We finally kicked off our Planescape game on Tuesday. We're using AD&D 2nd edition rules and, wonderfully, for once I am a player rather than the GM. I'm pleased with the character I came up with. Clearly, being on the other side of the screen is good for my creativity.
The third son of a landed family, Marius spent most of his time playing and composing music, carousing in the taverns of Luskan, and hunting in the forests surrounding the Solain estate. He kept it to himself when he began seeing visions, and for the most part his family missed the growing madness in their dilettante son. He spent more time in seclusion, as troubled when lucid as when hallucinating. Thus it was that, the night the Solains were targeted for death and the manor house torched, he was returning late from the hunt only to see the flames. In despair he flung himself from the cliff overlooking the river that marked the edge of the Solain lands.
Of course he's not dead now. He just thinks he's dead, or at least about to be. The visions he'd been having had been starting to make sense, and to be controllable to a degree, before that fateful night. In truth his untutored psionic potential was giving him glimpses of his future, and the frightful panopoly of beings and places of the Planes that he'd seen now surrounded him. He'd fallen through a gate keyed to madness, or perhaps despair, and was now in the Outlands. He believes that all this is merely a hallucination, the culmination of his visions, that he is suffering in the bare moments before his body is dashed on the rocks at the bottom of that cliff. Bashers look at him funny when he says that they're just in his imagination, but they've heard and seen stranger things.
So, Marius is a psionicist. In the year or so he's been on the Planes he's learned to focus his mental potential into clairsentient abilities, although he just thinks this is evidence that the reality he perceives is just a hallucination that he can alter with an exertion of will.
He's a natural fit for the Sign of One, whose members each already believe that they're the only mind and that the whole multiverse is in their head. To make him a playable personality, though, I'm making him greedy for every moment of this "hallucination" that he can enjoy, considering that he thinks it will all end with his shattering death at any moment. In that direction he could become a Sensate, just looking to experience all and everything he can, with the license that nothing he does is of real consequence anyway.
I'm not sure if he's actually mad, or whether he just thinks he is. If he goes Signer he'll be maintaining and strengthening his belief, but if he doesn't there's the potential to bend his character arc toward discovering that, no, he's not mad, no, this isn't just a hallucination, and yes, he is really in the Outer Planes and his family is dead or scattered.
We managed to play a few hours in the first session, and it went well. The only rolls involved a composition that Marius wrote for the monks of the Three Waters monastery of Chantea on the spireward road from Faunel, and for a check to activate his Know Location power to discover those details of geography. There was plenty of interesting stuff to do, a two-year-gap in all the characters' memories to account for, a mysterious, bearded, one-eyed man who brought them to the monastery, and residents of a small village on the way to Faunel that are nearly all suffering from some kind of mind-dulling enchantment.
The other members of the party include a (Primer) depressed blacksmith whose wife left him for a beefier blacksmith, and a rogue modron wizard who is trying to be inconspicuous and who had some of the best lines of the night.
Marius asks, "You're a modron, aren't you? I've heard of your kind."
Ficus Softball Palin XMCVIII[1. So-named as to better blend in with non-modrons, in the best tradition of aliens from Betelgeuse assimilating into English society. The numeral is wrong because it's from memory, but it's not far off.] is visibly deflated and laments, "Discovered!"
This game is going to be a lot of fun.