Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Going Insane from Terror

Once upon a time I built some sanity rules for a Horror setting based on the radiation rules in GURPS, These updated rules are being posted because I saw a post on a similar idea with different mechanics. The ideas originally came from the Lovecraft Mythos, derivative works and various games including CthuluPunk.

These rules treat sanity loss as mental damage and were designed so I could have madness inducing attacks.

New Modifier: Madness

This modifier does 1 point of  Corruption (GURPS Horror) or madness per point of base damage rolled, regardless of DR. It is +25% on an Innate Attack that does Toxic damage or +100% on Terror.
It replaces the normal effects of toxic damage or adds to the effect of Terror doing 1 point per -1 penalty.

The Onset of Madness

Every time a subject is exposed to an attack with the Madness modifier they must make a Will roll to resist its effects. The effects are based on the total current accumulation of madness at that point. For Corruption effects use the rules in GURPS Horror see Power Corrupts pp. 146-148.

Crit Success
Crit Fail

+0No EffectNo EffectAB

+0No EffectABC




A Roll on the Short-Term Conditions Table.
B Roll on the Medium-Term Conditions Table, treat hours as minutes and days as hours.
C Roll on the Medium-Term Conditions Table.
D Roll on the Long-Term Conditions Table, plus stunned for 1 turn per margin of failure.
E Roll on the Long-Term Conditions Table, plus stunned for 1 minute per margin of failure.

Recovering From Madness

Any subject can slowly recover from this stress by making a Will or Meditation roll once per day that incurred no new madness damage or fright checks. Success recovers 1 point of accumulated damage.
The care of a competent (skill 12+) psychologist (Psychology (Clinical) or Physician (Psychiatric)  adds +1 to the roll, and they can attempt a roll against their skill once a day to reduce yet another point of damage. In some cases Theology might suffice, but the subject must believe in the same religion. For permanent effects a successful roll by the therapist or priest can grant 1 point on success or 2 points on a critical success towards buying off the mental disadvantage.

New Advantage: Stubborn Reality

Whether through deep religious beliefs, divine protection, or stubborn ignorance and rationalization you can reduce the effects of madness attacks. Each level reduces the damage taken from attacks. See Radiation Tolerance (B79) for costs and the divisor.

New Modifier: Mental Regeneration

You can recover 10 madness or corruption points from attacks (Not that used to power your abilities) for each hit point you would recover. This is a -60% limitation on Regeneration for only healing mental damage.

Balance Notes

Compare to a Toxic attack with the Radiation modifier an effect of A has an effect of burn damage, Low Pain Threshold for a week with possible additional complications. B level effects adds Nauseated, Hemophilia, and possible attribute loss. It only gets worse from there!
An Innate Attack would cost 4/level with +25% for the Madness modifier and need to do 21+ points of damage before permanent effects start to occur, even on a critical failure.

In some settings you can combine Madness attacks with radiation damage (in which case the Regeneration and Radiation Tolerance variants above work against both effects) for things so outside reality that they destroy both body and mind!

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