View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other Depression as a disease

2019-07-19, 05:37 PM
I thought that it would be fun to play as a character that has depression (like me), but as far as I can see, there obviously aren't any stat blocks for mental disorders like this, and even if there were, there really wouldn't be any numerical effects on a character.

I thought that I could make depression into a contract able disease, structured in D&D 3.5e.

My initial thoughts were, making a daily will save, or suffering adverse effects for the day, like -2 to initiative, because you aren't really feeling active. Maybe getting some penalties to charisma based skill checks because you aren't feeling very social on this particular day. Or even penalties to your next will save against the disease. There would need to be a whole table. If you succeed a certain number of will saves by a certain amount or more in a row, you have a chance of becoming "cured". Whereas on the downside, if you fail too many of the sves in a row, you have to make harder and harder will saves to prevent yourself from harming yourself, eventually resulting in the inevitable last will save to determine whether or not you commit suicide.

Either way, I may be going overboard with the effects, it's just that I'd like to see my character triumph over depression because I can't.

I'm open for recommendations.

2019-07-19, 09:07 PM
Could implement types of depression medication which if taken gives you a big bonus on your will save. However, if you ever go off your meds and don't take them, then you get a bigger penalty against the associated depression will save. Meds are either expensive and/or have their own negative side effects, which makes people tend to not want to take them and wonder if they really need them. :smallannoyed:

Could also have rules for negative coping methods. Intentional self-harm can be done as a way to get temporary relief from depression effects, and gives you a big bonus or an auto-succeed on your next will save. Of course, you have to put up with the 1d6 damage or whatever the cutting does. Self-harm is also addictive in its own right, and becomes its own "drug" which you have to make will saves against to avoid doing again. :smalleek:

2019-07-21, 06:11 PM
I have always liked the idea of implementing extra risks that could emphasize better the dangerous life of adventures, such as depression, addictions, stress, afflictions, sickness, lingering wounds, etc.

If you find a way to add that is not crippling to your players and actually functions as an extra tool to enrich your world, then go for it!

Squire Doodad
2019-07-24, 09:37 PM
There's a way to use emotions as a technique for improving your character's backstories, worldbuilding, etc., but I don't feel Depression being used as a disease is a good idea. It's highly ambiguous what it means and what it consists of varies so much and even if you assume a standard it just feels wrong to do so. Depression as a result of events tends to be something worked through, not an illness to be cured.

For emotions in gameplay I could see a spell with different elemental attributes based on the user's current emotional state. Actually, having foes who deal different elements and status effects based on mood would be really cool- maybe tie it into the four temperaments to avoid excessively large amounts of classifications.