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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    nonsi's Avatar

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    Default *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    The only rules I'm familiar with are these, and they're... how shall we say it... LONG.


    Does anyone know of any simpler sanity rules ?

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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    The simplest (and possibly best) by far is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd ed.
    Whenever a PC encounters something sanity blasting horrific they must make a Will save. If they fail they gain from 1 to 3 insanity points. If they now have 6 or more total insanity points, they make another save. If they succeed, nothing happens. If they fail, they go back to 0 insanity points and gain a new Disorder.
    There is a big list of possible disorders and their implications for the PC, some of which may cause more insanity points to accrue.
    Last edited by DoomHat; 2011-06-11 at 01:55 AM.
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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    Call of Cthulhu, predictably, has insanity rules, though I'm not sure how simple they are.
    Cthulhutech might also have something.
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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    I thought the whole point was to drive the players, y'know, insane. How can you accomplish that without needlessly complex rules?
    I'd check out Heroes of Horror. They have a Taint mechanic in there that seems to work reasonably well, specifically the Depravity part of it.
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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    Insanity's really more of a roleplaying thing than a mechanics thing, if you ask me.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    Considering how convoluted psychology is, and how much Sanity crosses the line of player autonomy, simple rules are likely to cause quite a few problems.

    The Sanity rules there are long primarily due to the descriptions of neurological disorders. You could simplify them by checking only for certain kinds of insanity, like Temporary.

    Please give something a little clearer than asking for "simple" rules, since our opinions may differ on what that means. The basic mechanic of Call of Cthulhu's Sanity, which is what you linked to, seems simple to me, for instance.

    EDIT: The difference between Warhammer and Call of Cthulhu's Sanity mechanics always fascinated me, as it seems like they are exact opposites of each other. Warhammer, you start at 0, add points, and try to roll above it. Call of Cthulhu, you start high, remove points, and try to roll under it.

    At least that's what I remember of Warhammer, I might be somewhat off or misremembering rules.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-06-11 at 09:08 PM.

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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    1) Your PC gets Sanity Points (SP) equal to the combined total of their mental scores (for D20, that would be INT+WIS+CHA).

    2) Any event that would erode a person's sanity (personal tragedy, horror, dread, paradigm-defying impossibilities, etc.) triggers a Will save. The DC for the save is set by the DM, according the following save difficulty settings:
    • Very easy (DC0)
    • Easy (DC5)
    • Average (DC10)
    • Tough (DC15)
    • Challenging (DC20)
    • Formidable (DC25)
    • Heroic (DC30)
    • Nearly impossible (DC40)

    3) If the PC makes the save, then no SP is lost. If the PC fails the save, then they lose 1d6 SP. The DM may impose a cumulative -1 penalty on the PC's save modifier for every event that has cost them SP, at their discretion (this is the hardcore-er'rybody-kraaazy option).

    4) Once per day, the PC can make another Will save, at DC20. If they make this save, then they regain 1SP.

    5) The only other option is this: Seeing an unnatural creature, whose existence challenges one's sanity, automatically causes 1SP to be lost. Killing this creature, or otherwise neutralizing it, is a mind-affirming experience, & thus the PC regains 1SP for having overcome this abomination. This SP damage can be negated by encountering the same type of creature enough times (1d4+1 times is good enough, in my book), but a creature that does not cause SP damage cannot be used for SP gain. Take it or leave it, it's just a fun option for action-oriented, KitD horror games.

    6) That's all folks. Enjoy.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeta Kai View Post
    Concise rules
    That's pretty much Eternal Darkness d20.

    And I mean that in a nice way.

    Simplifying it further just turns it into mental hit points, which is probably not what you want, so this is probably the simplest you'll get without ruining the reason for sanity rules in the first place.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2011-06-11 at 10:44 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    At least that's what I remember of Warhammer, I might be somewhat off or misremembering rules.
    Your are indeed misremembering. Warhammer is percentile. You have a Will stat. Anytime something would effect your mind, like a successful use of Fellowship or the sight of a gibbering terror from beyond, you roll against your Will stat.
    In the cause of the gibbering terror, if you roll higher then your will(fail), you gain 1 or 2 insanity(lowercase) points. If you now have 6 or more total points, roll Will again. If you fail again, lose all your insanity(lowercase) points and gain a new Insanity(uppercase) either at random or by GM's choice.

    Strangely, Warhammer is a lot more merciful then CoC. In Warhammer you can increase your Will over time with Exp. so the number of crazy points coming in may well decease, and most of the Insanities boil down to interesting (sometimes hilarious) RP suggestions.
    But CoC is a death spiral. The more sanity you lose, more and more you are going to lose.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DoomHat View Post
    Your are indeed misremembering.
    Ah, okay, yeah, I must have been slamming the two stats together.

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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeta Kai View Post
    1) Your PC gets Sanity Points (SP) equal to the combined total of their mental scores (for D20, that would be INT+WIS+CHA).

    2) Any event that would erode a person's sanity (personal tragedy, horror, dread, paradigm-defying impossibilities, etc.) triggers a Will save. The DC for the save is set by the DM, according the following save difficulty settings:
    • Very easy (DC0)
    • Easy (DC5)
    • Average (DC10)
    • Tough (DC15)
    • Challenging (DC20)
    • Formidable (DC25)
    • Heroic (DC30)
    • Nearly impossible (DC40)

    3) If the PC makes the save, then no SP is lost. If the PC fails the save, then they lose 1d6 SP. The DM may impose a cumulative -1 penalty on the PC's save modifier for every event that has cost them SP, at their discretion (this is the hardcore-er'rybody-kraaazy option).

    4) Once per day, the PC can make another Will save, at DC20. If they make this save, then they regain 1SP.

    5) The only other option is this: Seeing an unnatural creature, whose existence challenges one's sanity, automatically causes 1SP to be lost. Killing this creature, or otherwise neutralizing it, is a mind-affirming experience, & thus the PC regains 1SP for having overcome this abomination. This SP damage can be negated by encountering the same type of creature enough times (1d4+1 times is good enough, in my book), but a creature that does not cause SP damage cannot be used for SP gain. Take it or leave it, it's just a fun option for action-oriented, KitD horror games.

    6) That's all folks. Enjoy.
    Very nice

    The only thing that seems to warrant tweaking is the price, based on the assumption that if someone goes "booo" on you and you got scared, the impact should be less potent than if you had a vision of the entire multiverse collapsing.

    Therefore, I'd start with 1sp cost for Very Easy and up the price by +1 for each category beyond.
    Of course, that's just an instant thought off the top of my head and a deeper assessment would be required, but that's a start.

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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    I'd say insanity should only be mechanical if it is (part of) the price for a player's choices.
    For instance, in the Wheel of Time, male spellcaster and members of the Wolfbrother PrC slowly become insane. This is the price for casting too many spells, or losing your mind to a pack, so this is a forced consequence of the player's choice. That warrants mechanical system, yes.

    But forcing characters to a mechanic regardless of the choices they make is... Well; I wouldn't advocate for it. You've got roleplay to deal with situations like that. By forcing certain roles to invest in stats they would otherwise not need to defend themselves from a mechanic that they didn't choose to be a victim of is restricting, and also robs the player of roleplaying the way they want. Ironically, the fearless barbarian or fighter would again be the first to succumb to madness, while the snivveling nerdy, geeky kid with a huge book would be far more mentally resistant to all the horrors that befall them... Makes no sense. When clerks are more courageous and mentally resilient than soldiers, something goes wrong.
    Yes, of course this is a flaw in the system itself. A huge flaw. But it can very well be solved by not implementing everything in the form of a system.

    This is what roleplay is for, I'd say. ^_^

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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    Bravo Dryad! I agree. I hate systems that turn player's decisions into dice rolls. To me, the ideal insanity system would be Warhammer but tweaked so that you only gain insanity if you fail the roll, AND continue to try confronting the horrible thing.
    Give players the option of cowardice, make bravery mean something something beyond, "Look at how high my bravery stat is."
    ...with a vengeance!

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    The sanity system in Unknown Armies is quite good: it has five meters representing different types of stress (helplessness, the unnatural, violence, isolation, and self) and as you make checks you either fail (temporarily incapacitate yourself, and get one step closer to permanent madness) or become more hardened, meaning that in the future you might not need to make a roll at all.

    The main draw is that it doesn't force too many roleplaying effects on the players: it's down to the GM and the player in question to decide what particular kind of permanent insanity they're stuck with. The rulebook also does a very good job of talking about the consequences and effects of some things you might choose.

    On the other hand, UA is designed for modern-day occult it-turns-out-the-real-monsters-are-us horror. If you're trying to do something towards the pulpier edge of Call of Cthulhu, or WFRP's grimdarkness, UA's system probably won't give you what you want.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dryad View Post
    I'd say insanity should only be mechanical if it is (part of) the price for a player's choices.
    For instance, in the Wheel of Time, male spellcaster and members of the Wolfbrother PrC slowly become insane. This is the price for casting too many spells, or losing your mind to a pack, so this is a forced consequence of the player's choice. That warrants mechanical system, yes.

    But forcing characters to a mechanic regardless of the choices they make is... Well; I wouldn't advocate for it. You've got roleplay to deal with situations like that. By forcing certain roles to invest in stats they would otherwise not need to defend themselves from a mechanic that they didn't choose to be a victim of is restricting, and also robs the player of roleplaying the way they want. Ironically, the fearless barbarian or fighter would again be the first to succumb to madness, while the snivveling nerdy, geeky kid with a huge book would be far more mentally resistant to all the horrors that befall them... Makes no sense. When clerks are more courageous and mentally resilient than soldiers, something goes wrong.
    Yes, of course this is a flaw in the system itself. A huge flaw. But it can very well be solved by not implementing everything in the form of a system.

    This is what roleplay is for, I'd say. ^_^
    Ok, I get your point.
    So this could be made an optional rule - implementable only when welcom by all participants.
    And just to make more sense regarding who should be more resillient against mantal trauma, it could be reasonable to make it [Str + Con + Wis + base Fort + base Will]
    If you'll thik about it, you'll see it makes a lot of sense.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: *Simple* Insanity rules - is there such a thing ?

    I see why you would argue str, con and base fort as well as wis would be the most important things (to show that warriors are more steadfast than clerks (no offense to clerks; I am one :P)), however, I personally think the biggest flaw in the system is that for warriors, mental stats in the mechanical system are not as important as mental constitution (and flexibility) in reality.

    I would agree with your suggestion because, for any d20 system, your suggestion is simply the most elegant solution to the problem. Sadly, though, it still doesn't reflect reality. Unless, of course, you take the perspective that a lot of the 'constitution' stat actually represents the willpower to go on regardless of the damage one's taken, rather than the actual resilience against damage.
    So bravo. :)

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