"Challenging the Planescape"
I listened to the market keeper and her petulant request with mild annoyance. I had gained sentience mere hours ago, then stumbled around the town where I was reborn, desperately seeking answers to significant questions. Who was I? What was I? Why could I remember only being thrown from the sky to land a short time later in a little pile of agony? The market keeper told me she had some answers, but before she would share them, she needed something from me. Of course she did. Everyone did. Some little fetch quest or a personal errand always needed doing, because I had seemingly landed in a cornucopia of tight-lipped, lazy slackers. So I was reluctant, but resigned. I would do her donkey work.
She told me there was a boy waiting at the top of some nearby stairs who was a bit unhappy, and that I should do something about it.
I narrowed my eyes, muttered under my breath and stalked off to complete this mundane task. I get that Torment is supposed to be the spiritual successor to the hallowed Planescape (made flagrantly clear by the amount of times you update your journal), and I understand that littering side quests throughout is a staple of the genre. Hell, I even appreciate that. The chance to explore off the beaten track often adds to the game’s overall world, provides pockets of hidden context or otherwise unglimpsed depth. But I wasn’t about to do any of that. Someone was having a bad day, and I was going to ruffle their hair a bit, I guess.
Except it wasn’t that. It wasn’t that at all. The boy was a mutant, which was far from unusual by itself, but he also was a particularly weak, ugly mutant who was furious with the world for his shortcomings. He’d fled from the rest of his people who had scraped a miserable existence in the underbelly of the city, and now his goal was to live topside and claw together enough money to change his fate. He stood outside an enhancement store with a bag of coin years in the earning. He’d saved religiously for the cosmetic surgery he was convinced would change his life, but he was torn. He could drastically alter his looks so he would no longer be ridiculed, or he could implant retractable blades in his arms so his could retaliate against his tormentors instead. It was a reasonable sum of money; a member of my party suggested it would be better used by a group of adventurers like ourselves. It was an option, but not one that sat well with me.
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