Ad Astra Per Arcana
Society of Sensation
The Society of Sensation goes by the basic philosophy that to truly understand something, it first must be experienced. With this as their compass, a Sensate travels the planes in the attempt to find new experiences, in the process coming to understand these new concepts. Although many claim them to be simply hedonists, in truth there is much more to this path. A ―true‖ Sensate will accept any experience short of death, no matter how unpleasant, as they feel that whether a Sensate enjoys an experience has little to do with whether they learn from it. As a result, while one member may be sampling expensive wines imported from an obscure prime world, another at the same time may be testing his perseverance in the depths of an Elemental Plane, yet both do so in the same never-ending pursuit of knowledge..
Philosophy: You can only understand the multiverse by experiencing everything it has to offer.
Headquarters: The Gilded Hall in Arborea.
Majority Races: Aasimar, bariaur, chaond, elves, half-elves, halflings, humans.
Majority Classes: Bards, fighters, psions, psychic warriors, wizards.
Factol: Cuatha Da‘nanin (LN male half-elf Rgr15/Eye of Da‘nanin5 Society of Sensation)
Prominent Members: Annali Webspinner (CN female bariaur Ftr7 Society of Sensation), Quleine (NE female alu-fiend Sor5 Society of Sensation)
Symbol: A navy blue disc with a lighter metallic-blue foreground. Engraved at the top is a blank, genderless face, prominently displaying the nose, eyes and mouth. Below the face, a cupped hand and ear are located. The clear depiction of the human sensory organs symbolizes the unity of the senses.
The Sensates are based entirely around experience. As they would put it, your senses are the only
things that allow you to truly know that something exists. To know an object exists you first must see or feel it. To be able to comprehend a food‘s taste, you must have eaten it. To understand the meanings of a new piece of music, you must have heard it. This makes experience the ultimate teacher, and all knowledge must therefore stem from it. A Sensate can then apply such an explanation to anything that can be thought of, for every physical thing requires the senses to be experienced, and all mental concepts require a connection to physical reality, for without outside inspiration the mind cannot function.
Because of their ideals, the Sensates feel that to gain and build upon personal knowledge, it makes far more sense to actively seek the experiences that life has to offer rather than wait for them to come to you. In a lifetime a Sensate will experience countless smells, sounds and situations, but this will still only be the most minute fraction of what the planes truly have to offer. While every member is encouraged to travel the planes in search of new experience to be found, they are also given complete access to the Sensoriums in Sigil.
The Sensoriums span countless rooms throughout the Civic Festhall, the Sensate base of operations
within Sigil, each containing thousands of sensory recorders: small, round stones that are used to store specific occurrences or situations that a Sensate has experienced. Through these, junior Sensates can gain wisdom from various experiences, without having to subject themselves to the dangers or difficulties of experiencing them personally. The sensory recorders cannot be taken beyond the doorway of the Civic Festhall without losing their magically stored contents. This feature was originally designed for security reasons, but caused the faction serious problems when they chose to relocate to their current headquarters, the Gilded Hall of Arborea.
Due to the hands-on style of the Society of Sensation, the life of a Sensate can be a very expensive one. This means that the faction regularly attracts members from the upper classes, who easily have the money to take exotic trips to any of the planes that they care to. This is both a burden and a boon to the faction. On the plus side, a large amount of money becomes available to the Sensates, making them possibly the most financially secure of all factions. They are able to spare no expense in their fantastical productions of many well-known plays, hiring powerful illusionists to supply special effects, and employing the best actors from across the planes. On the downside, many false Sensates are able to creep into the faction, believing that it is purely about decadent pleasure, or at least using the faction‘s facilities to that end. Although many Sensates would like to have these members cast out as the frauds they are, several are also the main benefactors of the faction. Without their financial support, the quality of Sensate productions would plummet
Adapted from the Planescape Campaign Setting on Planewalker.com Pathfinder converison by Loki