyone was going to see a ghost in Sigil it's a Dustman, but most other planars won't have unless they've travelled further afield. Ghosts on the Outer Planes tend to end up twisted. Manifesting beyond the Astral is an extraordinary act of will, even more so than on the Material plane, so ghosts as the Dustmen typically record them are frequently insane and may bear little resemblance to their living state.

A 'ghost' like Picayune is even more unusual for being relatively sane, yet stranded far from the prime where he apparently died, but unable to make his way back there.

Eurid wouldn't know this, but as his player this might help you decide on the direction his inquiry takes. Spoilers for Planescape Torment and OOC knowledge follow.

[sblock=For Dustman eyes only]Ghosts seem to anchor themselves in the place where they died, which seems to be the crux of the Practical Incarnation's plans with Deionarra. It seems like the memorial to her was created to deliberately draw her ghost back to the Outer Planes in search of the man she loved so desperately that she refused to die. Her father didn't know about it, so presumably the Nameless One had it commissioned (can't recall off the top of my head. This seems to act like a long, long tether between her ghost and the Fortress of Regrets on the Negative Energy Plane-- her ability to project herself as a ghost seems to tunnel all the way from the Inner to Outer Planes. The portal in the Mortuary being so nearby, it could suggest something more like an elemental vortex. Except those aren't supposed to exist in the context of the energy planes.

The Nameless One was a Dustman at some point, possibly more than once. It's possible some of the knowledge the Practical Incarnation used would be archived somewhere, available to higher-ranking members of the faction. Of course, whether or not any of this applies to Picayune is still in question.[/sblock]
 

I think this is where I step up and affirm that Picayune is not a ghost, so we (me included) should probably stop referring to him as one. He is an effigy. He's an idea. A thought. Something incorporeal. But not a ghost.

Now, onward. Yours is an extraordinarily thoughtful post, [MENTION=21379]goatunit[/MENTION]. Yes, I do intend for Picayune to be incorporeal most of the time. I think, as more characters come to believe that Picayune is actually a "thing" or a "someone," that maybe over time he will lose his incorporeality and become human. This is, ultimately, Picayune's goal. He wants his human form back. He wants to go home. He wants to leave the Planes and go home to New Orleans. Will that goal change over time? Yeah, maybe. I'm entirely open to Picayune accepting that he is "dead" and that he will never make it home. I'm also entirely open to the idea that Unsung will make Picayune phase back and forth between incorporeality and a corporeal body as Picayune accrues believers. I expect (I hope?) that the phasing back and forth will occur at inopportune moments, too. Because that would be super fun to roleplay!

I like the idea of Eurid taking an interest in the phases of death. I bet Eurid's interest would piss off and annoy Picayune, who probably just wants to be left alone to skulk, mess with others' heads, and scare the bejeesus out of foes. A Eurid-stop-bothering-me-why-are-you-poking-me-Mom-he's-looking-at-me tension between Eurid and Picayune would be fun. Or, alternately, Picayune could decide to go all "stoned jazz philosopher" and be zen about Eurid's fascination with death and incorporeality. Either would, I think, be interesting to roleplay.
 

Unsung

First Post
We-e-ell. All very good points, but what I was sort of running with, at least for a start, is the idea that everyone, Picayune included, have no idea of his true nature, and ghost *seems* to cover it. That may change over time too, but I kind of like the misconception, for now. If it's okay with you, that is.
 


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