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Sanity\Insanity?
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View Poll Results: Do you like Insantity Rules?

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  • Yes, they are fun!

    28 30.77%
  • Yes, if everyone agrees they're ok.

    8 8.79%
  • Yes, if everyone agress they're ok AND they are "in genre".

    47 51.65%
  • No, they take away my control of my character.

    8 8.79%
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Thread: Sanity\Insanity?

  1. #1
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    Question Sanity\Insanity?

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    In my experience, players don't like going crazy. The ONLY time I have seen this be accepted is in a Call of Cthulu game that was planned as a short run (so everyone could "get into it" so to speak) and not be TOO attached to their inevitably nuts characters.

    So, what do you think? Is it OK to inflict insanity on characters? If it's in the rules, then everyone has a heads up? The poll will be simple, but the replies are for the subtleties you might want to share.

    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
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    I think it works even better in Unknown Armies. The five madness meters are more specific than CoC and the idea of still getting somewhat of a raw deal for passing the check as opposed to failing it demonstrates that psychologically damaging events have some effect. And of course, you can get therapy to reduce the effects.

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    I enjoy it. It's a refreshing change from "I'm a hero and villians fear my wrath." to "The best I can hope to be is a pawn that is a minor nuisance." And that's only one aspect.

    What really draws me is that, at least in the games I played, your character always has at least on chance to leave all this spooky, crazy shit behind a go live a normal life but chooses not to.

    It's like Mulder(sp?) from X-files. "I want to believe."

    Or maybe you don't want to believe but you want to disprove.

    Whatever.

    But if you can't get into a character that in someway wants this creepiness to be real then those games aren't for you. Which is to say they aren't for everybody. But I've always liked them.
    Normal people worry me.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by trechriron View Post
    In my experience, players don't like going crazy. The ONLY time I have seen this be accepted is in a Call of Cthulu game that was planned as a short run (so everyone could "get into it" so to speak) and not be TOO attached to their inevitably nuts characters.

    So, what do you think? Is it OK to inflict insanity on characters? If it's in the rules, then everyone has a heads up? The poll will be simple, but the replies are for the subtleties you might want to share.

    I like them. Makes things more fun.

    Thoth-Amon

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    The main insanity inducing game I know is Call of Cluthulu. I don't like it.

    Why?

    There is no long term way to win. Even if your PCs do not go crazy, and by the time they learn enough to actually be useful they usually are crazy, you can't stop the Old Ones. You might as well pray to be Eaten First.
    Last edited by tesral; 08-02-2008 at 10:33 PM. Reason: spelling, spelling would be nice.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    i played palladium fantasy alot and when a person al most dies they have the possibility of gaining an insanity when brought back; there is a random roll table but a good Gm can give one that fits the death.
    Anyway, i thought this always added to the character(s) since death always has a strange effect on a person who have survived it.
    I do not play them here or there, I do not play them anywhere, I do not play them with a fox. I do not mash that button box. I do not like MMO games. In the end ther're all the same.
    -Tesral

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    Well something that games with insanity rules might have in common is that there isn't such a thing as "PCs win", at least in the long run. It's a different premise from the usual "PCs are heroes who shall prevail" style of games. Some like it, some don't care for it, but yeah every games aren't about hope. And that's keeping true to an author like Lovecraft (at least the few books I read).
    Au gibet noir, manchot aimable, dansent, dansent les paladins
    Les maigres paladins du diable les squelettes de Saladins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boulet View Post
    ... It's a different premise from the usual "PCs are heroes who shall prevail" style of games. Some like it, some don't care for it, ...
    For me this is important. If everyone sits down to a deep emotional ham it up, let's all go crazy, horror-fest. Then it's all good. The players need to choose this game and understand the risks. Then game play can be fun. Otherwise, people just get ticked off and tend to not have fun. That's my experience with it anyway.
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
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    Insanity is fine as long as it makes sense(I wonder if there is a pun there). It can add depth to a character. Also the degree of crazy is important. The character still needs to be able to interact meaningfully with the other players and the game world. Some GM's think insanity has to be the totally bonkers kind and that just is no fun.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

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    I wanted a simple NO on the poll. The listed NO doesn't cover why I don't like them.

    I want this: No, they are all poorly implemented.

    I have never, ever seen a good insanity system. I've played CoC, UA, Nemesis, Warhammer 40k, all with some form of insanity/fear system. Oh, I forgot Witchcraft.

    In general, I just ignore those rules if I'm running the game. I ignore fear rules in D&D and other games that have them as well. They are stupid. They don't ever do what you want, or what is intended by the game system.

    I do actually use the corruption system from WH 40k, but that has a use. And that kind of thing can actually be played well using the rules that they have.

    I enjoy making a game creepy by how I run the game, not by whether they passed some sort of Insanity check.

    In short, I just don't like the way the rules from any of the games I've tried actually work during play. They are clunky, insulting, and generally not correctly designed. Maybe there isn't a way to do it right, but I always hold out hope that I will run across a system that actually does work correctly...

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    Quote Originally Posted by darelf View Post
    In general, I just ignore those rules if I'm running the game. I ignore fear rules in D&D and other games that have them as well. They are stupid. They don't ever do what you want, or what is intended by the game system.
    Yes it's a house rule, fear can have one of three effects, the fear maker dnesn't get to choose. Flee, Freeze, and Fight.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    The OIlde Phoenix Inn

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    Malkavians!

    Seriously though I like flawed characters, I think the way CoC handles it is a bit silly but GURPS, nWOD, UA all have decent ways of going insane. Its more about making it believable. I once had a Traveller character who went nutts. No rules for it I just played him that way after his family was killed before his eyes. After a few sessions the GM asked me to tone it down and start making him more sane again over time but man he was fun to play!
    Playing: Pathfinder
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    Quote Originally Posted by MortonStromgal View Post
    Malkavians!

    Seriously though I like flawed characters, I think the way CoC handles it is a bit silly but GURPS, nWOD, UA all have decent ways of going insane. Its more about making it believable. I once had a Traveller character who went nutts. No rules for it I just played him that way after his family was killed before his eyes. After a few sessions the GM asked me to tone it down and start making him more sane again over time but man he was fun to play!
    Currently there is an NPC in the Saturday game. The poor Kenko clerk has been killed, twice. It's unhinging him a bit. Getting killed is not a normal thing to do. It bothers him. He reaction is not too over the top, he drinks more. not that he abstained previously, being slow to return from a delivery mission and showing up tipsy is his major flaw. But he does drink more.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The OIlde Phoenix Inn

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    what is insantity???
    no hope = no fear

    dont mistake lack of talent for genius

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by darelf View Post
    ...

    I want this: No, they are all poorly implemented.

    I have never, ever seen a good insanity system. ...

    In general, I just ignore those rules if I'm running the game. ...

    ... Maybe there isn't a way to do it right, but I always hold out hope that I will run across a system that actually does work correctly...
    As a closet game designer I am terribly curious what WOULD be a good insanity system? The one is Nemesis seems detailed. Also, with fear, do you not believe in uncontrollable terror? How would you emulate that in a game? Again, I am not "challenging" you, I am sincerely curious in your opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by obiwanshinobi View Post
    what is insanity (sic)???
    Was that just a joke on the misspelling? If not, just Google it. The InterWebs knows everything... (I can't edit the poll, so the misspelling stays...)
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
    Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast
    October Northwest

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