Insanity

From World of Charun

"There are things in our existence that are eons older than the land itself. Their power and vastness defy description, and if they are aware of us at all they see us as little more than morsels, and we have as much chance of bargaining with them as our livestock has with us. Countless people have tried, and from them we have learned that we can either stay out of their way, or be devoured."
-- an unnamed Mubuluki Inquisitor

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One's mental health can take damage as well as one's physical health. Unnatural encounters and continuous dealings with ambiguous powers can lead to that. Mystics can, and often do, get mad. These conditions are used to create more fun and varying roleplay, and are to be used in the portrayal of the character by the player, as well as by the DM.


Contents

Description

The powers a Mystic meddles with are ancient, utterly powerful and at times terribly evil. Continuous dealings with them can give insight, which is too much for a mortal mind to deal with. This makes it easy to give in to those forces, which can lead to desperation and insanity. While some Mystics seem to be relatively unaffected, many have gone from being perfectly normal to complete wrecks over the course of a few months.

No one knows for sure why or how this happens, and while one might guess that it is the "dark and evil" influence of these powers at work, even followers of the ostensibly benevolent powers like Amrun seem to suffer from it. As such, it's subject to intense speculation and debate in scholarly circles, and the only thing everyone seems to agree on is that it happens.


Mechanics

Every time a Mystic levels up, she has to succeed the following check in order to avoid insanity;

d20 + Base Wisdom Score vs 3 * gained Mystic level

  • A Fate Point can be used to negate a failed roll. This option must be chosen before the roll in order to keep things fair. The Fate Point will not be spent, would the roll succeed anyway.
  • Saurians get a +3 bonus on the insanity check.

The first time the above check is failed, an insanity from the Insanity Categories is picked at random and given to the player. Subsequent failures will either lead to a worsening of the condition (Common), or the addition of another one (Uncommon).


Insanity Categories

  • Rash Fearlessness
    The character has seen beyond the veil of the world, and it takes something truly remarkable to give her the slightest concern. Fear is something that happens to lesser people.
  • Hatred of the Outdoors
    The character has come to truly detest the constant distractions and irritations of being under the open sky, and especially out in nature, with the wind, weather, bugs... all of these things drive her to distraction. She is at her best surrounded by four walls, and preferably a roof and ceiling.
  • Hatred of the Indoors
    The character cannot abide the feeling of being trapped inside walls and under ceilings, and is at her best outside in the fresh air, where she can breathe freely.
  • Paranoia
    The character seen behind the veil of the world, and come to realize just how much danger she is in. She watches the lesser people stroll past deadly dangers, not recognizing their peril, and is certain not to let down her guard and be victimized.
  • Multiple Personalities
    The character has unseen friends who whisper into her mind and help her handle daily situations. Usually this is a great advantage, and sometimes her "friends" will step in and handle difficult matters for her. In difficult times, however, sometimes they argue with each other so forcefully that she has a hard time figuring out what to do.
  • Disposophobia
    The character has become a packrat's packrat, and her possessions have all become truly dear to her. She suffers the same reaction to losing property that lesser people have to losing loved ones or friends.
  • Sleeplessness
    The character tosses and turn every night, finding it difficult to sleep unless accompanied to bed by a bottle -- or stronger friends such as potent drugs.
  • Hypnophobia
    The character has seen things that make her dread the dreams she may have should she fall asleep. It takes an effort of will to make herself lie down and rest.
  • Extreme Phobia (Creature Type)
    The character has come to realize the terrible powers that a certain kind of being possesses, and they hold a special place of terror in her heart. She cannot bear to be near these creatures -- or even worse, to be approached by them.


Insanity Levels

Every insanity comes at three levels, where 1 is the mildest and 3 is the strongest form. Whenever Insanity Level is referenced, it refers to the level of the insanity being discussed.

  • Hatred of the Outdoors: The player loses 1 + Insanity Level in all skills whenever he is in an outdoors, natural area.
  • Hatred of the Indoors: The player loses 1 + Insanity Level in all skills whenever he is in an indoors, unnatural area.
  • Rash Fearlessness: The player loses 1 + Insanity Level in all saves and Insanity Level in AC, however, the player also gains 5 + Insanity Level * 2 versus all saves against fear.
  • Paranoia: The player gains the Dodge feat and adds his Insanity Level to Reflex and Intimidate, but loses Insanity Level * 2 in Bluff and Diplomacy.
  • Multiple Personalities: The player loses Insanity Level Will, but adds Insanity Level to Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate.
  • Hypnophobia: The player must make a Will (Fear) save against 12 + Insanity Level in order to be able to sleep, the player may try again once every five RL minutes.
  • Sleeplessness: The player must make a Will save against 12 + Insanity Level in order to force himself to sleep. If failed, the player loses -2 DEX, STR, and 10% movement speed for 10 * Insanity Level RL minutes because he didn't get enough sleep. Booze and hard drugs will let the player forgo the save, but they will be used up when sleeping.
  • Extreme Phobia: Whenever a creature that the player is phobic to gets within a Medium radius, the player must make a Will (Fear) save with a DC of CreatureHD + 3 * Insanity Level (For a minimum of 5 and a max of 25). If failed, the player will become either Dazed, Frightened, or attack the creature uncontrollably for the next three rounds.

Recovery

Since the conditions a Mystic suffers from are inflicted by the insight gained from their contacts with powerful, alien beings, they can not be recovered from, except under truly extraordinary circumstances. Not even the divine healing powers of the Mórail priests are able to cure the damaged minds of the maddened.


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