PLEASE NOTE: This section is to be used on an in-game basis, to give players and GMs an easy glossary of terms and results. It does not reflect actual psychology, psychological conditions, or even the opinions of this game's writers. Further, it in no way is meant to belittle or marginalize those with a mental illness. While madness is a part of the game, the degree to which it enters gameplay is up to the GM, and if the GM desires to run a campaign were Sanity is a major consideration, we recommend that the subject be approached thoughtfully, and that the GM makes sure that all of their players are comfortable with the subject (or, if they aren't, how to address it without hurting the real people playing). This game is intended to be fun, after all.

Madness is the blanket term for any kind of semi-permanent Mental Affliction. They can be beneficial as well as detrimental, but all burden a character's sanity nonetheless. Rather than influence a character's statistics as many other Afflictions do, Madnesses influence their behavior. Most of these checks refer to a Resistance Skill - in development, mostly this referred to the Survivor skill. However, there are many ways to handle such situations, such as trained responses taught by a psychologist. Feel free to make a skill that fits how a character would try to limit and control themselves in the face of their own instability.

Whenever the focus of a particular Madness is encountered by a character, it is considered a Shock, and a Sanity Check is made:

(Wisdom or Hardiness) + Resistance Skill Level +d6 |vs| Shock Intensity + Level of any active Madness Afflictions + Number of Total Madnesses

If the Sanity Check is passed, the character may continue behaving as their player dictates. If the Sanity Check is failed, a second roll is made:

Resistance Skill Level - Madness Level + d6

This roll determines how the character behaves until they are no longer encountering their Madness' focus. If the result of this roll is less than 1, the player temporarily loses control of their character as they are overwhelmed and generally incapacitated by their Madness. If the result is 1 through 6, the character must act in accordance with the Madness. If the result is greater than a 6, the character is empowered by their Madness, though control still mostly goes away. These are referred to as extreme suffering, and extreme aggression. Falling into either state damages a person's Sanity by 1, unless otherwise noted.


Phobias are Madnesses that are expressed as fear. Normally, a character will seek to hide or flee from the focus of a Phobia, if they can't maintain control. If they suffer extremely (got less than 1 on the second check), they will lose the capacity to move, and instead will huddle in terror from the focus (crying, screaming, other other forms of expressing distress may be involved), until the focus is removed, or they are (this state may last for several minutes after the focus is removed, though a proper skill check may speed the process up). If the response is aggressively extreme (ie, better than a 6 on the second roll), their attempts to flee are enhanced by the strength of their madness (or failing that, their attempts to remove the focus of their distress, if possible), and they will ignore injuries (any wound less than the Madness level; yes, a level 4 phobia is so all consuming that losing a limb is minor in comparison to escaping it, as far as the character is concerned) until they get enough space between themselves and the focus to pull themselves together again.

Phobia example: Agoraphobia, simply stated, is the fear of open spaces, and might produce a Shock of 1 or 2 simply by noting that an open space exists in the vicinity (mentioning "outside," or a glimpse of open sky through a window some distance away), while being near direct access and awareness to it might be a 3 or a 4 (looking out a window, standing in a set of tight alleyways, sky overhead). A 7 might mean being dropped in a flat, open field, while being shoved out into space, without any reference point, might constitute a 12. Some forms might be made worse by crowds, or forced travel (+1 or 2 to the Shock value), and some might be made worse by association to past breakdowns (areas that resemble locations where the second roll was less than 1, giving a +1 cumulative).

Rages are madnesses that express anger. On a failed first check, a character will seek to hinder, injure, or destroy the focus of a rage, and will become blind to all other things - both obstacles in their way, and any legalities or social customs that would disapprove (-madness level to all senses and wisdom rolls). Stamina may be used to approach the focus, and will be used while attacking the focus, though it only creates half the normal benefit. If a character suffers extremely, their blood pressure overcomes them, unable to move more than a meter each turn, which must be used to try and close with the focus. A point of Stamina is also expended. The character is effectively deaf and blind beyond focusing on the target, and will strike blindly at anything that touches them or impedes them. They are often rendered incoherent, or are given to rambling statements of murderous intent. Aggressively extreme responses augment the drive to attack the focus, enhancing the sufferers Force and Agility by the level of Madness, and increasing their Speed by 1. Stamina is used each round, but the normal benefits are gained. Their senses are not impeded in this state, and the sufferer will be able to make very short range plans (like, "I should jaywalk in 2 seconds, so there are no cars to run me over," plans). All rages end after the sufferer runs out of Stamina, or if the focus escapes or is destroyed. In all cases, after a rage, the character must make a Health check, or faint from the sudden shifts in blood pressure.

GM's - while Rages may seem like a benefit to a certain type of player, it is a debilitating and self-destructive issue, and should be treated as such.

Philias are madnesses that express joy and obsession - someone suffering from a philia will attempt to get close to, hold, talk with, or otherwise interact with a focus in some fashion. While a philia may be advanced through physical contact, it isn't always the case (and erotic contact is no more common than any other form of interaction). Stalking, shrine building, and other obsessive behavior may be the result, as might theft or kidnapping. Other forms might be satisfied by simply watching a focus for a predetermined length of time, or having a dialogue with it. Interrupting a sufferer's time with "their" focus will often be reacted to in a strong manner, possibly violently, especially if it cuts the time short in some fashion. Suffering extremely with an object or person might result in excessive displays of affection, regardless of appropriateness, and may result in injury or damage to either the sufferer, or the focus (the sufferer will ignore this unless the damage exceeds the Madness level). All outside effects are ignored in favor of the focus. Extremely aggressive results will involve "protecting" the focus, either by taking and hiding it, or by attacking others who come near it (occasionally, both). Once the GM decides how the aggression will go, all actions that promote this goal are enhanced by the madness level. Mistreating the focus of a character's Philia may result in a Rage, as above, focused on the thing mistreating the focus (for example, an individual who has a philia for a location may attack a litterer in that locale, even if the character might not normally care). Most philia sufferers do not realize they have done anything wrong, and will act with surprise if their behavior is called out or questioned. For a comical example, see Elmira from the Tiny Toons, and her treatment of animals.

Nervous disorders - are actions or rituals performed to relieve stress. These actions can take any form, and may grow or shrink based on the stress the sufferer is experiencing. This madness may also spawn additional behaviors related to the primary (for example, if a person washes their hands to feel better, they may develop an obsession with locating all the bathrooms in a building, or buying enough soap and hand care materials, in case they "run out"). Some rituals are preventative, like touching a certain object any time it's encountered, organizing an area to some exacting standard, or eating in a very particular fashion (or as little/much as possible). Others are reactive, and are performed in response to an increase in stress. If a preventative ritual fails for whatever reason, the character suffers a penalty to their rolls equal to the madness rating, while reactive rituals must be performed soon after the stress arises, or they suffer the same penalty. How severely the ritual fails or is delayed determines the degree of Shock. Unlike most madnesses, succeeding in the first roll doesn't negate the penalty entirely, but simply gives the sufferer some breathing room - the penalty is reduced to -1, and they have an extra 100 beats to rectify their issue somehow (And the ritual only needs to be completed to the minimum standards - touch the missed object, get a small, simple plate of food to eat properly, give an area a visual once over to make sure it's in order). Failing the first check means that some form of ritual must be completed in its entirety - the sufferer has to retouch every object, re-order everything, scrub or clean something fully, whatever their ritual dictates. Suffering extremely can leave someone nearly catatonic - able to move if physically maneuvered, swallow if fed, take a ritual action if properly prompted, but self-willed action becomes difficult - a wisdom roll, minus the madness strength, and beating a 6, is required to do literally anything beyond blink and breath. This state will continue for Madness level *50 beats (At which point they must complete a ritual and make a new check, or fall back into a this state), unless someone successfully begins the ritual for them - this allows a new check immediately, though the sufferer will have to complete the ritual they started even if the first check succeeds.

Depression - is one of the subtlest and hardest to deal with forms of madness, as failed checks tend to snow ball badly, but successful checks mostly only keep the sufferer from getting worse. As Such, we DO NOT recommend a GM inflict it on a player without careful thought. Most madnesses are interesting to play and deal with, from a gaming perspective, especially if they are handled well by both the GM and the player. Depression is, by and large, depressing, and thus is not a positive addition to most games. Having said that, here are the rules for it.

Any time something bad happens to the sufferer, real or perceived, make a check. A first check success maintains the current status quo. Failing it, in addition to subtracting the Madness level from all dice rolls for 10*beats*(the difference in the 1st contested roll), reduces Sanity by 1, and a temporary point of Wisdom or Hardiness, whichever is higher (Stamina drops in response to this, of course). Gm's should encourage the players to display this loss of energy, subtly initially, but more pronounced as the depression takes firmer hold. Extreme suffering makes the initial effect last 10 times as long, and subtracts an additional 2 points of sanity, while extreme aggression will result in the character behaving in an erratic fashion for the duration instead, as they seek out methods that will make them feel better (or, after the 2nd level, at all) - this may mean binge eating or use of drugs, sex, sleep, pain, or anything else that can distract enough from what's going on in their head. Attempts to dissuade or prevent these actions are treated as attacks, and may be met with anger or, rarely, violence. In addition, if this Madness reaches the 4th level, a GM may request a payer make rolls to avoid suicidal tendencies. THIS IS DEEP AND DARK STUFF! IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT A GM NOT DO THIS, BECAUSE IT OFTEN SUCKS! High drama games can be very fun, with the right group, but playing a suicidal character is immensely difficult, in addition to the whole "and now your character is dead" issue.

Recovering from depression is hard - assuming that the character rests well, they still recover 1 sanity a day, per standard (And, if they fill their Sanity fully, the Hardiness and Wisdom will begin to recover at the one point rate, as well) attempting to recover additional Sanity is made more difficult (all rolls that recover Sanity are made at a -Madness Level). Attempting to recover lost Wisdom or Hardiness through meditation and exercise is possible, but also more difficult (same minus, six successful checks (minimum), reflecting many hours of effort), though doing so successfully will also recover a point of Sanity.