View Full Version : Schizophrenic Wizard

2009-06-19, 03:58 PM
I'm planning on creating a crazy, deranged schizophrenic Lv. 8(or 9) wizard for my next character. Are there any rules on schizophrenia in Dragon or anywhere? Any suggestions?

2009-06-19, 04:01 PM
Just play him as exceptionally paranoid. Have him hallucinate randomly, get delusions of grandeur or otherwise and generally have little to no connection between his thought process and what's going on around him. It's not terribly hard and doesn't require any sort of special rules.

2009-06-19, 04:07 PM
Remember you have to have 3 of the symptoms to actually be diagnosised with schizophrenia. Also MPD(multiple personalty disorder) is a common secondary issue.

2009-06-19, 04:11 PM
Create yourself a random table that lists different crazy things to do. Roll the percentile dice if your drawing a blank on what crazy thing to do next. :smallbiggrin:

2009-06-19, 04:11 PM
Would it affect his stats in any noticeable way? I doubt someone would have quite the same wisdom, but I don't actually know anyone with it.

Maybe I'll use the Greatest Random Encounter Chart Ever. That thing is pretty crazy :P

2009-06-19, 04:12 PM
Consider catching your teammates in your spells, particularly ones with embarassing effects such as Grease or Tasha's Hideous Laughter. Don't do it with damage spells though.

Truth be told, I'm not sure which edition you're referring to, but psycho wizards can be found anywhere!

2009-06-19, 04:19 PM
Also MPD(multiple personalty disorder) is a common secondary issue.

Not really, since it's mostly a social disorder created by incompetent therapists. Wikipedia helps here too. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociative_identity_disorder#Controversy)

Looking up schizophrenia on WP is a good starting point, though. From your choice of words, AppleChips, it's clear enough you don't really understand it, so reading up is recommended. Decide on a type, decide on symptoms, and go with it. Schizophrenics tend to have pretty particular patterns - there's no such thing as "plain random deranged crazy."

Captain Alien
2009-06-19, 04:25 PM
It sure would affect his stats. In fact, his stats would affect his sanity.

Crazy characters use to have low wisdom: Low perception, sometimes sightly confused about what happens around them, etcetera.

For example, there is a prestige class (I can't remember its name) that makes the character madder and madder. The character loses wisdom as she gains levels on this class.

And Madness cleric domain makes you crazier than you were before, by making you lose wisdom again. Which is terrible considering how clerics use WIS.

So, yeah, you might say Wisdom controls Sanity.

2009-06-19, 04:33 PM
Ooh, psychology! :)

Okay. First, look up schizophrenia versus multiple personalities. They are different. Multiple personality is a dissociative disorder that has to do with having consciousness and memories compartmentalized into different personalities. (Let's not debate whether it's created by psychologists--but it's not the same as schizophrenia; it isn't even in the same category. MPD is in the same category as amnesia and dissociative disorder.)

Second: Schizophrenia has a HUGE range of expression. You've got your paranoid type--someone who's got one or more delusions going, but can speak coherently and generally interact with the world. You've got disorganized--random, chaotic movement and speech; disorganized thought. Catatonic type can get stuck in one position, or stuck with random, purposeless movement. Combined or undifferentiated can be any combination of the above. And then there's schizoaffective disorder, which is schizophrenia + bipolar, as well as schizotypal personality disorder, which is a really eccentric personality, with odd beliefs and disorganized thinking but no actual psychosis.

I'm gonna guess you want something you can play as a PC, right? OK. You might manage paranoid type schizophrenia; the others would be a recipe for death, unless you play a character that is between episodes of schizophrenia (it can be episodic--comes and goes; some people only have one episode). You could also do schizotypal personality disorder, which has a similar feel to it.

Mechanically, your best bet is a low Wisdom score. Wisdom is insight, perception, and understanding; schizophrenia involves the exact opposite--messed-up perceptions (hallucination); illogical thought (delusion); and usually the inability to understand that they're messed up in the first place.

If you do schizotypal personality, you'll probably want to go for a chaotic alignment; people with this PD are generally very eccentric, superstitious, etc. The thing you're looking for is something like the neighborhood weirdo who believes in UFOs, the Illuminati, psychic powers, etc.... Actually, in a world where those things were real, your neighborhood weirdo could believe in things like toaster ovens and gasoline, if you wanted. Why chaotic? Because this guy is an individualist--he marches to the beat of his own drummer. They tend to be introverted, but don't take that to the extreme or you'll have a party-incompatible loner. Think WIS 6-8 for this one.


Paranoid schizophrenia would be WIS below 6, probably; but it's not a personality disorder, so you need to make sure you've got an agreement that either your character never gets cured or else your wisdom score goes up when you do get cured (you can use ability score increases if you like). This kind of disorder would cause you to have delusions and hallucinations.


For example: The delusion that you are a secret agent trying to prevent the alien takeover of the world, and you get instructions through your TV set. Your hallucinations would generally involve auditory or visual illusions. Most of the time, you wouldn't know they were hallucinations, but many people do begin to understand that some of what they see isn't real--but the question remains: What is real, and what isn't?

The important thing to remember is that, if the delusion were true, the person with paranoid schizophrenia would be acting logically. That means no axe-crazy rampages unless your character's personality is the sort that he would go on an an axe-crazy rampage under some similar non-delusion-created circumstance. (Well, actually, I don't recommend them even then. It ruins the game.)

Oh, yes: Schizophrenia is NOT a personality disorder. That means you give your character a personality outside just being "crazy". People react differently to their minds suddenly presenting them with all sorts of crazy stuff. Some people get depressed; others get anxious. Some people, oddly, make peace with hallucinations and actually live very much as though they didn't have hallucinations at all (this happens sometimes if they can still do reality-checking.) You might want to check out the case of John Nash--very logical sort of guy; developed schizophrenia; won a Nobel prize; had a movie made about him.

How your character responds to his delusions will depend on who he is to begin with. Given the delusion that the nobles are being replaced by yuan-ti infiltrators, an uptight guy who believes in a strictly organized society will respond very differently from a guy who just prefers to live and let live and follow his heart.

You're going to have to choose the delusions very carefully. See if you can pick the ones that will let you do pretty much what you're supposed to do anyway, and limit the times that you get your party into trouble to minor trouble--a bar brawl, yes; an execution, no. As a player, you want to make this fun for the other players, or everyone will just get annoyed, and that's no fun at all.

Your character should not be a liability in combat, however delusional he is; otherwise it would be logical for his party to leave him at the nearest temple/insane asylum. You're better off throwing spells at random trees than at your party members. If you can, make him extremely competent in battle, so as to give the party a reason to keep him around.

2009-06-19, 04:40 PM
I played a crazy old wizard once... Wizard 7 / Wild Mage 10, with a bunch of Sudden Metamagic feats.

Not an optimized build obviously, but you can do a LOT of fun things with it.

I played him a lot like Fizban from Dragonlance (for those that have read). Would randomly have conversations with myself or inanimate objects, make up Knowledge rolls out of thin air if I didn't know something (Confronted with Beholder... Fail Knowledge: Dungeoneering... "Uh huh, this is a bandersnatch. Don't worry about those eyes, it's the pointy mouth that's the dangerous thing. Oh, and they are scared of loud noises.").

Would hear voices, burst into song mid battle (sometimes he thought he was a bard, so would attempt "mage song" instead of "bard song"... Became a running gag).

etc etc... It's a really fun character style to play. You just have to balance being crazy, being useful, and being dangerous/a hindrance to your party.

It's also very effective to have moments of clarity. Can be used to freak people out, drive a point home, etc.

I know this is more senile than schizophrenic... But a lot of the same ideas apply. Definitely enjoy it, and let us know how the fun progresses :-)

-- Gecko

2009-06-19, 04:51 PM
Thanks for the help! But I'm planning on making him old, so senile would fit him too :smalltongue:

2009-06-19, 04:56 PM


2009-06-19, 05:00 PM
I did an amnesiac wizard, one of my favorite moments was when he confronted a demon and looked him in the eye which featured this exchange:

"Y-you!" the demon gasps!
"Yes! You know who I am! You know what I am capable of! Do you still dare to face me!"
"Yes master! I mean no master! I mean forgive me please!" He flees, party member turns to the wizard.
"I thought you couldn't remember who you were?"
"I can't but, apparently he could!"

2009-06-19, 05:04 PM


Now someone just needs to actually write it! :smallsmile:

2009-06-19, 05:12 PM
Link's broken, add the parenthesis on the end.

I think the advice on this thread is better though.

2009-06-19, 05:17 PM
Sorry about that. :P

edit: fixed.

2009-06-19, 05:25 PM
Maybe I'll use the Greatest Random Encounter Chart Ever. That thing is pretty crazy :P

I... what? How would that lovely piece of awesome be involved? For hallucinations, maybe?

Also I'm tempted to sig that.

2009-06-19, 05:26 PM
Crazy characters use to have low wisdom: Low perception, sometimes sightly confused about what happens around them, etcetera.
No. Wisdom is, like the other ability scores, a combination of traits. If all "crazy" characters had this, then they would also be easy to dominate and surprise. But you could have a "crazy" character who resists domination or who is wary.

And Madness cleric domain makes you crazier than you were before, by making you lose wisdom again. Which is terrible considering how clerics use WIS.

So, yeah, you might say Wisdom controls Sanity.
Because fiddling with wisdom is a way to gimp characters, the madness domain gives its cleric a madness bonus to spells and saves. Similarly, in the original prc, as an alienist prc gained levels, he became more "insane", and so they the wisdom score is lowered but gave a bonus on saves to make up for it.

The best thing is to seperate wisdom from sanity as is done here http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/campaigns/sanity.htm

I'm planning on creating a crazy, deranged schizophrenic Lv. 8(or 9) wizard for my next character. Are there any rules on schizophrenia in Dragon or anywhere? Any suggestions?

Insane wizard? Easy. There are plenty of examples in the game like Zagyg and Halaster Blackcloak. Just pick whatever stereotyped insanity you want and have fun with it.

This type of encounter can even be made with a wizard much higher level than the party. Since the wizard is insane, you can justify any act including NOT killing the party even if the party attacks the wizard first.

I remember an old Dungeon adventure where a 7th level party encounters an old but insane lich in his long forgotten magic academy. The crazy lich thinks the party members are his old students when he first meets them and starts lecturing them. If they angered him, he might chide them with a slap on the wrist (paralyzing touch). Eventually he would wander away muttering to himself. But he would come back now and then to remind the students of something or other. The party was not meant to destroy the lich but to find what they were after in the magic lab without getting the lich angry. If they were foolish enough to attack the lich directly, the lich would get really angry and defend itself. But you could stop short of a TPK by having the lich "forgive" the "prank" the "students" had played on him. After all, he was crazy.

2009-06-19, 06:13 PM
Oh, thanks. I didn't realize it was an actual article :smallsmile: And that Sanity page looks very useful. I hadn't seen it before on SRD.

2009-06-19, 07:23 PM
Or you can always do the non-sequiter shtick like cap'n fang from yafgc or murdock from the a-team. Play it for laughs. Stuff like

Dm: the king asks you to introduce yourselves

Player 1: john of newcastle, my sword is at your service your majesty

Crazy wizard: I don't like rabbits!

and leave it to the other players to explain. And stuff like

Dm: the goblins attack

Crazy player: I cast a fireball and shout "Knees and toes! Knees and toes!"