I took my own advice and installed all of the mod packages for Planescape, which did a variety of nice things including fixing bugs, finishing incomplete quests, and allowing for a much greater resolution. Since PT already had larger-than-Baldur’s-Gate characters, they still show up fairly well on a 1600×900 screen.
With the Dustman mortuary behind me, I tottered out onto the streets of Sigil, the main city for the game. Sigil is reportedly the center of all the planes, kind of a hub station ruled over by a very scary lady. It’s not that colorful either; PT specializes in drab grays and rusty metal, which continues to give me that Fallout vibe.
I chatted up a harlot for some direction and continued to piece together clues where to find this Pharod guy. Next stop was a house where a surly man and his anxious wife tasked me with releasing the guy from a Dustman contract to use his body after he dies. No problem, says I. My wisdom score is now 19 and my intelligence is 18, meaning that if there’s a peaceful way through a scenario, I’m able to take it. It also unlocks a lot of easy experience boosts through conversation trees.
The contract quest is pretty simple. I popped over to a nearby Dustman bar and chatted up the named NPCs. There’s a bit of XP to be made in this, such as chatting with an old lady who’s starting to doubt the Dustman philosophy (that life is “false life” and death is “true life”). I also talked circles around an ambitious go-getter who had the contract, and he eventually gave it back to me. Nevertheless to say, the contract signer was quite grateful and he became about the 10th person to tell me where Pharod is. That guy does not keep a low profile.
Another Dustman at the bar gave me a quest to investigate a disturbance at the nearby mausoleum (this area’s big on the death theme, I guess). I pop over there and Bob’s your uncle, it’s crawling with skeletons. What’s new, really? An agitated spirit says that there’s another intruder doing hokey stuff and he begs for me to deal with it. No problem, says I. I do ghostbusting with an iron crowbar. The mausoleum looked more like the innards of an H.R. Giger painting than a traditional crypt, which is one of the reasons why this game is so engrossing. Even standard places really aren’t that standard.
In my previous playthrough way back when, I used a walkthrough that helped me get through the game with minimal combat. That’s roughly what I’m going for this time, although without the walkthrough, I’m finding that I get into more scraps than expected. I had to fight my way through the place, netting a bit of XP in the process. I found a back room where the necromancer was — twist! — waiting for me because he needs some of my blood to become an immortal lich. Good for him, but bad for him too. It took a few deaths (when you die in this game, you just respawn at the mortuary) to take him and his skeleton crew down, but down they went and into my pockets his goodies went.
Next time: Pharod, come out and playyyyayyyy!