So, I’m still working on my Horror/Sanity/Eldritch Abomination goodness ruleset.

So, I’m still working on my Horror/Sanity/Eldritch Abomination goodness ruleset.

So, I’m still working on my Horror/Sanity/Eldritch Abomination goodness ruleset.

Right now I’m strongly considering supplying two frameworks for dealing with insanity, mutation, other Bad Things. 

The first is entirely in-fiction, supplying extensive descriptions of what the effects of certain things might be on a character (for example, describing in detail what kleptomania actually does to a real person). This can be used straight up with any system really, but relies on the players being willing to actually roleplay their mental damage.

The second is a more mechanical approach, for those who enjoy a bit of “roll sanity” and madness points (and, optionally, Random Tables).

For the mechanical solution I think I’ll build an “appendix” sheet for use with any regular playbooks, where players can track all the bad things happening to them and their ever dwindling grasp on reality.

Corruption/Madness will work like a kind of “inverted” experience track.

You start out at full sanity, but if you accrue sanity level + X (to be playtested) corruption points, your sanity level will go down

Yes, that means that as your sanity erodes you will sink into madness faster and faster.

Once you pass the halfway point (sanity level 5) you will start drifting further and further from normal reality, allowing the DM many opportunities to Reveal an unwelcome truth or Show signs of an approaching threat. Also tentacles.

The core idea I’m going for here is that the more you are exposed to madness and corruption, your sanity erodes and your character becomes closer and closer to the eldritch horrors he is trying to combat.

Sorry to ramble on, I just wanted to idea-dump and see if people have input 🙂

8 thoughts on “So, I’m still working on my Horror/Sanity/Eldritch Abomination goodness ruleset.”

  1. I like the idea. Not sure how far you are in building the idea, but in case you haven’t given it thought, how about moves that you unlock as you level up insanity. Kinda like moves you would unlock as you would normally level up. Heck, you could have different class play books for insanity even!

  2. Robert Doe Those are in!

    There’s (mostly involuntary) moves related to compulsions for example;

    “If you are near an unattended object of value that would fit in your pocket roll + DEX;

    10+ You pocket the object, and nobody (including you) notices.

    7-9 You pocket the object without anyone immediately noticing, however there may be consequences in the future (need to refine this)

    6- You attempt to pocket the object but someone notices, the GM will tell you who.

    Other things, like mutations/body deformations come with drawbacks, but often also include a useful “perk”.

    Growing a set of gills will allow you to breathe water for example, but if the condition worsens (by mutating further or whatnot) you become fully aquatic.

  3. Here’s a couple of moves that we’ve come up with, feel free to steal.

    When something attempts to control or manipulate your mind, roll+WIS. *On a 10+, you shake it off. *On a 7-9, choose one:

    – You’re stunned for a few moments while you shake it off.

    – You feel a brief compulsion, take -1 forward to act against the source of the effect

    *On a 6-, don’t mark XP yet. Instead, give the GM a notecard with your character’s name on it. 

    When the GM hands you a notecard with your name on it, read the command on the back (to yourself, don’t discuss it with others). Then choose one:

    – Do what it tells you to the best of your abilities, then mark XP and tear up the card.

    – Drop to your knees, clutch your head, and the source of the command deals its damage to you, ignoring armor. Then tear up the card.

    When you steel yourself against extreme pain, stress or horror, roll+WIS or CON, your choice. *On a 10+, you hold it together, and may act as you please. *On a 7-9, choose a reaction from the list. *On a 6-, the GM chooses a reaction from the list. 

    – Run screaming in terror until the threat is out of your sight.

    – Drop whatever it is you’re holding, and freeze in shock until someone or something snaps you out of it.

    – Fly into an uncontrolled rage until the threat is gone. Expect collateral damage. 

    – Indulge in a self-destructive vice at the next opportunity, regardless of convenience or consequence. (For example, getting drunk the next time you’re supposed to be on watch.)

    Regardless of the result, you can choose ignore the reaction. If you do, don’t mark XP from a 6- result, and you acquire a permanent phobia, obsession, compulsion, or addiction after the conflict is over. 

  4. On topic… things you might try:

    Alignment-like insanity, where you mark XP at the end of the session if you caused trouble for your allies by acting on a compulsion/freaked and froze up in the face of your phobia/vented your rage against an object your hatred/ etc.

    Linking GM moves to conditions/insanities/corruption. For example:

    When a PC is confused, you can:

    – show them signs of a threat that isn’t there

    – reveal something that they missed

    – distort their perception

    – ask them to Defy Danger in order to…

    – act calmly, rationally, normally

    – talk sense

    – make or act on a plan

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