View Full Version : Question About Alchemical Sanity Treatments?

2013-09-10, 05:43 PM
Ok, so I'm working on my Lovecraftian fantasy/horror campaign setting for Pathfinder, using the variant sanity rules from the SRD (available here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/campaigns/sanity.htm)), and I'm having trouble deciding whether or not to include any of the rules from the end of the chapter for alchemical sanity treatments. One of the things I'm really aiming for with this setting is for it to be able to support both long-term campaigns with a single group of characters and shorter, more episodic adventures where the heroes die or go insane frequently, and including sanity medication in some form would make the former more plausible--the heroes could keep themselves functional and counteract the damage to their sanity with psychoactive drugs, but because they'd be something rare and valuable in the world, it would be plausible for DMs to deny the PCs access to them if they don't want their game to be like that. On the other hand, I'm concerned about how those rules would fit flavor-wise with the tech level of my world (which is pretty standard high medieval, with nothing Renaissance or steampunk about it). I know there have been cultures that had some skill with cultivating mind-affecting drugs since ancient times, but I don't really know much about the details of how this could work, and I could use some advice.

What do you guys think? Should I include some medication options? And if so, how can I best flavor them to feel more at home in a low-to-medium-magic medieval world?

2013-09-10, 07:12 PM
Alchemical sanity treatments are based on real world anti-psychotics, which take a few weeks to go into full effect. You could modify the rules so that instead of completely curing insanity they instead remove the effects of being insane after a month of use (meaning that going insane eliminates you from shorter games, but not longer ones), and that they have to continue to take them or they go back insane. For long term consequences, you could look up some of the side effects of anti-psychotics.

2013-09-11, 10:58 AM
You could rule that if they fail the DC 25 check to properly craft, dose, and administer the medication, then they don't regain sanity, and might actually lose a bit if they fail by a wide enough margin. Also, they might not be permitted to Take 10 or 20, since dosing is more like a Knowledge check.

The medications take a long time to have any meaningful impact (even when they're properly administered). It's not like you pop a pill and instantly recover. As I recall, it's only 1d3 per month on top of what they're getting from therapy, and there's also a random element involved which can result in setbacks.

Not to mention they might take penalties for forgetting to take their pills herbs every night... Perhaps a DC 5 Wisdom check (natural 1 automatically fails) to remember to take their meds each night the player neglects to mention it :smallbiggrin: