Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Character Concepts: Planescape pt. 4

And now, the long-anticipated conclusion...

Society of Sensation

Joad ehb Loarn (NG/human/cleric) - A slight, quiet, and sickly man, Joad seldom has the strength to walk, much less proselytize. He first approached the Civic Festhall four years ago, begging forgiveness on behalf of his enigmatic and unknown god, The Penitent Father. Since then, he has entered into the care of a Bleaker-operated hospice eleven times, but has managed to recover from his illness and return to the Festhall.

According to a nurse at the hospice with a background in obscure folk magic, Joad's frequent illnesses are a result of something called sin-eating. He apparently has the ability to heal injuries of mind and body by taking another's malady upon himself. The Cult of the Penitent Father claims that their god is responsible for creating the multiverse, which he regards as a terrible and unforgivable crime against all who must endure the brutality of existence, and so Joad was sent as a missionary to those who most experience the Penitent Father's flawed creation; the Sensates. Members of the faction whose pursuits result in otherwise incurable injury or disease may call upon Joad's magic in exchange for granting his god their forgiveness.

Transcendent Order

Cicada (N/wild elf/ranger) - A stray petitioner from the plane of Arcadia, Cicada received her name after falling in with a clan of formians whose queen had succumbed to a magical madness that left the hive in chaos. Cicada, compelled by her forgotten mortal life as an adventurer, entered the hive with the intent to slay the queen and end the ant-folk menace, but discovered in parley that her presence calmed the mad queen and enabled her to restore stability to her followers.

This strange power led Cicada to seek out similar plights throughout the known planes, and inevitably brought her to Sigil. While she might seem a natural recruit to administer to the barmies of the Gatehouse, fate had it that she first encountered the Ciphers, many of whom claim to literally hear the steady rhythm of the planes in her voice. Likewise, Cicada found a strange and indescribable resonance among the factioneers that led to her (perhaps impulsively) signing on.


Cannibal York (CE/formian/fighter) - Even among the chaosmen, Cannibal has led an unconventional life. Born from an egg that was laid by the same mad queen described above, Cannibal York was among the few deranged antlings to survive the curse--survived, but only just. His path has been long and has often veered into unknown realms, but his lost years are rife with tales of his appearance under the strangest circumstances. He has been spotted marching alongside squads of modrons, digging for secrets alongside the dwarves of the spire, and plinth-sitting with the monks of Ecstasy. Perhaps the wildest of the tales of his exploits involves a stint as a pirate captain on the fog-choked seas of the Demiplane of Dread. In recent years, he has continued in that tradition, but among the githyanki in the Astral.

Notably, the only evidence of his actual membership in the Xaositects is the faction's icon branded above his brow. Whether it was a mark he sought out or one placed there by an enemy remains a mystery, but he certainly seems content to stand among their number and answer any calls for aid from Chaosmen lost in the silver sea.


At long last, this concludes the series. Thank you for reading, and let me know in the comments if you find a use for any of these characters. I'd love to know what sort of trouble they've got to in the distant realms of other people's campaigns.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Module H5: Introduction

I've changed the name of the blog (and probably broken some links in the process--sorry!) to unbind it from my one specific world-building exercise. I'll still likely post about that process going forward, but it won't be my primary focus.

I also temporarily took some content down to rework it. Anybody got a lead on a vintage "Under Construction" animated gif? Preferably the '98 model, optimized for Netscape.

Character Concepts: Planescape pt 3

Continuing series on unique Faction Personalities in the Planescape setting...


Sidby the Stick (LG/halfling/fighter) - Sidby's a good enough berk, but there's a reason he's not called "the Carrot." Born and raised on a sleepy backwater of a world where halflings are the only sapient species, Sidby served in his town militia with honor and courage. He was known in six counties for his athletic accomplishments in both weight-lifting and the discus; he could manage a respectable sprint time as well! Sadly, an accidental stumble through a one-way portal stole him away from his community and his acclaim, stranding him in a place where his exceptional physical ability was suddenly just relative... you know, for a halfling.

A good heart and honest character can be easily outshone by bitterness and resentment, and such is the case with the strongest hairfoot in the Cage. Burdened with something to prove, Sidby marches his Market Ward beat like he means it; and he gets results. Woe be unto any litterer or loiterer who fires back at his order with a quip about his height or a prideful boast against his ability to enforce--that polished cudgel he's named for didn't get its dents from leaning on a bedpost.


Cobbleroot (LN/treant/druid) - In Sigil, being mistaken for a tree won't take a cutter far in the camouflage department, making Cobble seem poorly suited to the Mercykiller trade. The passion that drove him here in pursuit of the careless evoker who burned his grove, however, was quickly noticed and properly appraised by the faction men who witnessed his justice.

Today, Cobbleroot and Swift (his hawk companion) are an odd but permanent fixture on Kindling Street in the Hive Ward, where he serves as a one-tree volunteer fire department. Nobody knows what became of the unidentified serial arsonist that gave the street its name and reputation; but when six months passed without so much as a wisp of smoke, not even the resident priest of Tymora was naive enough to suggest a happy turn of luck was to thank.

Revolutionary League

Albatross Greely (CG/tiefling/bard) - Not every barmy's a Bleaker, and Greely stands as a testament to that fact. Even his fellow Anarchists call him a hopeless Utopian. But as his third mayoral run against the incumbent Lady of Pain spins up, Albatross says he hasn't got time to worry about being mocked. Blank petitions, unattended campaign rallies, and non-existent election days--none of it slows him down. 

Opinions differ over whether he's a genuine addlecove, a performance artist, or a provocateur whose absurdity is a mirror held up to an absurd society. Whatever the case, The Lady isn't known for tolerating upstarts, no matter how foolish. The Guvners may smirk and the Hardheads may scoff, but Her Bladed Majesty's forbearance grows ever more difficult to explain.

Sign of One

Zalachi (N/githzerai/cleric) - Like many Signers, Zalachi believes that he is the center of the multiverse. Or, more specifically, that he *is* the multiverse. He views each of Sigil's factions as representations of the cognitive dissonance in his own mind, and believes that reconciling the disparate philosophies into a single, cohesive ideology will lead to his apotheosis. As such, Zalachi considers himself a member of each organization (although this delusion is humored only by Indeps and Xaositects...) and works exceptionally hard to find common purpose with other factioneers he comes into contact with.

Contrary to most of Sigil's thinkers, Zalachi isn't much put out by disagreement--even diametric opposition. Indeed, he seeks out such philosophical conflict and endeavors to resolve it.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Character Concepts: Planescape pt 2

Wowee--I've been away a long time! Oh well. Picking up where we left off, here's part two of my odd-ball Planescape NPC concepts:


Setican Stillwater (LG/human/paladin) - Setican is a paladin in the service of Kelemvor--a goodly god of death and repose. The young and surprisingly enthusiastic warrior desires nothing more than to progress from this life into the True Death. Despite his death wish, he's taken the teachings of his faction to heart and would never deliberately take his own life nor dive headlong into certain death. He does however engage in unnecessary risks and attempts to provoke conditions that could very well end in his demise.

Considering he hires himself out as a mercenary adventurer to parties engaged in noble pursuits, this compulsion frequently brings misery upon others. Despite his ability to heal critically wounded allies, Setican is prone to expressing jealousy of their condition and engaging in ideological debate intended to convince the dying berk to embrace their True Death instead. He'll come through on the healing eventually, but not without losing respect for his patient in the process.


Yudumbox (LN/modron/thief) - The Fated tendency to exploit their power as Sigil's tax collectors is well-known. What better way to weaponize the fine print than with an agent who can instantly calculate interest to the millionth decimal point? The rogue modron's lawful nature grates on its fellow Takers (their exasperated curses became its de facto name!), but you can't argue with results.

Fraternity of Order

Kresimir the Certain (LN/human/druid) - Kresimir was a Xaositect who tagged along with some fellow factioneers in an ill-conceived raid on Mechanus with the intent to smash up some of the natural machinery and spit in the face of order. After a deadly encounter with natives, he was separated from his comrades and stumbled upon an isolated grotto of clockwork trees. 

As he set about to jam up the works, Kresimir noticed that the ticking of the fruit-like gears was in sync with his heartbeat; that his breath came to him in time with the hissing of steam valves that sprouted from the soil like mushrooms; that the swinging of a pendulum vine was in perfect rhythm with his subconscious compulsion to blink. While absorbing this strange phenomenon, he idly plucked a bit of detritus that was blocking a collection of gears set among a tree's roots, and as they whirred back into their function, a facial tic he'd suffered all his life was suddenly cured. He literally found himself.

Immediately, Kresimir swore off his old ways and devoted himself to the cause of order as a druid of the clockwork forests.

Free League

Galsk-ub the Indecisive (C?/Athasian half-giant/fighter-psionicist) - As an Athasian Half-Giant (from the Dark Sun campaign setting), Galsk's only alignment constant is Chaotic. Like all members of his race, he's prone to imprint on whomever he's around at the time, shifting his ethical outlook to better fit in. Out on the planes, where belief is made manifest, this quality gets complicated.

Unlike most Indeps, who sign on with the non-faction only to protect their independence, Galsk is a compulsive joiner. His early life under the thumb of one of the Athasian God-Kings acclimated him to hard work, and so he's content to make a living as a porter in the Great Bazaar (his faction's HQ). With a rotating door of merchants from across the multiverse in such close proximity, the half-giant's impressionable nature leads to rapid and radical shifts in philosophy. He's fallen in with every faction at one time or another--the Indeps are just the only ones who haven't run him off.