Society of Sensation
"Touch it. Smell it. Taste it. See it. Hit it."
--Factol Erin Darkflame Montgomery of the Sensates
Also known as: Sensates, Hedonists
Factol: Erin Darkflame Montgomery
Home Field: Arborea
Sigil HQ: Civic Festhall (Clerk’s Ward)
How do you know The Multiverse exists? No, this isn't a trick question, berk, tell me. What's that? Because you see it and hear it and feel it? Exactly. The Multiverse on is because we can experience it. If something can't be taken in and experienced by us in some form or another, it doesn't exist. How can you tell a description of a rose from a rose? Because you can feel the thorns, smell the perfume, see the glorious petals. That's what separates the real from the imitation.
What does this have to do with the Universal Truth? Well, sod, you are never going to be able to find or handle the Truth until you've experienced all there is to experience. All the flavors, all the colours, all the tastes, scents, and textures. Even all the emotions: from excruciating pain to the purest ecstasy. Once you've experienced it all, you can cut through all the illusions and get straight to the Truth.
But reckless hedonism isn't the answer. You can't guzzle the wine, you need to sip it. You need to experience every subtle flavor in the wine, every memory in the scent. When you are ready, you should be able to tell one vintage from the next by the images it conjures when you open the bottle. The point of the Sensates isn't to be lazy and gluttonous, we are truly experiencing and learning.
So many Sensates find the plane of Arborea to be the most beautiful getaway. Everything there tickles the senses and is truly wonderful to experience. However, the wise Sensate knows there is more to experience than beauty, so they come to cosmopolitan Sigil to experience everything in The Multiverse. In fact, they have built the Civic Festhall for the explicit purpose of bringing an unbelievable myriad of experience to their factioneers and to the public of Sigil.
The Signers' view of imagination often catches the fancy of the Sensates and they are known to spend hours on end talking about the possibilities of imagination and experience. The Sensates are also curious about the Guvners and Indeps, and how they explain and describe concepts and faraway places. However, the chafe under the restrictive rules of the Harmonium, who try to tell them how to live and what to experience. In addition, they find the Doomguard's entropic view to be morbid and distasteful.
The Society of Sensation is known for its liberal attitudes, and these apply even to membership. Anyone, of any race, class, or alignment is allowed to join the Sensates. In fact, the more different you are, the more you have to add to the experience.
A body’s alignment seems to have little impact on a Sensate. The overriding goal of experiencing and understanding all takes precedence. This doesn’t mean that a lawful good Sensate’ll kill an elderly sod just for the feel of it – after all, he could just request the sensation at the Civic Festhall‘s sensorium (and almost certainly would). But he’ll savor the taste of combat with the same zeal as would any evil faction member. Likewise, a chaotic evil Sensate dedicated to a god who advocates death before charity would use a sensorium to feel what it‘s like to give to the poor. Few Sensates are ever appalled by the acts of their fellows, often cooperating to help grant the experiences another faction member seeks.
Sensates, more than any other faction, tend not to specialize in classes, though they have a proportionately higher number of dual- and multiclass members. Specialization tends to limit a body’s range of possible experiences – a problem for Sensates. Fighters prefer to train in as many combat styles as possible, while Wizards study as many schools of magic as they can, relying on Sensate mages for scrolls to spells they don’t have access to. (Illusionists are derided for “faking” experiences, though some Illusionist Sensates do exist.)
Any and all races are accepted as long as all other prerequisites are met.
The Sensates train their senses to an optimum peak. As such, all Sensates receive the Alertness feat, free of charge. In addition, Sensates are extremely empathic to others, so much so that they can even absorb conditions from someone else. The sensory touch, as they call it, may only be used once per day and requires concentration as if it were a spellcasting. It automatically succeeds if there are no distractions, but automatically fails if any of the conditions exist that would normally warrant a spell failure check.
Using the sensory touch, a Sensate can transfer a condition from the person they are touching to themselves. This condition could be the effect of a spell, from fear to sleep to irresistible laughter. Or it could be a condition caused by poisoning or disease. Or it could even be damage, in which case 1d10 hit points are returned to the person touched and instead are transferred to the Sensate. Whatever condition is taken, it leaves the original host and now affects the Sensate as it had been affecting the prior victim. If for some reason the condition could not affect the Sensate, the sensory touch fails. Also, the sensory touch does not work for transferring the effects of curses. Some Sensates are even said to be able to use this to alleviate a person of sadness or depression, in which case they take on the feelings while the original sufferer becomes calm.
Because it is the Sensates' belief that The Multiverse must be experienced to its fullest, they can hardly ever turn down a new experience. Whenever given the opportunity to experience something they have never experienced before, they will certainly take it. The only exception to this is when they are faced with obvious and certain peril--and even then they will sometimes consider it. In addition, because Sensates allow themselves to get drawn into sensations, they are more easily deceived by illusion magic. Saving throws against illusions by Sensates suffer a -2 penalty to the roll.
Sigil - Planar Legends: Members of the Society of Sensation can cast Clairaudience/Clairvoyance 1/day.
Society of Sensation Membership
The Society of Sensation has the easiest of all requirements for entrance into its faction: none. Any being of any race, gender, class, or alignment can join. All a character needs is a genuine desire to experience The Multiverse. Meeting up at the Civic Festhall, an applicant will be directed to a factotum who’ll administer a test designed to weed out mere curiosity-seekers. Using recorder stones, the applicant must contribute five worthwhile experiences to the Public Sensorium’s library, each of which focuses on a different sense – sight, sound, smell, touch, or taste.
Alternatively, the cutter may contribute but a single experience that has strong elements from each of the five senses. Only the factotum may decide if the applicant’s experiences are creative enough to allow him membership into the faction. If the Sensate doesn’t think the initiate’s ready, he’ll tell the sod to go out and play a bit more in The Multiverse, then return to the Festhall and try again.
To reach the rank of Factotum in the Society of Sensation, a Namer must submit five experiences (using the faction’s magical recorder stones), one for each sense. High-ups Sensates then evaluate the experiences and determine if the basher is ready or if the poor sod must be sent back out into The Multiverse until they find richer stories and escapades to capture.