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Sanity 
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Sanity
The other night I watched ‘Lucky Number Sleven’, which then led me back around to Penny Dreadful – got to love Netflix and its recommended list. I gave it a try one more time and started season 3 , and at least the first 2 shows weren’t that bad (still haven’t finished season 2 because it was too much). And, I’ve been watching ‘Daredevil’ with him being tempted to cross the line and outright kill Fisk (just watched the season 1 finale so know he doesn’t cross the line, but he’s been tempted)

It reminded me fighting ancient vampires, demons, witches, and being surrounded by recently dead reanimated creations, fighting evil and opulent corruption would build and crush a weaker psyche

That, plus the concept of my character in Tree’s upcoming game got me thinking. Sanity/insanity … how can it be tracked in Victorious ???
My character is struggling with the darker powers tied to his shadow powers and will have periodic nightmares due to that. Up to now it is a role playing element. However, …. With a more grim setting, and with Tree’s statement that “no, I will not be afraid to use Cthulhu” how would the building negative effects of staring into darkness and seeing the things that go bump in the night (in my character’s instance the dark thing skulking through the shadows that surround us all) be tracked ?

Then, if there is a path to insanity, how do you come back from the edge of sanity. Faith, philosophy, a bit of both, atonement, ….
Would it be a direct charisma issue ??? would it be wisdom ??? would it be something on its own ???

Back in the day I played “Beyond the Supernatural” but that never crossed into full Lovecraft darkness where going insane was probable, so I don’t have experience with this from another game. I Know Clavis’ ‘Ghastly affair’ has a perversity element to it and that may work, but I’ve never played it and am not sure how easy it would to retool the idea and strap it into Victorious

I realize this isn’t needed for the average Victorious game, and would be pushing it for even a grim setting, but still with the classic horror stories that come from Victoria era, it could have a place as an off shoot

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Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:51 am
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Post Re: Sanity
Check the Ghastly Presenter's manual for more about this subject when you get a chance.

In addition to a small but helpful section (Madness & Delirium) ~ if you do a find on "insanity", "insane" and "madness", you will find quite a bit of useful information. All of which seems like it could be utilized in a Victorious game.

:)

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Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:35 pm
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Unkbartig

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Post Re: Sanity
Funny you should mention this, as when I was first playtesting V I was using about half the adventures from Cthulhu by Gaslight, and they worked well.

* ...again, I know this is a broken record but I want to be clear that this is only in my own game and thus its not 'official'. YMMV.*

When such a circumstance came up I required a Charisma save (with a CL of the creature's HD plus any odd powers or reactions) , with failure being a loss of 1 CHA point. This could be recovered by spending a Victory point for each lost CHA point, but it couldn't be bought down until going up to the next level of experience. I didn't do the save for every encounter (like Call of Cthulhu does), but just for major encounters with the eldritch servants of the Elder Gods!

As for the insanity itself, I left it up to the player to roleploay it during the game. I never had anyone try to game the system, which is good. I don't know what kind of roll you could do for it...to determine the exact insanity. Ideally, this should be worked out between GM and player. Does the CKG have anything about insanity in it? Perhaps this could be used if it did?

GM Michael

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Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:11 pm
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Mogrl

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Post Re: Sanity
When I get back home next week, I can look into how these issues are handled in the 3E Ravenloft books, and see how I think that may work for Victorious.

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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:51 pm
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Post Re: Sanity
DMMike wrote:
Does the CKG have anything about insanity in it?

GM Michael


No, nothing that I could see based on the index pages.

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Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:06 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Sanity
I hate that I'm actually advocating to a mechanisium to turn my first victorious character insane ... but it fits his concept.

Tree, I never played 3e Ravenloft so don't have those rules to mine. However, not that you mention it, I did have the 'Red Death' game back in the day ... I'll have to see what that used - assuming it did have insanity rules, I can't remember .

DMMike wrote:
Funny you should mention this, as when I was first playtesting V I was using about half the adventures from Cthulhu by Gaslight, and they worked well.

* ...again, I know this is a broken record but I want to be clear that this is only in my own game and thus its not 'official'. YMMV.*

When such a circumstance came up I required a Charisma save (with a CL of the creature's HD plus any odd powers or reactions) , with failure being a loss of 1 CHA point. This could be recovered by spending a Victory point for each lost CHA point, but it couldn't be bought down until going up to the next level of experience. I didn't do the save for every encounter (like Call of Cthulhu does), but just for major encounters with the eldritch servants of the Elder Gods!

As for the insanity itself, I left it up to the player to role-play it during the game. I never had anyone try to game the system, which is good. I don't know what kind of roll you could do for it...to determine the exact insanity. Ideally, this should be worked out between GM and player. Does the CKG have anything about insanity in it? Perhaps this could be used if it did?

GM Michael


I like that, nice simple straight forward . I wonder though, is a victory point too expensive a cost. Couldn't it be treated like buying off a shortcoming ? Of course, as I've never played Victorious, I'm running off blind assumptions, and we all know how dangerous that is!

For my character, I've already built in a trigger of a critical success or a fumble when trying to use a shadow specific power, and if I'm exposed to opiates/mind altering drugs, I automatically have a night of nightmares. (with the way maptools and roll 20 treat me, I'm sure I'll have a lot more of the 1/fumble rolls than the nat 20) To add insanity (if I was doing it, but as it is Tree's game it will be his decision) I'd say in those situations, I'd have to make a cha save. If failed, I get a bit more twitchy because of the truth behind the nightmare .

As for rules on they type of insanity, I've never been a fan of tables and such that randomly decide those things. To me I'd rather it be a role playng element. However, I'm sure there are others that disagree with me on that. For them, I'm sure Ravenloft or something has plenty of things like that, and that they would easily fir into the rules.

Hmmm, returning from insanity, maybe not a victory point, maybe accepting another shortcoming ... needing to go to church and talk with a preacher (or priest if your are catholic) and get moral guidance, or a mentor that has philosophy if you aren't a person of faith, accepting a prior engagement ... serving food for the needy (taken from the main character in Penny Dreadful serving soup to the sick) or other good works to help center yourself and reinforce the good in you reflected in the golden rule.

Of course all of those would require role playing to justify, so it may not work for everyone every group.

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Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:18 am
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Mogrl

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Post Re: Sanity
I liked the Ravenloft rules when I ran a year long campaign, face to face. So these were 8+ hour sessions, every week. It took a long time, but I had one character turn Vampire because of the rules, and another went Wererat. Which was another thing I liked about the rules, it was slow corruption/insanity, not quick.

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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.


Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:01 pm
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Ulthal
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Post Re: Sanity
The concept of "Perversity" that I incorporated into GA is mostly inspired by Poe's story/essay "The Imp of the Perverse". It's also an idea frequently talked about in academic Gothic studies. If anything, I think it's even more applicable to the late 19th Century and its Decadent Movement. Books like Huysmans' "A rebours (Against Nature)" and Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray", and artists like Aubrey Beardsley and Felicien Rops, typify the celebration of perversity by the Decadents.

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Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:25 pm
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Unkbartig

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Post Re: Sanity
True, and the continuing worry about the "degeneration of the race" that Social Darwinism played into as well applies. Let us not even get started on the silly obsession over "New Women" either!

Lurker, a VP would actually be cheaper than a Shortcoming since 1 Supernatural Power slot = 2 Skill ranks = 3 Victory Points. Thus by next level, if a VP is spent to recover, that would still give the player character either 2 VPs left or (with GM approval) at least 1 skill rank. But if a Genteel Magistrate wants to do the Shortcoming thing that's certainly doable. I'd suggest in such a case not allowing the shortcoming to be bought off until the next level though; if then.

Personally I'm leery of giving Shortcomings after CharGen since that implies the ability to buy them off at a later date. IMO, Shortcomings earned in-game are roleplaying effects, and as such can only be recovered via roleplaying as well.

Oh, and don't feel bad about making your character's life miserable. As I always say, ANY GM can kill a player character. It takes skill to make their lives a living hell from which not even death is an escape! :D

GM (...and yet Liz still plays in my games?) Michael

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Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:01 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Sanity
Man, I am jacked up ... I thought it was for one on power slot and victory point ... with that yeah a victory point is the cheaper (and therefore better) choice.

Rgr on the role playing element and shortcomings after character creation.

I'd go a step further and say there should be at least some role playing element to buy off even the shortcoming was part of character creation. Yes the rules say you can, but why did the shortcoming go away ... what in life changed .... if it changed why did it change. Sure some things could be the 'epiphany' that instantly turns and changes life. However, more often than not it is a slow process of change and development. As such there should be role playing on at least some of the short comings removal.

DMMike wrote:
...
Oh, and don't feel bad about making your character's life miserable. As I always say, ANY GM can kill a player character. It takes skill to make their lives a living hell from which not even death is an escape! :D

GM (...and yet Liz still plays in my games?) Michael


:shock: :shock: :lol: I like that !!

Clavis, rgr on the perversity. It always baffled me with the Victorian mindset of prim proper, but at the same time having the under lying elements of society that were the opposite. the list of social ills and wrongs (as you well know) is nearly endless, and then those that weren't just passively wrong/evil/perverse, but actively embracing it - Dorian Gray etc.

However, does perversity equate to insanity ???? Ok this is going more philosophical than I thought it would ...

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Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:49 am
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Ulthal
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Post Re: Sanity
The way Poe uses the concept of "The Perverse" seems to combines immorality and insanity. Also, in the 19th century the diagnosis of of "moral insanity" existed. It was a term used to describe someone whose thinking could be considered "disordered", but who didn't otherwise suffer from delusions or hallucinations. Of course, it's a seriously outdated idea in psychology, but an interesting one to explore in a game nonetheless.

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Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:12 pm
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Unkbartig

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Post Re: Sanity
True, and don't forget that a woman's "time of the month" was considered a insanity (Hysteria). Many things were considered insanity in the period that we now consider just different points of view.

Then again, this is the era that thought nothing of charging people to go into sanitariums to watch the crazy people be crazy. Check out the module "A World Gone Mad" by Corbett Kirkley and the Gag Men for some interesting (and disturbing) views of Victorian insanity and treatments. Nelly Blye's "10 days in a Madhouse" is another good one. Or bad one, well...you get the idea!

Hmmm. I think I see a future victoriousRPG.com article in this?

GM Michael

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Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:47 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Sanity
clavis123 wrote:
The way Poe uses the concept of "The Perverse" seems to combines immorality and insanity. Also, in the 19th century the diagnosis of of "moral insanity" existed. It was a term used to describe someone whose thinking could be considered "disordered", but who didn't otherwise suffer from delusions or hallucinations. Of course, it's a seriously outdated idea in psychology, but an interesting one to explore in a game nonetheless.


Heck ... that sounds like a good portion of the vets I work with week to week ...

It could be argued that The Perverse (not small p perversion, but the deep end big P Perversion) is insanity ... but again that is getting more philosophical than is fitting. Same thing with immorality ... However, if Poe is a part of the conversation morality and sanity are hand and hand and as he is part of the Victorious era it is fitting.

DMMike wrote:
True, and don't forget that a woman's "time of the month" was considered a insanity (Hysteria). Many things were considered insanity in the period that we now consider just different points of view.

Then again, this is the era that thought nothing of charging people to go into sanitariums to watch the crazy people be crazy. Check out the module "A World Gone Mad" by Corbett Kirkley and the Gag Men for some interesting (and disturbing) views of Victorian insanity and treatments. Nelly Blye's "10 days in a Madhouse" is another good one. Or bad one, well...you get the idea!

Hmmm. I think I see a future victoriousRPG.com article in this?

GM Michael


Yeah there were scary views on how to treat the sick and even what was considered sickness. It would be good fodder for a grim (darker than grim) game. I'd enjoy it but I'm not sure if it would welcome by all. It reminds me of the book 'yellow wallpaper'

Hmmmm how would a game around sanity be run, but not be to dark.

it is one thing to worry about shadows slowly twisting my character, and me doing some role playing and dropping a victory point here and there to counter it, its another to trip around a sanitarium as the adventure/game

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Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:10 am
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Unkbartig

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Post Re: Sanity
In my home game, we've dealt with the problems of "Supervillainy" being a form of insanity; at least that's how it was viewed by the authorities. There's also the conflicting priority that the authorities would really prefer having villains work for the gov't instead of rotting in prison.

In this context I created a 'team' that competed with the Queen's Knights for London's papers and fame. This group ("Fearless Five") had two members that were former criminals; one with dyed hair and new mask to try to fool the public into thinking he was a "new" hero. That wore a little thin when said villain (Barbarossa, as "Atlas Adonis") started killing rioters in job lots. This quickly went to the point where even London's papers went mad with outrage.

This makes a good variant to the tired "Super Villain break out of prison" trope that players see coming a mile away. It gets villains back out in public and thus a danger to stop. In fact, authorities in this Gilded-Grim tale could deny they had anything to do with it, creating another layer of conflict for the heroes.

Back OT: I'd hope the GM would put some intangible penalties or problems on any hero in that situation (shadows driving him insane) rather than just mechanical shortcomings. Another point could be that this struggle for mind and soul could cause ripples in the magickal landscape that could call evil creatures to him; to torment, tempt, or just feed on. Everyone from Kali Durga to Aleister Crowley to Hunting Horrors could make that characters - and his friends - lives quite interesting!

GM Michael

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Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:00 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Sanity
DMMike wrote:
In my home game, we've dealt with the problems of "Supervillainy" being a form of insanity; at least that's how it was viewed by the authorities. There's also the conflicting priority that the authorities would really prefer having villains work for the gov't instead of rotting in prison.

In this context I created a 'team' that competed with the Queen's Knights for London's papers and fame. This group ("Fearless Five") had two members that were former criminals; one with dyed hair and new mask to try to fool the public into thinking he was a "new" hero. That wore a little thin when said villain (Barbarossa, as "Atlas Adonis") started killing rioters in job lots. This quickly went to the point where even London's papers went mad with outrage.

This makes a good variant to the tired "Super Villain break out of prison" trope that players see coming a mile away. It gets villains back out in public and thus a danger to stop. In fact, authorities in this Gilded-Grim tale could deny they had anything to do with it, creating another layer of conflict for the heroes.

Back OT: I'd hope the GM would put some intangible penalties or problems on any hero in that situation (shadows driving him insane) rather than just mechanical shortcomings. Another point could be that this struggle for mind and soul could cause ripples in the magickal landscape that could call evil creatures to him; to torment, tempt, or just feed on. Everyone from Kali Durga to Aleister Crowley to Hunting Horrors could make that characters - and his friends - lives quite interesting!

GM Michael


I like that!!! In a way a self feeding loop. Fighting for sanity draws other darknesses wanting to feed off his fight, hoping to tip the balance to the dark, or wishing to just have fun tempting and toying a flickering light resisting the darkness, which loops back into the fight for sanity ... it wouldn't be going good in the first few levels, but eventually ... after the character has caused himself a few nightmares, or loses control and takes someone too far into the shadows, then ... the things that go bump in the dark just might take notice ...

I like the villain working for the government, and it going to far where the true good guys are having to be between a rock and a hard place between choosing the government and the bad guy. Especially as I have a justice focus in my background and have already went against the office of The Foreign Secretary's policy and driven a Turk ally mad.

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Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:49 am
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Unkbartig

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Post Re: Sanity
That's quite cool, and I'm really beginning to look forward to Tree's game! Though it sounds like being your character's pal will create some really tense situations... But then again, what's more super-heroic than heroes fighting? LOL

GM Michael

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Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:11 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Sanity
DMMike wrote:
That's quite cool, and I'm really beginning to look forward to Tree's game! Though it sounds like being your character's pal will create some really tense situations... But then again, what's more super-heroic than heroes fighting? LOL

GM Michael



Rgr that

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Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:39 am
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