I was recently reminded of the Madness rules I wrote.

I was recently reminded of the Madness rules I wrote.

I was recently reminded of the Madness rules I wrote. I think this is the same version I posted before. Maybe someone will catch the easter egg this time!


Madness is a new stat that measures your slow descent into insanity. Madness starts at 0.

When you are confronted with a scene of true horror, be it monster or event, roll +Wis. On a 10+, you manage to stay in control. On a 7-9, you take -1 ongoing until the source of terror is gone or dealt with. On a 6 or less, you gain a point of Madness and must flee, panic, beg, or fight.


For every point of Madness you have, you take -1 forward when Defying Danger with WIS, or when you are are confronted with a scene of true horror.

Your Madness Threshold is the highest of your INT or WIS, plus one point each at levels 3, 6, and 9.

Price of Insanity

At the start of the session, if your Madness is above your Madness Threshold, you must perform one of the following:

• Take a Debility to any of your stats, and remove a point of Madness.

• Take a Madness Bond, and remove a point of Madness

• Take a Fear Alignment, and remove a point of Madness

• Reliquish control of your character to the GM and create a new character


You can reduce your Madness pool by performing one of the following tasks:

• A Cleric with the “Destruction of Otherworldly Foes” or “Healing and Restoration” domains can use the following new level 3 spell: Restore The Mind – Remove 1 point of Madness from the target.

• A Paladin can use Lay On Hands to transfer a point of Madness from the target to himself instead of healing damage

• A Paladin can take a Quest to remove a point of Madness from any character

• A Ritual can remove a point of Madness from any character

• Take a Debility to any stat to remove one point of Madness

• Take a Madness Bond or Fear Alignment to remove one point of Madness


The following options for basic class moves are added to the base playbooks and do not require Madness to take:


• Tales of Terror and Madness


• The Destruction of Otherworldly Foes

• The Will of the Old Ones


• Your religion spreads like a disease: add Petition: Dive Mad With The Truth

• Your religion fights against the darkness: add Petition: Fearlessness


• The Void Between The Stars

• The Forgotten Deeps


• Immunity to Madness


• Horrifying

When you have at least one point of Madness, you can take the following moves when you level up. If you take one of these moves, your Madness can never drop below 1.

BARD: Voices In Their Heads – You do not need leverage to Parley with someone, but they know you’re doing something weird to their mind.

CLERIC: Speaker for the Old Ones – You can use Turn Undead on creatures of otherworldly origin. It works as per the normal move, but on a 10+ the creatures come under your unwilling control.

DRUID: Shape of Madness – When you Shapeshift, your damage die increases one step, but you gain the Horrifying tag, no matter what you shift into.

FIGHTER: Fanatic’s Fervor – When you deal damage, it’s always considered “messy” and you deal +Madness damage. However, as long as there are valid targets around (friend or foe) you must Defy Danger with WIS to stop fighting.

PALADIN: But Now I See – You have the following additional option on “I Am The Law”: Drive the target mad for a short time. Your list of available vows when Questing is completely replaced by the following list:

• Violence (forbidden: Allowing enemies to live)

• Hedonism (forbidden: Showing restraint)

• Pestilence (forbidden: Healing the sick)

• Chaos (forbidden: Maintaining a status quo)

RANGER: Symbiote – Your animal companion becomes a literal part of you. It can hide inside your body, and gets +1 Ferocity and the Horrifying tag. Even when hidden, there is an obvious Tell that you’ve got something living inside you, such as a sickly wound that never heals, or something crawling under your skin.

THIEF: The Spaces Between Shadows – When you Defy Danger to go unnoticed, you can take 1 Madness to pass through small cracks or gaps you couldn’t normally pass through, or to fit into small places you shouldn’t be able to fit inside.

WIZARD: Power In Madness – When you roll a 6 or less when Casting a Spell or Spouting Lore, you may take 1 Madness to change it to a 7-9 result.

NEW WIZARD MOVE: Profane Ritual

Requires Ritual, a Madness pool of at least one point

When performing a ritual, you can replace any requirement the GM gives you with one of the following:

• Take a point of Madness

• Sacrifice a living being

7 thoughts on “I was recently reminded of the Madness rules I wrote.”

  1. This looks very cool, Sean.  However, I don’t see any rules for a Madness Bond or Fear Alignment.  Could you please post those if you have them?

  2. Tom Miskey Those weren’t mine. When this was originally posted, other people were creating insanity rules as well, and I wanted to add the option to tie into those. Jonathan Walton might know who was writing those since he was compiling them at the time.

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