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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default A corruption system for 3.5 D&D/D20 Modern (and maybe 5e)

    I want to make a cosmic horror style campaign, but I don't like a lot of the various 'sanity' systems, as they seem random or kind of twitchy when it comes to describing mental health issues. I want a system that's less 'I went bonkers because I saw Cthulhu', and more 'exposure to an alien being started my drift towards being alien myself'. So I pulled something out of my behind and wrote it down, and I'm posting looking for feedback, cause it's very rough and not yet balanced. Once I get it to where I like it, I intend to do a 5e version as well.

    Mentality Rules


    Beginning Mentality All PC's start with a beginning Mentality equal to their lowest mental stat times 5. They take damage to this score from casting spells, seeing things they were not meant to see, encountering things from other worlds, etc. Maximum possible Mentality is your highest mental stat times 5. Mentality is effectively the defense humanity has evolved against the things from Outside. While it's in place, humans reject the 'supernatural', and the Outside doesn't bother with them unless they get in the way. Once it's gone, you can interact with them, and they can interact with you, because technically you are now one of them. They no longer seem alien and impossible to understand, and they see you the same way.


    Losing Mentality Whenever a PC encounters something from Outside (or something that significantly affects their view of reality), he or she must make a Willpower Save (DC is given below) or take the appropriate amount of Mentality loss. Once Mentality reaches 0, that character becomes "incurably mad" in the eyes of his fellows, and is retired from the game as they are effectively dead (or have joined the other side). Their mind is a shattered wreck and they are incapable of doing much of anything but scream, and fight. There is however a possibility they simply become an Outsider with the Native Subtype, particularly if they have the appropriate Knowledge skill, can cast spells, or have been exposed to 'Monsters' quite a bit, or their Mortality has also reached 0. Instead of their mind shattering, they effectively spontaneously alter into an alien life form that no longer shares anything in common with humanity (they are still NPC's). They'll remember what it's like to be human (or mortal), but that memory will fade with time, along with any compassion or understanding for their former species. They'll also slowly stop looking human as well. Should a PC roll a Natural 1 on a Willpower Save to avoid Mentality damage, or take more than 20% of their current Mentality all at once (or within 1 hour), they will develop a Temporary Difficulty detailed below.


    If players are subject to Temporary Difficulty, have them roll a Willpower Save, DC 15. If they succeed Temporary Difficulty lasts 1d10 Rounds, if they fail it's 1d10 Hours. If they roll a Natural 1, it's 1d10 Days. If during Temporary Difficulty the PC loses up to 20% of their current Mentality again (or if they ever lose 20% of their maximum Mentality in one hour or less), they gain a Permanent Difficulty, rendering them incapable of functioning for (20 minus Wisdom Score days) and providing permanent symptoms thereafter (See Difficulties listed below). For Mentality Loss due to monsters and events consult the chart below (Mentality damage listed before the slash is for a successful Save, damage listed after is for an unsuccessful Save). Difficulties result from psychic contamination by things from Outside, and are the minds way of adapting to this new reality.


    Regaining Mentality

    There are several ways to regain Mentality damage (note that none of these allow you to exceed your maximum Mentality):

    Defeating Things from Outside: If a PC's loss of Mentality is due to exposure to a creature of some sort, killing or defeating it results in the PC regaining the Mentality lost at a rate of (Wis modifier, minimum of 1) points per day. Some particularly powerful beings can permanently effect PC's, and this will be listed in their entry.

    Closing the Gate: If the PC's loss of Mentality is due to exposure to some form of alien energy or event, successfully stopping the source of contamination also results in the PC regaining the Mentality lost at (Wis modifier, minimum of 1) points per day.

    By increasing their mental stats: If the stat their Mentality is based on increases, so does their Mentality. For every permanent +1 to that mental stat they gain +5 Mentality.

    Not casting spells: If the PC's Mentality loss is caused by spellcasting, they can regain one point of Mentality each day they refrain from using spells. Some class features may give you the ability to "get used to" casting spells.



    Event Me Loss

    Encounter a monster from Outside (DC equals 10 plus 1/2 creatures Hit Dice plus Charisma Modifier), Mental Fortitude loss depends on the creature's Hit Dice (note some Monsters vary from this, and that will be reflected in their statblock):

    Less than 1 Hit Die: 0/1

    1HD: 0/1d4

    2-3 HD: 0/1d6

    4-5 HD: 1/1d8

    6-7 HD: 1d3/1d10

    8+ HD: 1d4/1d20

    Spells: Listed in spells description.

    See an unexplainable phenomena only attributable to the supernatural that isn't apparently dangerous (but still unsettling) (DC 14, o/1d3) or DC 15 (0/1d4) or DC 16 (0/1d6)

    Meet someone you know to be dead, or other potentially dangerous phenomena only attributable to the supernatural (DC 17) 0/1d8

    See a corpse rise from the grave, or another obviously dangerous phenomena only attributable to the supernatural (DC 20) 0/1d10

    Confront a deity (DC equals 10 plus 1/2 Deities Hit Dice plus Charisma Modifier i.e. you aren't making it) 1d10/1d100


    Temporary Difficulty Options


    If the PC gains temporarily difficulties, the DM chooses whichever of the following is most appropriate:

    Gains the Frightened condition.

    Intense but temporary Phobia (see Phobia below, Base Save to approach object of phobia is DC 20, Penalty increases to -4)


    If the PC rolled a Natural 1 on the Save, DM's may also choose from the following:

    Gains the Panicked condition.

    Temporarily gains any of the Permanent Difficulties listed below.




    Permanent Difficulty



    If the PC gains permanent Difficulty they may suffer from one of the following Difficulties:


    Behavior: The PC gains unusual beliefs or behaviors after exposure to the Outside. You become a little more alien, as you begin thinking like one. In game terms, the character takes a -4 penalty on all Charisma based checks (except Intimidation) against other creatures who aren't from Outside. In addition, the attitudes of NPCs the character encounters are shifted in a negative direction. When determining NPC attitudes, the player must make an Opposed Bluff vs Sense Motive check for the character. On a failed check, the attitude of the NPC in question shifts one step toward hostile; on a successful check, the attitude is determined as normal. The PC also gains a +2 Resistance Bonus on Willpower Saves, as they are now less susceptible to mental shocks, having already changed in their way of thinking.


    Fetish: The subject has an object without which they cannot rest or feel safe, possibly because they feel it keeps the Outside at bay (which it might). If it is taken from them they will go mad with fear trying to get it back, and will likely agree to nearly anything to regain it's possession, including violence. Until it is returned they suffer a -4 on all rolls. If it is destroyed, or not returned within a week this will eventually convey symptoms similar to Stress (see below). While in possession of the Fetish, the PC can ignore any Damage Reduction opponents may have.


    Nightmares: The PC suffers from frequent, horrifyingly violent nightmares because off what they have been exposed to. This is their mind trying to sort out new information. Each night as they go to sleep the PC must make a DC 10 Willpower Save, which increases by +1 each day (meaning they will fail eventually). If they fail, their sleep is interrupted by nightmares and they gain no rest, and are Fatigued until they gain at least 8 hours sleep. Unfortunately, they now fear the nightmares, and will do whats necessary to stay awake. A living creature can go without sleep for a number of days equal to its Constitution modifier (minimum one). Thereafter it is fatigued, remaining in this state for a number of days equal to its Constitution modifier (again, minimum one); if it would become Fatigued during that time, it is Exhausted instead. Each day after that period, the creature takes 1 point of Wisdom damage. Once Wisdom hits 0, the PC is out of the game until they can be forcefully put to sleep as they are now suffering from a particularly violent form of sleep deprivation induced symptoms, and are effectively an NPC until they can get rest. Ironically, this constant exposure to fear in their dreams renders them immune to Fear effects in the waking world.


    Phobia: The PC has an unreasonable or irrational fear related to exposure to specific objects or situations. As a result, the affected person tends to actively avoid direct contact with the objects or situations and, in severe cases, any mention or depiction of them. The fear can, in fact, be disabling to their daily lives. This isn't necessarily fear of something they have encountered. For example, if the PC has been trapped alongside a light fearing species, it may pick up that fear, even though it has no physical reason to fear light. A DC 15 Willpower check is required for a character to be able to force herself into (or remain within) the presence of the object of her phobia, and even then the character takes a -2 Morale Penalty to all rolls as long as the object of fear remains. In severe cases, the object of the phobia is imagined to be omnipresent, perhaps hidden—thus, someone with severe acrophobia (fear of heights) might be frightened when in an enclosed room on the upper story of a building, even if there were no window or other way to see how high up the room was. The difference between this and Phobia (Greater) is that the object of the Phobia is potentially avoidable. The subject of Phobia (Greater) is either omnipresent, or cyclical and unavoidable (such as nightfall), and thus the penalty is effectively always on. The presence of the object you fear enables you to move normally as long as it is present, even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web. You automatically succeeds on any grapple check made to resist a grapple attempt, as well as on grapple checks or Escape Artist checks made to escape a grapple or a pin.


    Stress: After exposure to the Outside, the PC develops problems with anxiety, a loss of interest in life, possibly some paranoia, and nightmares and flashbacks inspired by the original event. This represents their minds ongoing inability to accept what it has learned. This causes them to take a -2 Morale Penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, and checks. When under severe stress such as being wounded, cursed, suffering a negative status condition, or other calamity they must make a DC 15 Willpower Save to avoid the Penalty increasing to -4 temporarily. If they succeeds in making the Save they must continue to make a daily Save with the Save DC increasing by a cumulative +1 each day until the problem goes away or they fail. Once whatever is causing the increased difficulty is removed, the PC gets a DC 15 Willpower Save to snap back out of it each day, and return to only having a -2 Penalty. Additionally when the Penalty is at the -4 level, the PC must make a DC 15 Willpower Save to allow themselves to be convinced to perform any action that will require a Skill Check, Saving Throw, or Opposed Check of any kind. They gets a +1 to the Check per Ally who successfully makes a DC 15 Diplomacy Check against him (perversely he also takes a -1 Penalty for every Ally who fails that Diplomacy Check). On the plus side, you can't gain any more Difficulties, either Temporary or Permanent.


    Extremely powerful entities such as Gods or the most powerful monsters can cause minor strokes or other physical damage which may result in Difficulties listed in individual Deity entries, or one of the following (It should be noted these are not common and usually only result as Permanent as opposed to Temporary Difficulties):

    Alienation: The PC believes some physical aspect of themselves is flawed. The PC undergoes extravagant lengths to hide their "flaw", sometimes leading to illness or self-harm. If their flaw is exposed and mentioned, the PC will often fly into a Rage (as per the Barbarian Ability listed in the PHB) and blindly attack the exposer, and then anyone within reach (the Rage will end when no one is standing and fighting back). In some cases they see the flaw as a curse, or corruption due to contact with the Outside. They might also believe they are turning into something inhuman, or at least a part of them is (which it may very well be). You gain a +1 Inherent Bonus to any physical ability score.


    Cannibalistic Impulses aka Wendigo Psychosis: The PC begins to hunger for his own kind after exposure. Each day the afflicted PC must make a DC 10 Willpower Save or feel compelled to eat human flesh. For each day they succeed, the Check takes cumulative -1 Penalty (meaning they will eventually fail). If the Willpower Save is failed he will attack someone if sufficiently provoked, and will begin to warn others he is a danger to them. He will be agitated, and aggressive, taking a -2 Penalty on all Charisma based skill checks other than Intimidation, and on Concentration Checks. If the PC is damaged, suffering the effects of any negative status condition or harmful spell such as Bestow Curse, or under stress they take an additional Penalty to the Willpower Check of -1 (-2 if the problem has persisted more than 1 day). After a second failure the PC will begin to stalk victims with the intent to murder and eat them, and will have to make a DC 20 Willpower Save to refrain from killing anyone they find themselves alone with. After a third failure the victim becomes incoherent and raving and will attack anyone they see until they eat human flesh. After this point they will refuse to eat anything but their own kind, and will eventually starve unless force fed (Presuming of course that they're locked away. If they're free to run about and murder people this is no longer a problem.). You gain a +1 Circumstance Bonus on attack and damage rolls.


    Phobia (Greater): See Phobia above, plus while in the presence of your Phobia, your speed increases +10 feet.





    Mortality Rules



    Beginning Mortality All PC's start with a beginning Mortality equal to their lowest physical stat times 5. They take damage to this score from casting certain spells, being exposed to alien energies or beings, mutations, etc. Maximum possible Mortality is your highest physical stat times 5. Physical Fortitude is the measure of how "human" you are, as well as how mortal you are. Complete loss of Mortality is, in fact, a way of becoming an alien being.


    Losing Mortality Whenever a PC encounters a possible metaphysical event that could alter them physically (or casts a spell), they must make a Fortitude Save (DC is listed with the Spell/Monster/Encounter) or take the appropriate amount of Mortality loss. Once Mortality reaches 0, that character becomes incurably mutated, and is retired from the game as they are effectively dead (or have joined the other side). Their body (and maybe their mind) are no longer human. There is however a possibility they simply become an Outsider with the Native Subtype, particularly if they have the appropriate Knowledge skill, can cast spells, or have been exposed to Monsters quite a bit (in which case they are still an NPC), or their Mentality has also fallen to 0. Should a PC roll a Natural 1 on a Fortitude Save to avoid Mortality damage, or take more than 20% of their current Mortality all at once (or within 1 hour), they will develop a Temporary Mutation detailed below. Mutations are changes within the body due to exposure to the Outside.


    If players are subject to Temporary Mutation have them roll a Fortitude Save, DC 15. If they succeed Temporary Mutation lasts 1d10 Rounds, if they fail it's 1d10 Hours. If they roll a Natural 1, it's 1d10 Days. If during Temporary Mutation the PC loses up to 20% of their current Mortality again (or if they ever lose 20% of their maximum Mortality in one hour or less), they gain a Permanent Mutation, rendering them incapable of functioning for (20 minus Constitution Score weeks) and providing Permanent Mutation symptoms thereafter (See Permanent Mutations below). Mortality damage listed before the slash in entries is for a successful Save, damage listed after is for an unsuccessful Save).



    Regaining Mortality



    There are several ways to regain Mortality damage (note that none of these allow you to exceed your maximum Physical Fortitude):

    Defeating Things from Outside: If a PC's loss of Mortality is due to exposure to a creature of some sort, killing or defeating it results in the PC regaining the Mortality lost at a rate of (Con modifier, minimum of 1) points per day. Some particularly powerful beings can permanently effect PC's, and this will be listed in their entry.

    Closing the Gate: If the PC's loss of Mortality is due to exposure to some form of alien energy or event, successfully stopping the source of contamination also results in the PC regaining the Mortality lost at (Con modifier, minimum of 1) points per day.

    By increasing their physical stats: If the stat their Mortality is based on increases, so does their Mortality. For every permanent +1 to that physical stat they gain +5 Mortality.

    Not casting spells: If the PC's Physical Fortitude loss is caused by spellcasting, they can regain one point of Mortality each day they refrain from using spells. Some class features may give you the ability to "get used to" casting spells.


    Event Mo Loss

    Encounter a monster from Outside with the Infectious ability (DC equals 10 plus 1/2 creatures Hit Dice plus Charisma Modifier), Mortality loss depends on the creature's Hit Dice (note some Monsters vary from this, and that will be reflected in their statblock):

    Less than 1 Hit Die: 0/1

    1HD: 0/1d4

    2-3 HD: 0/1d6

    4-5 HD: 1/1d8

    6-7 HD: 1d3/1d10

    8+ HD: 1d4/1d20

    Spells: Listed in spells description.

    Exposure to an unexplainable phenomena only attributable to the supernatural that isn't apparently dangerous (but still unsettling) (DC 14, o/1d3) or DC 15 (0/1d4) or DC 16 (0/1d6)

    Exposure to a potentially dangerous phenomena only attributable to the supernatural (DC 17) 0/1d8

    Exposure to an obviously dangerous phenomena only attributable to the supernatural (DC 20) 0/1d10

    Confront a deity (DC equals 10 plus 1/2 Deities Hit Dice plus Charisma Modifier i.e. you aren't making it) 1d10/1d100



    Temporary Mutations Options



    If the PC is temporarily mutated, choose whichever of the following is most appropriate:


    Gains the Sickened Condition.

    Intense but temporary Physical Wasting (see Physical Wasting below, increase the Penalty to -4)


    If the PC rolled a Natural 1 on the Save, DM's may also choose from the following:

    Gains the Nauseated condition.

    Temporarily gains one of the Permanent Mutations listed below.


    Permanent Mutations


    If the PC is permanently mutated they may suffer from one of the following disorders:


    Biological Immortality: You do not age, and will no longer die by other than violent means. You are immune to disease, poison, death effects and aging effects. You cannot die from lack of air, food or water, and if such brings you to 0 hit points you enter a comatose state until exposed to air or given food and water. On the downside, you tire easily, taking a -2 Penalty on all Strength or Constitution based ability and skill checks, as well as Fortitude Saves.


    Dermatological Disruption: You have a skin condition that hampers you. Whether festering sores, peeling skin or some more arcane issue, you find anything touching you to be painful. Your condition gives you a -4 Penalty on all Charisma related Skill Checks, other than Intimidation which gains a +4 Bonus. People fear you on sight, or more accurately fear you are contagious and will not touch you or come near you (the attitude of NPC's who do not know you or about your condition is rarely better than hostile). In addition, heavy clothing is quite painful. The Max Dexterity Bonus of any Armor you might wear is reduced by 2, and the Check Penalty is increased by 4. Even simple clothing has a max Dex Bonus of 8 and a Check Penalty of -2. You gain DR x/-, where x is equal to your Constitution Modifier. You also gain a +2 circumstance Bonus on saving throws against disease.


    Dietary Supplementation: Your new body craves some substance that the human species does not normally require to survive (fresh blood or cerebrospinal fluid are cliche options). You must consume a small amount of whatever substance is required of you once every 24 hours. If you do not then you are Fatigued until you do. If you go a second day without it you take 1 point of non-healing Constitution damage for each day you do not consume your required substance. Once you feed again, you are no longer Fatigued, and begin healing 1 Con per Round. Optionally, no matter how much you eat you simply don't seem to absorb the nutrients properly, and begin wasting away. To avoid starvation you must drink at least 2 gallons of fluid and eat 4 pounds of food a day. You begin to suffer from thirst or starvation after 24 hours, and have a -2 Penalty on the Constitution Checks meant to avoid damage from thirst or starvation. You take 1d6 lethal damage if you fail instead of non-lethal. Characters who take damage are still Fatigued, but become Exhausted if they go more than 48 hours without food or water. On the plus side you gain a +2 Circumstance Bonus to all rolls for 8 hours after feeding.


    Physical Wasting: Your body has been altered in ways that cause you physical problems, such as lethargy, and vulnerability to some effects such as exposure to the elements. In addition to taking double damage from exposure to the heat or cold, you take a -2 Penalty on all Attack and Damage rolls, Skill Checks and Fortitude/Reflex Saving Throws. But your brain has been altered in beneficial ways, and gain a +4 Resistance Bonus on Willpower Saves. A number of times per day equal to your Wisdom modifier, you may re-roll any result of 1 on a Willpower Saving Throw.


    Sensory Impairment: Your hearing or sight is in some way impaired. If the impairment is aural, usually you become Deaf, but you may instead become incredibly sensitive to sound, suffering pain from loud noises. You automatically fail Listen Checks do to the massive cacophony, but take a -4 Penalty to Initiative and Attack and rolls due to the massive pain. Some people permanently deafen themselves to finally cure the pain. Optionally attacks doing Sonic damage do not need to roll to confirm criticals against them, and automatically do maximum damage. If your vision is impaired in some way, you are usually Blinded. Optionally you are Dazzled in even faint light, and must make a DC 20 Fortitude Save if exposed to sudden, bright light or be Stunned for 1d3 rounds. If your sight is impaired, you gain Blindsight with a range of 30 feet as long as you don't also become deaf. If your hearing is impaired, you gain Tremorsense with a range of 30 feet.



    Extremely powerful entities such as Gods or the most powerful monsters can cause alterations listed below, which will be listed with their entry:


    Infected: You become a carrier of disease or parasites. Exactly which will be determined by the Event or creature you encounter as it will be listed with them. You do not suffer the normal ill effects of infection, but you do manage to spread it far and wide. NPC's who discover your condition will be hostile to you, and attempts will be made on your life to end the 'plague'. You do suffer some minor ill effects such as mild fever and fatigue, so you do get a -1 Penalty to all Attack and damage rolls, Skill Checks and Saving Throws. Prolonged infection from this condition may result in harsher problems (which will be listed with the causal creature or Event). The Save DC to avoid infection for those coming in contact with you is 10 plus 1/2 HD plus Con modifier. You can be infected with any disease listed as being infectious by Contact.


    Toxic: Your blood or sweat is toxic to humankind (and unfortunately to you as well). Against others of your kind, your blood is a contact poison with a Save DC equal to 10 plus half your Hit Dice plus your Con Modifier. Initial and Secondary damage is 1d4 Con. You have more resistance to it, but you are Exhausted as long as you have this condition.


    Vulnerable: A common substance is now toxic to you, or you are in some way easier to kill. Common cliches include sunlight and silver. You take 1d6 damage per round you are exposed to this substance. On the plus side, you are now immune to poisons, disease, aging and nonlethal damage.
    Last edited by Bhu; 2022-12-04 at 01:12 AM.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A corruption system for 3.5 D&D/D20 Modern (and maybe 5e)

    No one has any thoughts?
    Revised avatar by Trixie, New avvie by Crisis21!
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: A corruption system for 3.5 D&D/D20 Modern (and maybe 5e)

    General thoughts:
    Mental Fortitude damage/Physical Fortitude damage is a somewhat unwieldy term- perhaps 'mental/physical disruption'?

    Have you looked at Unknown Army's treatment of mental damage? Characters have explicit 'tracks' of trauma- for example, someone affected by mind control or memory alteration could be forced to make a check or lose Self as they question their own identity. These tracks influence skill checks- high Self helps Knowledge, while low Self helps Lie.
    Tracks appropriate for a D&D adventurer might be Significance (the heroic belief that you can make a true difference in an uncaring world), Unnatural (the world operates on natural, familiar, processes), Safety (bodily stability as well as physical power), Humanity/Dwarfliness (identification as being part of a community, being physically human/dwarf/elf), etc.

    I want a system that's less 'I went bonkers because I saw Cthulhu', and more 'exposure to an alien being started my drift towards being alien myself'.
    I'm not sure that this accomplishes this goal. Temporary Insanity is very high-variance, and the nastier conditions do very much feel like "I saw a zombie be revived so I took a condition for 1dX hours'. There's not much of a drift towards an alien outlook- the Permanent Difficulty effects from mental fortitude feel more like coping methods (fetish as 'safety object', fear as 'something you flee', nightmares as having nightmares about what you saw). The physical temporary difficulties being a near-copy of mental temporary difficulties doesn't help. Additionally, the way in which you need to have your thresholds 'overwhelmed' twice (take 20% of current fortitude twice in a row) doesn't really capture that feeling of gradual alteration.

    It might be useful to replace temporary difficulties with 'minor' permanent difficulties that have primarily flavor or very minor effects- a mutation where your hair falls out or your blood permanently changes color, for example, would help produce that mood of gradual corruption.



    Specific thoughts:
    Encounter a monster from Outside (DC equals 10 plus 1/2 Deities Hit Dice plus Charisma Modifier), Mental Fortitude loss depends on the creature's Hit Dice (note some Monsters vary from this, and that will be reflected in their statblock):

    Less than 1 Hit Die: 0/1

    1HD: 0/1d4

    2-3 HD: 0/1d6

    4-5 HD: 1/1d8

    6-7 HD: 1d3/1d10

    8+ HD: 1d4/1d20
    There's a large spike in the amount of damage dealt between 6-7 and 8 HD on a failed save.

    More generally, the rate at which you take damage from encounters with Outsiders will increase with level, but most sources of regaining MF are fairly flat with level- you can gain 2d6 per level from maxing a skill (which is a little odd mechanically since AFAIK you gain skill points as you level up, not during the course of a level), one stat point is always 5 MF, etc. You don't get that much of an increased pool size with level, in contrast to hit points where your health scales up quickly as you level.

    This does mean that MF will be pretty low importance at low levels, when I'd normally expect cosmic horror to be at its most shocking to the inexperienced mind; since PCs should have around 40-50 starting mental fortitude and probably gain around 2d6/level, I'd guess that it will take either a large number of encounters in an hour or a nat 1 before anything difficulty-related happens from levels 1-4.

    Meet someone you know to be dead, or other potentially dangerous phenomena only attributable to the supernatural (DC 17) 0/1d8

    See a corpse rise from the grave, or another obviously dangerous phenomena only attributable to the supernatural (DC 20) 0/1d10
    Eating my words immediately. Would an Outsider count as a 'potentially dangerous phenomena'? This feels like more appropriate than the 'outsider damage' table by HD- the save DCs are higher until you hit very high levels, and the damage is more threatening. I'd guess 2-3 failed saves in an hour would cause temporary insanity for most characters.

    Temporary Difficulty Options


    If the PC gains temporarily difficulties, the DM chooses whichever of the following is most appropriate:


    Gains one of the following conditions: Confused, Cowering, Flat-Footed, Frightened, Sickened.

    Intense but temporary Phobia (see Phobia below, Base Save to approach object of phobia is DC 20, Penalty increases to -4)
    1d10 hours of Confusion is... nasty.
    For the 'nat 1' case, it's worth noting that the condition would last 1d10 days:
    If players are subject to Temporary Difficulty, have them roll a Willpower Save, DC 15. If they succeed Temporary Difficulty lasts 1d10 Rounds, if they fail it's 1d10 Hours. If they roll a Natural 1, it's 1d10 Days. If during Temporary Difficulty the PC loses up to 20% of their current Mental Fortitude again (or if they ever lose 20% of their maximum Mental Fortitude in one hour or less), they gain a Permanent Difficulty, rendering them incapable of functioning for (20 minus Wisdom Score weeks) and providing permanent symptoms thereafter (See Difficulties listed below).
    This means that if the DM is using paralysis, nausea, or unconsciousness, there's effectively a 5% chance per player per source of MF damage that a character is essentially knocked out of the rest of the adventure (and if there's an active combat, they're quite certainly out of the encounter). For a party of 4, that's a 19% chance per encounter. I think it's about as likely that someone rolls a natural 1 before anyone hits the 20% threshold.
    Last edited by aimlessPolymath; 2022-11-09 at 03:08 PM.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A corruption system for 3.5 D&D/D20 Modern (and maybe 5e)

    I'll try to get edits posted by this weekend. Thanks for the feedback!

    How about mental/physical stability as a name?

    Edit: Got some minor edits up, major ones will have to wait.
    Last edited by Bhu; 2022-11-10 at 01:39 AM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: A corruption system for 3.5 D&D/D20 Modern (and maybe 5e)

    Mental/physical stability could make sense- I think you could maybe get it down to one word, though. Perhaps Mentality and Mortality?
    Mental Fortitude is effectively the defense humanity has evolved against the things from Outside.
    Physical Fortitude is the measure of how "human" you are, as well as how mortal you are. Complete loss of Physical Fortitude is, in fact, a way of becoming an alien being.

    Thinking about current difficulty mechanics, my current intuition on the 'story' they tell is as follows:
    Mental Fortitude is a 'defense' against the Outside- it's eroded gradually. Large losses in a short period can cause madness as a coping method, or a side effect of mental damage- i.e. Permanent Mental Difficulty doesn't represent your defenses eroding and your perspective changing, it's a product of your mind reacting to those defenses having taken two big hits in a row.

    PF is your humanity. Temporary Difficulty giving conditions makes some sense- being sickened by changing too much in a short period (internally incompatible biology, revulsion at the self, allergic to something weird, etc). Permanent Difficulties make less sense to me- why does being altered twice in a row cause permanent mutations (doesn't PF damage already represent your humanity loss)? The permanent mental difficulty makes sense as a reaction to seeing yourself be changed drastically, but this is a bit less clear.
    Last edited by aimlessPolymath; 2022-11-10 at 03:13 PM.
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    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

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    Default Re: A corruption system for 3.5 D&D/D20 Modern (and maybe 5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    Mental/physical stability could make sense- I think you could maybe get it down to one word, though. Perhaps Mentality and Mortality?




    Thinking about current difficulty mechanics, my current intuition on the 'story' they tell is as follows:
    Mental Fortitude is a 'defense' against the Outside- it's eroded gradually. Large losses in a short period can cause madness as a coping method, or a side effect of mental damage- i.e. Permanent Mental Difficulty doesn't represent your defenses eroding and your perspective changing, it's a product of your mind reacting to those defenses having taken two big hits in a row.

    PF is your humanity. Temporary Difficulty giving conditions makes some sense- being sickened by changing too much in a short period (internally incompatible biology, revulsion at the self, allergic to something weird, etc). Permanent Difficulties make less sense to me- why does being altered twice in a row cause permanent mutations (doesn't PF damage already represent your humanity loss)? The permanent mental difficulty makes sense as a reaction to seeing yourself be changed drastically, but this is a bit less clear.
    I'm switching to Mentality/Mortality, so I'm using that if it's ok with you. Did another round of edits, with hopefully more to come tomorrow.
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    Default Re: A corruption system for 3.5 D&D/D20 Modern (and maybe 5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhu View Post
    I'm switching to Mentality/Mortality, so I'm using that if it's ok with you.
    That's fine with me!
    Did another round of edits, with hopefully more to come tomorrow.
    I'm holding off on a full reread until all the edits are in. Looking forwards to it.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

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    Default Re: A corruption system for 3.5 D&D/D20 Modern (and maybe 5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    That's fine with me!

    I'm holding off on a full reread until all the edits are in. Looking forwards to it.
    Mostly I just need to balance the difficulties/mutations against one another (and maybe refluff them).
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    Default Re: A corruption system for 3.5 D&D/D20 Modern (and maybe 5e)

    Edits are up.
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    Default Re: A corruption system for 3.5 D&D/D20 Modern (and maybe 5e)

    Alright.

    I'll admit I still don't love the dynamic of how Mortality/Mentality is lost and regained, or how Permanent effects are gained- I don't really get what the intent/narrative is for that aspect.

    My general read:

    Should a PC roll a Natural 1 on a Willpower Save to avoid Mentality damage, or take more than 20% of their current Mentality all at once (or within 1 hour), they will develop a temporary form of Difficulty detailed below.


    If players are subject to Temporary Difficulty, have them roll a Willpower Save, DC 15. If they succeed Temporary Difficulty lasts 1d10 Rounds, if they fail it's 1d10 Hours. If they roll a Natural 1, it's 1d10 Days. If during Temporary Difficulty the PC loses up to 20% of their current Mentality again (or if they ever lose 20% of their maximum Mentality in one hour or less), they gain a Permanent Difficulty, rendering them incapable of functioning for (20 minus Wisdom Score days) and providing permanent symptoms thereafter (See Difficulties listed below). For Mentality Loss due to monsters and events consult the chart below (Mentality damage listed before the slash is for a successful Save, damage listed after is for an unsuccessful Save). Difficulties result from psychic contamination by things from Outside, and are the minds wy of adapting to this new reality.
    Should a PC roll a Natural 1 on a Fortitude Save to avoid Mortality damage, or take more than 20% of their current Mortality all at once (or within 1 hour), they will develop a temporary form of mutation detailed below. Mutations are changes within the body due to exposure to the Outside.


    If players are subject to Temporary Mutation have them roll a Fortitude Save, DC 15. If they succeed Temporary Mutation lasts 1d10 Rounds, if they fail it's 1d10 Hours. If they roll a Natural 1, it's 1d10 Days. If during Temporary Mutation the PC loses up to 20% of their current Mortality again (or if they ever lose 20% of their maximum Mortality in one hour or less), they gain a Permanent Mutation, rendering them incapable of functioning for (20 minus Constitution Score weeks) and providing permanent symptoms thereafter (See Mutations listed below). Mortality damage listed before the slash in entries is for a successful Save, damage listed after is for an unsuccessful Save).
    These are very similar dynamics between both sides- players gradually lose their defenses over time, with an increasing probability (but never less than 5%) of suffering Difficulty/Mutation with each exposure.

    Multiple exposures in an hour are the most likely cause of putting you at risk of permanent effects, though exposure to 8+HD outsiders can also cause permanent effects on a failed save...which instantly takes a player out of play for at least a month, likely two or more. Is this an intended dynamic? It seems as though the majority of the long-term impacts here (permanent difficulty / mutations, since Mentality/Mortality tend to recover quickly given rest) are only gained through a process that takes players out of the game for multiple adventures.


    Mortality loss:
    Event Mo Loss

    Encounter a monster from Outside with the Infectious ability (DC equals 10 plus 1/2 creatures Hit Dice plus Charisma Modifier), Mortality loss depends on the creature's Hit Dice (note some Monsters vary from this, and that will be reflected in their statblock):

    Less than 1 Hit Die: 0/1

    1HD: 0/1d4

    2-3 HD: 0/1d6

    4-5 HD: 1/1d8

    6-7 HD: 1d3/1d10

    8+ HD: 1d4/1d20

    Spells: Listed in spells description.

    Exposure to an unexplainable phenomena only attributable to the supernatural that isn't apparently dangerous (but still unsettling) (DC 14, o/1d3) or DC 15 (0/1d4) or DC 16 (0/1d6)

    Exposure to a potentially dangerous phenomena only attributable to the supernatural (DC 17) 0/1d8

    Exposure to an obviously dangerous phenomena only attributable to the supernatural (DC 20) 0/1d10

    Confront a deity (DC equals 10 plus 1/2 Deities Hit Dice plus Charisma Modifier i.e. you aren't making it) 1d10/1d100
    The 'exposure' sections appear copied from the Mentality sections, and make little sense- why would the explicability of the source matter?

    The ways in which Mentality and Mortality are lost feel like the weakest point of this system to me- there's no sense of gradual change, you just see something scary and go temporarily crazy.
    I want to make a cosmic horror style campaign, but I don't like a lot of the various 'sanity' systems, as they seem random or kind of twitchy when it comes to describing mental health issues. I want a system that's less 'I went bonkers because I saw Cthulhu', and more 'exposure to an alien being started my drift towards being alien myself'.
    The long-term conditions here are better than CoC's, but the manner in which they're inflicted is the thing I have the most problem with- there's no real long-term corruption, just a series of temporary influences which all fade over time (some of which, rarely, cause longer-term permanent 'scars' to accumulate, marked by long periods of covalescence).
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

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    Default Re: A corruption system for 3.5 D&D/D20 Modern (and maybe 5e)

    Let me get a chance to sit down and read your feedback, and I'll do another update. Work has imploded right now and I'll probably need to focus on it till the weekend. With luck it all settles down by next week.
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    Default Re: A corruption system for 3.5 D&D/D20 Modern (and maybe 5e)

    Okay, I'm gonna chuck this for now and revamp it later. Between other projects and work overtime my creativity is a bit drained.
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