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Planescape Torment Official Strategies and Secrets Paperback – 21 Dec 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 4th edition (21 Dec 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0782125859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0782125856
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 18.4 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 886,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on 4 May 2005
Format: Paperback
The obvious question for a book like this is, why should a reader listen to these people? In this case:
- Avellone was Lead Designer on PLANESCAPE: TORMENT in its incarnation as a computer game;
- Norton wrote the manual;
- McComb, another of the game's designers, followed TORMENT over to Interplay from TSR, having worked on the Planescape campaign setting there.
The book's chapters are grouped into two parts, where PART 1: A WORLD OF TORMENT provides an overview and PART 2: FOLLOW THE GREAT ROAD is a detailed walkthrough. PART 2, of course, provides the most spoilers for the game, but certain sections of PART 1 also contain spoilers. While anyone consulting a strategy guide should've waived the right to complain too much about spoilers, it is possible (with some care about not reading too far ahead) to consult specific sections for specific problems.
Part 1 contains 5 chapters of the book's 16. Chapter 1 ("Genesis") discusses character generation in detail, explains the general principles of fighting, and provides an overview of alignments and factions. (It also compares/contrasts TORMENT with BALDUR'S GATE: similar interfaces but some specialization for TORMENT.) Chapters 2 - 4 cover creatures, gear, and spells/special abilities, while 5 is devoted entirely to tattoos. Chapter 5 is the most spoiler-heavy of part 1's chapters, thanks to the detailed discussion of Event Tattoos (available only after achieving certain actions in the game).
I'm aware that this book has attracted some criticism regarding the accuracy of the numbers in part 1's tables. For example, every kind of critter in the game has a description in the ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL section, accompanied by a table describing such matters as its Armor Class, Hit Points, etc.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 April 2001
Format: Paperback
Did you really think that that online guide had all of the secrets to the game. Did you truly believe that you had all of the cool weapons and armor. I did, then i bought this guide and my whole world came crashing down around me, wow, i thought it over and without this guide, i missed so much that i had to play it all over again, just to see it all.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J. Wright on 27 Aug 2002
Format: Paperback
Being a colossal fan of Planescape:Torment, I was hoping that this book would reveal all kinds of secrets I had missed and give an insight into aspects I hadn't considered.
I was disappointed. It is well presented and easy to read, but it told me nothing I hadn't discovered after playing the game thorugh twice, and left out an awful lot I had discovered for myself. I appreciate that to cover the game in intricate detail would take a much larger book than this, but the book seems to be pitched at players who either haven't played the game or who are just starting, with absolutely no content for experienced players.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Overall Pretty Good 4 Jan 2000
By Michael Shumate - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Overall, this guide provided most information one would need to complete the game. Most of the provided walkthroughs were very detailed, and maps with labeled locations of important areas were also provided. However, a few details on quests in the game were not provided, such as locations of items/events and such. One such detail left out was a vital location in the game required to finish an important quest. These small errors are the only reason why I could not give this guide 5 stars.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Not worth it 11 Mar 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
although some what helpful in the detailed walk-through, a better option to buying this book would be to simply download a faq off the web. The stats and item profiles are flawed in an embarasing number of cases. SAVE YOUR MONEY!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Useful visitor's guide to Sigil, the Outlands, & the Planes 27 April 2005
By Michele L. Worley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The obvious question for a book like this is, why should a reader listen to these people? In this case:

- Avellone was Lead Designer on PLANESCAPE: TORMENT in its incarnation as a computer game;

- Norton wrote the manual;

- McComb, another of the game's designers, followed TORMENT over to Interplay from TSR, having worked on the Planescape campaign setting there.

The book's chapters are grouped into two parts, where PART 1: A WORLD OF TORMENT provides an overview and PART 2: FOLLOW THE GREAT ROAD is a detailed walkthrough. PART 2, of course, provides the most spoilers for the game, but certain sections of PART 1 also contain spoilers. While anyone consulting a strategy guide should've waived the right to complain too much about spoilers, it is possible (with some care about not reading too far ahead) to consult specific sections for specific problems.

Part 1 contains 5 chapters of the book's 16. Chapter 1 ("Genesis") discusses character generation in detail, explains the general principles of fighting, and provides an overview of alignments and factions. (It also compares/contrasts TORMENT with BALDUR'S GATE: similar interfaces but some specialization for TORMENT.) Chapters 2 - 4 cover creatures, gear, and spells/special abilities, while 5 is devoted entirely to tattoos. Chapter 5 is the most spoiler-heavy of part 1's chapters, thanks to the detailed discussion of Event Tattoos (available only after achieving certain actions in the game).

I'm aware that this book has attracted some criticism regarding the accuracy of the numbers in part 1's tables. For example, every kind of critter in the game has a description in the ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL section, accompanied by a table describing such matters as its Armor Class, Hit Points, etc. Likewise, GEAR covers all the objects in the game (including weapons), and SPELLS AND SPECIAL ABILITIES provides analogous information. Given the sheer volume of information, it's likely that the tables aren't perfect.

Personally, I can't speak to the accuracy of the tables' numbers. What I can say is that using the tables as the sole criterion for judging the value of this book dismisses a great deal of other valuable information herein. I'm thinking primarily of two types of information that don't depend on numbers:

- general information about effectiveness of various kinds of attacks on specific types of monsters, and

- specifics about how to get at quests, game areas, special abilities, etc. that a player may overlook if he or she doesn't think to experiment in the right way.

The first case covers such matters as the need to invest in enchanted weapons when fighting abishai, preferred types of weapons in dealing with the undead, and so on. That kind of information can help improve one's gameplay generally and help bail the player out of annoying "I keep dying there" situations. The latter case, though, means that this book can help the player find the game itself more interesting.

For example, if a player falls into particular habits during character generation at the very beginning - loading up Wisdom but neglecting Charisma, or Constitution at the expense of Dexterity - certain scenarios may never arise because the character will never see the relevant dialog options, or will never manage to be deft enough to successfully pickpocket the right character. The main characteristics that affect dialogue options are Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom; a character with low Charisma will never get the opportunity to fast-talk his/her way into certain scenarios, such as a few of the more interesting aspects of the Whispering Stone catacombs.

The strategy guide also provides information about Alignment that may not occur to a player who automatically seeks to play as Lawful Good. Playing the game as a Chaotic character provides opportunities to join factions not available to more conventional Lawful Good characters, without necessarily restricting the player's ability to take on more typical quests. (For example, the Nameless One can take on the same quest for a variety of reasons ranging from "evil must be resisted" to "I want the money".) Without the strategy guide, for instance, a player may never recognize the contact point for joining the Revolutionary League or Xaositect factions.

And, of course, there are easy-to-overlook details that a player may not think of without prodding. For example, once the player can speak to the dead, some specific undead NPCs encountered earlier may be worth revisiting. At the opposite extreme, using a translator for some languages that the player can already understand - and then listening for discrepancies in translation - can yield interesting information, though it can be as simple as another character having greater mastery of language than *you* do.

I consider the guide well worth the money, not so much for its ability to bail one out of hard-to-play scenarios as for this latter quality of opening up scenarios I didn't manage to find on my own.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Not the best strategy guide ever written 1 Mar 2000
By Courtney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book has useful information but it is poorly organized and the maps are terrible. They have these numbers all over them, but there's no separate key that lists what these number represent. Instead you have to search through pages and pages of text to see when the "number" is semi-explained.
Plus they leave out key information on some of the maps/sections. There's no index in the book either, which makes finding something almost impossible.
Poor organization is why I give this book 3 stars. However, there's some useful content that kept me from giving it 1 star.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not that good. 12 July 2003
By Eric P. Medlock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the guide to be incrediably lacking. It didn't even have a good walkthrough. Don't waste your money!
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