Sanity Rules

In Leagues of Adventure the characters are all middle and upper class Victorians who go on wild adventures in response to wagers, handsome payments from rich patrons, invitations from adventuring leagues, or
simply out of sheer boredom. Opportunities abound to thwart dastardly deeds, discover lost cities, mingle with new cultures, and plumb the darkest depths of the globe.

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Sanity Rules

Postby carnage_lee » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:16 pm

I'd mentioned to Priest that I'd invested in a PDF copy of the rules and a supplement entitled :

Globetrotters’ Guide to Gothic Horror

I've cribbed the Sanity rules
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Re: Sanity Rules

Postby carnage_lee » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:20 pm

The rules in this section are designed for Leagues of Adventure games in which horror is a significant theme.

Because they present the possibility of characters experiencing mental breakdowns due to fear and stress, these rules are unlikely to fit well with a typical high-adventure Leagues of Adventure campaign. Gamemasters and players should discuss the kind of game they want before beginning play. If your group has decided to use the optional horror rules, each character will receive a new Secondary Attribute: Sanity.

Sanity represents your character's mental resilience and resistance to stress and emotional trauma. Your character can take up to her Sanity rating in Horror damage without suffering any ill effects. Each point of damage temporarily lowers your character's Sanity rating: if the rating drops below zero, she will become increasingly impaired by her madness and may fall unconscious. If Sanity is reduced to -5, your character's mind is utterly shattered, leaving her in a permanent and irreversible vegetative state.
Your character's Sanity rating is calculated as follows:
Sanity = Charisma + Willpower

When a creature, object, or event is so shocking or ghastly that it will potentially haunt the minds of any witnesses, the Gamemaster should assign it a Horror rating. A character that observes or interacts with a horrifying thing may make a Horror check by making a Willpower roll and comparing the number of successes to the Horror rating. If the player rolls successes equal to or greater than the Horror rating, there is no effect. If the player rolls less than the Horror rating then his character loses Sanity points equal to the difference. If the number of points deducted exceeds the character's Willpower, that character is paralyzed with fear for a number of combat turns equal to the difference. A character may pay two Style points to prevent one point of Sanity loss. A character needs to make a Horror check for a particular phenomenon only once per scene, but will need to make different Horror checks for different phenomena within that scene. The effects of Sanity loss are as follows:

Sanity above zero:
Your character is keeping it together and suffers no penalties or ill effects.

Sanity reduced to zero:
If your character takes enough insanity to reduce his Sanity to 0, he is so badly shaken as to be disabled. While disabled, instead of attacking, defending, and moving all in the same combat turn, he may perform only one of these actions each turn. If he wishes, he may panic, which allows him to perform all three actions normally for one turn, but loses a point of Sanity immediately afterward.

Sanity reduced to -1 through -4:
When your character takes enough insanity to reduce his Sanity below 0, he falls unconscious for one minute per point below 0. Your character may attempt to remain conscious by making a reflexive Willpower roll at a penalty equal to his negative Sanity rating. If you roll at least two successes, your character remains conscious but deranged enough to be disabled (as when Sanity is reduced to 0) and suffers a penalty to all actions equal to his negative Sanity rating.

Sanity reduced to -5 or less:
Your character's mind is irreversibly shattered and he is effectively brain dead.


Below are some examples of horrifying phenomena to serve as a benchmark for Horror ratings. As always, the Gamemaster has ultimate discretion as to what is horrifying and what rating it might receive.

Sample Horrifying PhenomenaHorror Rating
See a bloody sacrificial dagger or a macabre idol; suffer a surprise attack
Stumble across a human corpse or mutilated animal; see a poltergeist throwing plates
Discover mutilated human remains; observe the gruesome dismembering of an animal; witness a zombie claw out of the ground
Observe a gruesome murder; encounter a werewolf or vampire
Observe the gruesome murder of a friend or associate; witness a hellish horror summoned by dark magic

Regaining Sanity
Depending on the style of game, the Gamemaster may choose to restrict which healing options are available. For instance, in a gritty game with few supernatural elements, maybe only Rest is permitted, whereas in an exciting action game of frequent supernatural horrors all of them may be applied. As an optional rule, the Gamemaster may chose to invent her own ways of regaining Sanity, or even wipe the slate clean after the heroes successfully complete an adventure.

Fulfilling one's Motivation, rekindling that core drive why you battle evil, serve your patron, crave for wealth, protect others, or whatever, can be a powerful healing tool as it helps focus one's mind on the mundane rather than the horrific. Instead of gaining a Style point for roleplaying one's Motivation, a character may instead chose to recover one point of Sanity. A maximum of one Sanity point per scene may be regained in this manner.

Psychotherapy sessions administered by a trained professional can greatly speed recovery from mental trauma. Make an Alienism: Psychotherapy roll. Every two successes rolled restores one point of Sanity. Psychotherapy takes one hour and may be administered to as many as eight characters at the same time. Even so, mental recovery is a slow process and no character may benefit from more than one psychotherapy session per week.

The mind is both a powerful and fragile thing. It is easily broken, but it is also remarkably adept at forgetting traumatic events over time. Assuming the Gamemaster allows time to pass between adventures (a week is the absolute minimum), a character automatically regains one Sanity point at the start of each new adventure.

A victory, no matter how small it may seem in the grand scale of things, can be a powerful healing force. Any time a character gains or improves a Talent or Resource, he regains one Sanity point. Simply learning a new Talent may improve the character's self-confidence and distract him from the dark terrors that stalk his sleep. A Resource might represent a new friend to talk over one's problems with (Ally), a promotion means more responsibilities, thus reducing the time one has to dwell on the cause of the horror (Rank), or simply having to devote your time to look after other people (Follower).
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Re: Sanity Rules

Postby Priest » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:54 pm

Thanks Lee, unfortunately these rules are not used in this scenario. However when I get into using the full rules I am sure they will get used.
We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
- Anais Nin
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