The Red Dragon Inn - home of the Audalis campaign setting.  Online D&D gaming, art, poerty, stories, advice, chat, and more

Support the Inn! If you are doing holiday shopping online, please use this affiliate link for Amazon.
You pay the exact same prices, but the Inn earns a small referral fee. Thanks!

We currently have 3985 registered users. Our newest member is .
Online members:
Username Password Remember me
Not a member? Join today! | Forgot your password?
Latest Updated Forum Topics  [more...]
Q&A Threads - Destiny Flight - QnA (posted by TannTalas)Destiny Flight - QnA
Other Sci Fi - Destiny's Flight - A Serenity RPG (posted by Chessicfayth)Destiny's Flight
Dungeons and Dragons - LBW Blacktooth Ridge  (posted by Talynthar)LBW Blacktooth Ridge
Common Room - RPG utilities? (posted by Eol Fefalas)RPG utilities?
Q&A Threads - Lights Last Embrace - A Wheel of Time Q&A (posted by Eol Fefalas)LLE - WoT
Latest Blog Entries
Revenge of the Drunken Dice
Latest Webcomics
Loaded Dice #80: Priorities
RPG MB #15: Master of the Blade
Floyd Hobart #19: High School Reunion IV
There are currently 0 users logged into DragonChat.
Is the site menu broken for you? Click here for the fix!

You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> General Forum --> Recruitment Threads --> Pulp Adventure
Jump to: [First Page] [Prev] 1 2   
    Messages in Pulp Adventure
RDI T-shirts!

Avatar of Cuteness Onesie
Price: $15.50

RDI T-shirts!

Lawful Stupid
Price: $16.00

Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts

Knowledge Skills

Knowledge skills function similarly to Backgrounds in game, but represent more specialized areas of knowledge and skill. Characters can swap out up to half of their intelligence-based bonus languages (p. 27) for Knowledge skills. Knowledge actually encompasses a number of unrelated skills. Knowledge represents a study of some body of lore, possibly an academic or even scientific discipline. Whereas Backgrounds are more widely applicable, Knowledges grant slightly more information. Ability Checks using a Knowledge add +3 instead of +2.

Bonuses from Knowledges and Backgrounds generally do not combine. Normally, a background and knowledge will provide different, though possibly complimentary, information rather than granting a higher bonus to a single check. Thus, a player who is an archaeologist by background with knowledge in myths and legends does not usually gain +5 to suss out the meaning of an ancient scroll; in this case the archaeology knowledge would allow him to assess the probable age and authenticity, adding +2 to the check to do so, where the myth and legend knowledge would allow him to interpret the meaning of the story on the scrolls, adding +3 to that check. In some circumstances, however, the GM may decide that the situation does merit combining the two, granting a full +5 bonus to the check. This is left to the discretion of the GM.

At levels 4, 8, 16 and 20, all knowledge skills improve, their bonuses increasing by an additional +1. Alternately, at these levels, a character can instead choose to gain a new Knowledge skill. A new Knowledge skill always begins at first level experience. Any Ability Checks with the new skill add +3 for the knowledge bonus, and +1 for being at first level (if they don’t overlap another class’s ability). Players should keep track of new skills, and their effective level, on their character sheets.

Some knowledges may overlap with Class Abilities. Such abilities impart an additional +3 to the use of said class ability. A character possessing a skill that mimics the abilities of another class (one of which the character is not a member) still gains +3 to relevant ability checks, but does not add their character level to the check. Skills are not a means to supplant class abilities; rather they are designed to supplement character creation and help to provide a means of character customization. Where overlap with a class or class ability is a gray area, the GM is encouraged to err on the side of the class rather than the skill, i.e. if you’re not sure, don’t allow the addition of character levels.

Below are listed typical fields of study. There are countless more, and GM’s should encourage players to come up with their own, unique ideas. Again, skills that overlap class abilities or step on the toes of another class, should not allow the character’s level to be added to the roll. Thus, a non-Socialite with Knowledge (High Society) gains +3 to the check, but does not add character level. Likewise, knowledges do not add to backgrounds—characters gain the benefits of one or the other on any given roll, not both.

Arcane Symbols
Confidence Games
Ecclesiastic Tradition
Electrical Engineering
History (Type; Military, European, U.S., etc.)
Magical Traditions
Magic Theory
Mythology (Type; Greek, Roman, Norse, etc.)
Engineering (Type; Mechanical, Civil, etc.)
Popular Culture
Science (Type: Chemistry, Biology, etc.)
Secret Societies (Type: Specific Secret Society)
Strategy and Tactics
Theology (Type; Christian, Muslim, Judaism, Gnosticism, etc.)

In many cases, you can use one of these skills to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the CL modifier of such a check equals the monster’s HD. A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster.

For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the CC, you recall another piece of useful information.

Posted on 2017-05-16 at 12:14:29.

Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts

Character Traits

Traits are aspects of a character’s personality, background, or physique that make him better at some activities and worse at others. A character can have only a limited number of traits, and each trait provides some benefit. However, traits also carry a corresponding drawback. In addition to their game effects, traits suggest characteristics about the character’s personality that might lead to interesting role playing opportunities. Together with a character’s class and feat selection, traits offer a way for game mechanics to encourage deeper character backgrounds and consistent role playing.

Traits serve as an interesting starting point for role playing, reminding players of their characters’ most prominent strengths and weaknesses. However, role playing a certain aspect of a character’s personality does not require possessing the trait. For example, a character can be honest and forthright without the Honest trait. The player should role play the character consistently even though the character’s honesty has no effect on his skill checks.

A character can begin play with up to two traits, chosen by the player at the time of character creation. Alternatively, the GM can require players to roll on Table: Character Traits to determine the traits possessed by their characters. Keep in mind, however, that some roll results might be wildly inappropriate for a given character—there’s no reason for anyone but an Arcanist, for example, to gain Spellgifted. In such cases, the GM should always permit a reroll.

If the GM allows it, players may add traits to their characters after 1st level. The GM might allow a player to assign a trait to her character after she has role played the character in a manner consistent with the trait in question, or after a traumatic or life changing experience (after dying, a character might develop the Cautious trait or the Aggressive trait). If the GM includes this option, a character should gain a new trait no more frequently than once every five levels. Since traits add both bonuses and penalties, there is no cost for the acquisition of a new trait, other than the permission of the GM.

As characters advance in level and ability, they might want to get rid of the traits that they chose at the beginning of play. This is not easy; changing one’s personality requires a lot of work and discipline. This costs a character experience points. Buying off a Trait with XP costs 2,000 XP per level of the character (the older you are, the harder it becomes to effect change in your life). For example, an abrasive character can work on becoming more personable by spending XP to buy off the Abrasive Trait; at first level, the cost to do this is 2,000 XP. At fourth level, the cost to buy off this Trait would be 8,000 XP. This represents the character shifting focus from advancing in her chosen career to making a change in the core of who she is.

Although this section provides a large number of character traits, a player who wants to create a character with a distinctive personality may ask the GM to design a new trait. If that happens, the GM should keep in mind that the traits variant is only effective if the benefits and the drawbacks of the traits are related. If the drawback and benefit of a trait apply to disparate or unrelated aspects of the game, it becomes too easy for a player to choose a trait for her character that provides a bonus on a commonly attempted ability check or skill check while the corresponding penalty applies to a rarely used or never used aspect of play. For example, a trait that gave a bonus to Armor Class and a penalty on attack rolls would be poor design because spell casters make very few attack rolls (making the penalty far less severe) yet continuously gain the benefit-of the increased Armor Class.

As long as the GM and player talk about a new trait ahead of time and view it in light of what skills and abilities the character uses most often, this potential pitfall is easy to avoid.

TABLE: CHARACTER TRAITS d% Trait 01-03 Abrasive
04-06 Absent-minded
07-09 Aggressive
10-11 Brawler1
12-13 Cautious1
14-16 Detached
17-19 Dishonest
20-21 Distinctive1
22-24 Easygoing
25-27 Farsighted
28-30 Focused
31-33 Hard of Hearing
34-36 Hardy
37-39 Honest
40-41 Illiterate)
42-43 Inattentive1
44-46 Musclebound
47-49 Nearsighted
50-51 Nightsighted1
52-54 Passionate
55-57 Plucky
58-60 Polite
61-62 Quick1
63-65 Reckless
66-68 Relentless
69-70 Saddleborn
71-73 Skinny
74-76 Slippery
77-78 Slow1
79-81 Specialized
82-84 Spellgifted
85-87 Stout
88-90 Suspicious
91-93 Torpid
94-96 Uncivilized
97-100 Roll again twice2
1. Trait has special restrictions (see the text). If you don’t qualify, roll again.
2. No starting character may have more than two traits. If a player rolls this result two or more times, the player may choose which two traits to keep.

If a player creates a character with one or more of the traits described here, she has three basic choices for how that trait affects the character’s personality.

First, the character might view the trait as a weakness. A character with this view might try to hide the trait or make excuses for his behavior. On the other hand, he might seek out others with the trait to feel better about his own idiosyncrasy.

Second, the character might view the trait as a strength. A character might call attention to the trait, encourage others to act in ways that mimic the trait, or simply assume that those without the trait are less worthy than those who possess it.

Finally, the character might not acknowledge the trait at all. A character might adopt this attitude toward a trait for several reasons, each suggesting something different about the character’s background and personality.

The character might not be aware of the trait; for example, a nearsighted character might not realize that others see better at a distance because his impairment is mild and the onset was so gradual that he never noticed the change.

The character might be aware of the trait but not want to admit that he possesses it. For example, an abrasive character might realize that his mannerisms affect others, yet find more solace in putting the blame on those whom he offends rather than on himself.

The character might know but simply not care.

The list of Traits here is not extensive; if you wish to create your own trait, use the following guidelines.

First, the player and GM should decide what the Trait will generally accomplish, and what it will be called. For example, perhaps the character is crass and irritable, which results in a mildly cruel attitude towards others, but lets them see through flaws due to their suspicious nature? The GM and player may decide to name the Trait Ornery.

Next, it’s time to consider the game mechanics. Traits grant a +1 bonus to a circumstantial bonus related to one ability, with an equivalent penalty to a circumstantial bonus related to one ability, which need not be the same ability. For example, see Abrasive, which adds +1 to Charisma Checks to intimidate others in exchange for a -1 to be diplomatic or bluff. Aggressive, on the other hand, gives a +2 bonus to initiative in exchange for a -1 penalty to AC. In this case, the -1 penalty to AC is considered roughly equivalent to the +2 Initiative bonus.

Going back to our new Ornery Trait, the game mechanics seem pretty clear. The character gains a +1 to Wisdom checks to see falsehoods or ulterior motives in others, but a -1 to Charisma checks when trying to be diplomatic or engage in social niceties.

Add a few statements about the way this Trait can be role played, and there you have it!

Each trait in this section includes a benefit, a drawback, any special limitations regarding its selection by a character, and roleplaying ideas for how to incorporate it into your character’s personality.

Abrasive You are difficult and demanding in conversation, which tends to oppress those around you.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Charisma checks to intimidate others.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Charisma checks to be diplomatic or bluff another.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might be loud and abrupt or quiet and sinister, but either way, most find them disconcerting or irritating.

Absent Minded You are fascinated by knowledge and learning and are capable of pursuing complex trains of thought quite quickly. However, your preoccupation with such thoughts makes you a little less aware of your surroundings.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Intelligence checks to recall information about a subject, area, person, culture, etc. This bonus stacks with the Raider class’s Legend Lore ability.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Wisdom checks to spot or listen. This penalty applies even to the Listen class ability, and to the Case Target ability.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might flit from idea to idea, trailing off in mid-sentence or mumbling their way through complex ideas. Conversely, characters with this trait might be extremely articulate but still allow their thoughts to move faster than the pace of a conversation.
Aggressive You are quick to initiate combat, and you tend to press the attack once battle is joined. Your enthusiasm makes you a dangerous foe, but you sometimes leave yourself open to blows that a more cautious warrior would avoid.
Benefit You gain a +2 bonus on initiative checks.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty to Armor Class.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait are often hotheaded and quick to anger, or simply think that the best defense is a quick offense.

Brawler You naturally move close to your opponents when fighting, instinctively grabbing and punching rather than striking with weapons.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on unarmed attack rolls and grapple checks, and may inflict normal damage (1d4) with unarmed attacks.
Drawback You take a -2 penalty on all other attack rolls.
Special The bonus from this trait doesn’t apply to natural weapons and does not stack with Pugilist class abilities. Pugilists are already natural brawlers. If a character with this Trait gains a level in the Pugilist character class, he loses this trait. This is an exception to the rule regarding the use of experience points to buy off Traits.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait often disdain the use of weapons entirely, and some eventually learn more refined martial arts based on their instinctive fighting techniques. Many brawlers might not even be consciously aware that they fight differently from other characters; they simply know that the best way to take someone out of a fight is to grab him or punch him in the face.

Cautious You are cautious in combat, even a bit cowardly, and you take more care to defend yourself than others. However, this caution renders you susceptible to fear effects.
Benefit You gain an additional +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class whenever you use the Dodge Combat Maneuver, or when fighting defensively (see p. 175).
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on saving throws made to resist fear effects.
Special You cannot select this trait if you have immunity to fear or fear effects. If you later gain immunity to fear, you lose the benefit of this trait. This is an exception to the rule regarding the use of XP to buy off traits.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might consistently urge talking rather than fighting, or they might do little to encourage that their companions avoid combat and simply remain as far away from foes as possible, using ranged weapons or spells.

Detached You maintain a distance from events that keeps you grounded but limits your reaction speed.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Wisdom checks.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Dexterity checks.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait are likely to be quiet and restrained, but they might be vocal when others falter in their beliefs.

Dishonest You are naturally deceitful and insincere with others. You have a talent for lying, but have difficulty convincing others when you do speak truthfully.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Charisma checks to bluff another.
Drawback You take a -2 penalty on Charisma checks to be diplomatic.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might be portrayed as crafty liars, or lying might simply be second nature to them, making actually telling the truth a difficult chore.

Distinctive You have some distinctive physical feature such as a scar, a prominent nose, a limp, or some similar characteristic that is hard to disguise or conceal.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Reputation checks. For information on Reputation, see p.71.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Disguise checks.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might be sensitive about it, or they might play up its presence to gather attention, sympathy, or notoriety.

Easygoing You are naturally friendly and trusting. Others feel comfortable around you, but this trait also makes it more difficult for you to be pushy or suspicious.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Charisma checks to be friendly, diplomatic, or gain information.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Charisma checks to Intimidate another, and on Wisdom checks to detect falsehoods, lies, or ulterior motives.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might be more easily manipulated in interactions with NPCs, or they might simply prefer not to argue and instead use their natural talent to learn more about the world around them.

Farsighted You have difficulty focusing on nearby objects, but your distance vision is more keen than normal.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Wisdom checks related to spotting things in the distance, or on the fly. This bonus stacks with class or racial abilities to notice secret compartments, unusual stonework, or anything hidden.
Drawback You have a -2 penalty on Wisdom checks to search areas up close. This penalty also affects to class or racial abilities to search for traps, secret compartments, or anything hidden.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might be sensitive about it, or they might simply be oblivious to its presence, having never known any different way of experiencing the world.

Focused You can keep your attention on a task despite many distractions; however, events in the background pass you by.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Attribute checks involving concentration. Situations where this applies are at the GM’s discretion.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Wisdom checks to spot something hidden or out of place, or to hear unusual sounds unless you are concentrating on the task of listening or searching a specific area.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait often seem single-minded or even obsessive in their focus on a specific task.

Hard of hearing You have a slight hearing impairment, and to compensate, you have become more in tune with your other senses.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Attribute checks involving sight.
Drawback You take a -2 penalty on Attribute checks involving hearing.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might be sensitive about it, or they might simply be oblivious to its presence, having never known any different way of experiencing the world.

Hardy You are made of tougher stuff than the average person, but you’re not quite as quick to react to dangerous effects.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Constitution-based saves.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Dexterity-based saves.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might see their physical prowess as normal and look down on less hardy individuals, or they might see it as their duty to play the role of protector and help those less able to endure physical hardship.

Honest You are naturally straightforward and sincere. This quality helps you persuade people to your viewpoint, but you have difficulty telling lies and seeing deception in others.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Charisma checks to be diplomatic or make the truth work to your advantage.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Wisdom checks to be dishonest or to sense dishonesty in others.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might be naive and too unsophisticated to lie, or they might be aware of worldly matters and simply choose to take a higher ground.

Illiterate You cannot read, but you have devoted yourself to learning other skills.
Benefit Choose any one attribute that is designated Prime for your character. You gain a +1 bonus on checks using that Attribute.
Drawback You are illiterate.
Special You can’t select this trait if your character is already illiterate.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might be sensitive about not being able to read, or they might not value “book learnin’.”

Inattentive You are alert and skilled at finishing simple tasks quickly, but you have a difficult time dealing with longer, more complex tasks.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Wisdom checks to spot something hidden or out of place, or to hear unusual sounds unless the listening or searching requires patience and concentration. You also gain a +1 bonus to all Attribute checks involving tasks that can be completed quickly (excluding combat).
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Attribute checks involving concentration or focus for more than a few moments, or on ongoing tasks. Situations where this applies are at the GM’s discretion.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might flit from subject to subject in conversation, or they might seem typical in most situations but leave most of their long-term projects perpetually unfinished.

MuscleBound You are good at almost everything that requires strength, but less adept than most at tasks that require coordination.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Strength-based Attribute checks.
Drawback You take a -2 penalty on Dexterity-based Attribute checks.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait are likely to solve problems with physical strength rather than through trickery or finesse.

Nearsighted You have difficulty focusing on distant objects, but your eye for detail is more keen than normal.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Wisdom checks to search areas up close. This bonus stacks with class or racial abilities to search for traps, secret compartments, or anything hidden.
Drawback You have a -2 penalty on Wisdom checks related to spotting things in the distance, or on the fly. This penalty also applies to class or racial abilities to notice secret compartments, unusual stonework, or anything hidden.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might be sensitive about it, or they might simply be oblivious to its presence, having never known any different way of experiencing the world.

Nightsighted Your eyes are particularly well suited to using some form of night vision, but they are less well adapted to what others consider normal light.
Benefit Increase your night vision by one level. If you don’t normally have it, you gain Duskvision. Duskvision, in turn, becomes Twilightvision. Twilightvision becomes Darkvision, and Darkvision becomes Deepvision.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on all Attribute checks and combat rolls when in areas of bright light.
Roleplaying Ideas This trait might not affect a character’s personality at all, but it might make the character prefer going on underground or nighttime adventures.

Passionate You are made of tougher stuff than the average person, but you are highly suggestible.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Constitution-based saves.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Wisdom-based saves.

Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might be gruff and place extreme value on overcoming physical obstacles, or conversely, their weakness against magical enchantments might leave them fascinated and fearful of such things.

Plucky You have a strength of will not reflected in your limited physical gifts.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Wisdom-based saves.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Constitution-based saves.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might be annoyingly positive-minded, or they might only show their mental resilience in times of dire need.

Polite You are courteous and well spoken.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Charisma checks made to be diplomatic.
Drawback You take a -2 penalty on Charisma checks when attempting to intimidate another.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might be honestly polite and kind, or they might simply be adept at mimicking social conventions to get what they want.

Quick You are fast, but less sturdy than others.
Benefit Your base movement rate increases by 10 feet, and you gain +1 to initiative.
Drawback Subtract 1 from your hit points gained at each level, including 1st (a result of 0 is possible).
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait typically try to stay away from physical combat, but a rare few might relish it, striving to see if their superior speed is enough to best hardier warriors.

Reckless You naturally sacrifice accuracy to put more power behind your blows.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on damage rolls after successful melee attacks.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on melee attack rolls.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might be loudly passionate about entering combat and overcoming foes through strength of arms, or they might be quiet and so desperate to avoid confrontation that they put extra effort into every blow in an attempt to end the encounter more quickly.

Relentless You don’t know the meaning of the word “tired.” You go all out until you simply can’t continue.
Benefit You gain a +2 bonus on Constitution checks and similar checks made to continue tiring activities or to resist fatigue. In cases of Level Drain, you are entitled to a separate Constitution check to avoid becoming fatigued from the level drain. The CL of this check is equal to the HD of the creature inflicting the level drain.
Drawback Any effect or condition that would normally cause you to become fatigued instead causes you to become exhausted. See p. 167 for information regarding Fatigue and Exhaustion.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait may see others as soft or weak, especially anyone who complains about being tired or fatigued. They might openly scoff at others’ weaknesses or might quietly encourage them to “tough it out.”

Saddleborn You are a natural in the saddle, but you have little patience for handling animals when not riding them.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Dexterity checks to ride animals, including animals not normally thought of as mounts.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Attribute checks to handle, train, or otherwise care for animals.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait rarely bother to consider animals as good for anything other than mounts, but they are extremely confident about their riding abilities.

Skinny You are exceptionally slender and scrawny.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Attribute checks made to escape from bonds such as rope or shackles. You also use your Dexterity rather than your Strength to attempt to escape from bonds. This trait stacks with appropriate class abilities.
Drawback You take a -2 penalty on Strength checks to avoid overbearing.
Roleplaying Ideas Skinny characters tend to be pushed around by tougher types, so those with this trait might be shy, or they might be very defensive when faced with such situations.

Slippery You are less adept at grappling and wrestling than others of your size and strength, but you are adept at slipping out of another’s hold.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on checks to escape a grapple or avoid being grappled.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty to attempt to grapple another.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might fear close combat, knowing they are less adept grapplers than most opponents. On the other hand, good escape artists with this trait might enjoy baiting larger foes into grappling them, knowing they can easily slip out of the grasp of most foes.

Slow You are slow, but sturdier than other people.
Benefit Add +2 to your hit points gained at each level.
Drawback Your base movement is halved (round down to the nearest 5-foot interval).
Special You must have a base land speed of at least 20 feet to select this trait.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait tend to be relatively immobile in combat. They typically prefer to wear strong armor (or other protective devices), since it’s hard for them to flee a fight.

Specialized You have a knack for one kind of work or study, but other tasks are harder for you to accomplish.
Benefit Choose one specific Background or Secondary Skill. You gain a +2 bonus on checks using the specified Background or skill.
Drawback You take a -2 penalty on checks using all other Backgrounds or Secondary Skills.
Special This Trait is only available in campaigns using Backgrounds or Secondary Skills.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait often see themselves as elite artists or experts rather than mere professionals, and they might regard their chosen vocation or study as more useful or interesting than other tasks.

Spellgifted You have a gift for casting spells of certain type. Although your spells in this area are more potent than those of other casters, you are not as effective at casting spells from other schools.
Benefit Choose a type of magic from the following list: Conjuring/ Summoning, Defensive, Divination, Elemental (choose an element), Enchantments/Charms, Illusion, Necromancy/ Healing, Offensive (spells that cause direct damage), Transmutation/Alteration. Add 1 to your caster level when casting spells of this type. Some spells may be at the GM’s discretion for the category under which they fall.
Drawback Reduce your caster level by 1 whenever you cast a spell that is not from your chosen school.
Special Not all spells on the Charisma spell list are considered Illusion spells. Color Spray, for example, is an Offensive spell, Fog Cloud could be Defensive or Conjuring/Summoning, and Light could be Enchant, Transmutation, or Conjuring, at the GM’s discretion. The GM always has final ruling on what school a spell falls under.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait might be loudly vocal about the merits of the school of magic that they understand most readily, or they might feel awkward and out of place around “normal” spell casters as a result of their unusual aptitude.

Stout You are stocky and heavy.
Benefit You gain a +2 bonus on Strength checks to avoid being bull rushed or overrun.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Escape Artist checks.
Roleplaying Ideas Overweight characters are often bullied, so those with this trait might be shy, or they might be very defensive when faced with such situations. Some turn to humor to defuse such situations, while others become bitter.

Suspicious You are naturally suspicious of everyone and everything. While this trait makes you hard to fool, it makes others slightly less likely to agree with you or find you threatening.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Wisdom checks to detect lies, falsehoods, or ulterior motives in others.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Charisma checks to be diplomatic or intimidate others.
Roleplaying Ideas This trait might express itself as comic levels of paranoia, or it might make the character quietly cautious about others.

Torpid You are sluggish and slow to react to danger, but also resistant to others’ commands.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on saves against enchantment (compulsion) effects.
Drawback You take a -2 penalty on initiative checks.
Roleplaying Ideas Torpid characters may be seen as lazy, or as methodical and measured in their actions.

Uncivilized You relate better to animals than you do to people.
Benefit You gain a +1 bonus on Charisma checks to handle animals. See p. 58 for animal handling.
Drawback You take a -1 penalty on Charisma checks to bluff, gather information, or be diplomatic.
Roleplaying Ideas Characters with this trait are likely to feel awkward in many social situations; that might be expressed as shyness and quiet behavior, or it might be expressed through an overly exuberant need to participate in conversations.

Posted on 2017-05-16 at 12:14:58.
Edited on 2017-05-17 at 17:35:50 by Hammer

Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts

Sanity Points

SANITY This optional system allows you to introduce an element of dark horror into your game. In campaigns using these rules, characters gain a new attribute called Sanity. This statistic functions like an ability score in some ways, but it has its own unique mechanics that represent the character’s descent from a stable and healthy mental state into confusion, dementia, and mental instability. As a character encounters monsters, witnesses horrible acts, masters forbidden knowledge, or casts spells, his Sanity score, and his corresponding ability to function as a normal member of humanity, deteriorates. This gradual descent is balanced in part by the powers that characters gain each time they overcome a horrific foe or grow in skill and expertise, but even as those characters grow in power, they know or fear that an even greater peril lies ahead—the threat of becoming permanently insane.

The rules for sanity are included herein due to the fact that they are most often associated with monsters and unnatural things, so they go hand-in-hand with the bestiary. They are completely optional, and are not recommended for Game Masters who desire their games to be of the heroic, two-gun, fast and furious style. Games that include sanity tend to be more nihilistic in tone and generally involve either inevitable slides into madness or raging against an equally inevitable dying of the light. There’s rarely a light at the end of the tunnel in games that involve sanity, so think carefully before importing it into your game.

WHAT IS SANITY? Sanity is the natural mental state of ordinary life. Normal mental balance is endangered when characters confront horrors, entities, or activities that are shocking, unnatural, and bewildering. Such encounters cause a character to lose points from his Sanity score, which in turn risks temporary, indefinite, or permanent insanity. Mental stability and lost Sanity points can be restored, up to a point, but psychological scars may remain.

Insanity occurs if too many Sanity points are lost in too short a time. Insanity does not necessarily occur if Sanity points are low, but a lower Sanity score makes some forms of insanity more likely to occur after a character experiences an emotional shock. The character’s Sanity may be regained after a few minutes, recovered after a few months, or lost forever.

A character may regain Sanity points, and even increase her Sanity point maximum. However, increasing a character’s ranks in the Forbidden Lore knowledge always lowers her maximum Sanity by an equal amount.

SANITY POINTS Sanity points measure the stability of a character’s mind. This attribute provides a way to define the sanity inherent in a character, the most stability a character can ever have, and the current level of sane rationality that a character preserves, even after numerous shocks and horrid revelations.

Sanity is measured in three ways: starting Sanity, current Sanity, and maximum Sanity. Starting and current Sanity cannot exceed maximum Sanity.

STARTING SANITY A character’s starting Sanity equals his Wisdom score multiplied by 5. After creation, a character’s current Sanity often fluctuates considerably and might never again match starting Sanity. A change in a character’s Wisdom score changes his starting Sanity in terms of what treatment with the Heal skill can restore. Current Sanity, however, does not change if Wisdom rises or falls.

CURRENT SANITY A character’s current Sanity score fluctuates almost as often as (and sometimes much more often than) his hit points.

MAXIMUM SANITY A character’s maximum Sanity score erodes as he gains exposure to all of the Things that Should Not Be which reside in the Deeper Dark between the planes of existence. Ranks in the Forbidden Lore Knowledge (see below) simulate a character’s comprehension of aspects of the dark creatures at the edges of reality. Once gained, this horrible knowledge is never forgotten, and the character consequently surrenders mental equilibrium. A character’s Sanity weakens as his comprehension of these hidden truths increases. Such is the way of the universe.

The first time a character gain Forbidden Knowledge, a character’s maximum Sanity score is permanently reduced by 5 points. Thereafter, each improvement a character gains in this knowledge permanently reduces a character’s maximum Sanity by 1 point: The more a character knows about the horrible truths underlying reality, the less capable a character is of leading a normal life. These total modifiers (an easy calculation is 4 + total Forbidden Lore levels) are called the Forbidden Lore Modifier.

A character’s maximum Sanity can never be higher than 99 minus the character’s total Forbidden Lore modifier.

MAKING A SANITY CHECK When a character encounters a gruesome, unnatural, or supernatural situation, the GM may require the player to make a Sanity check. On a successful check, the character either loses no sanity, or a minimal amount. Potential sanity loss is usually shown as two numbers or die rolls separated by a slash, such as 1/1d4. The number before the slash indicates the number of sanity points lost if the sanity check succeeds (in this case, 1). The number after the check indicates the number of additional sanity points lost if the check fails (in this case, 1d4+1; 1d4 for failing, plus the 1 automatic loss if the check had succeeded).

This check is a Wisdom-based saving throw with a CL equal to 10 minus 10% of the character’s current SAN score, rounded down. Thus, a character with SAN 90 makes a SAN check at CL 1 (10-9), while a character with SAN 50 makes a SAN check at CL 5 (10-5). SAN loss creates diminishing returns.

A character’s current Sanity is also at risk when the character reads certain books, learns certain types of spells, and attempts to cast them. These Sanity losses are usually automatic (no Sanity check is allowed); the character who chooses to undertake the activity forfeits the indicated number of Sanity points.

In most cases, a new Sanity-shaking confrontation requires a new Sanity check. However, the GM always gets to decide when characters make Sanity checks. Confronting several horribly mangled corpses at one time or in rapid succession may call for just one Sanity check, while the same corpses encountered singly over the course of several game hours may require separate checks.

SIMPLER SANITY CHECKS A simpler method for making Sanity Checks is to just have a player roll percentile dice against his character’s existing Sanity score. A result under the character’s current SAN is successful. This yields similar (though not mathematically identical) results to the Wisdom save, but does not require the GM to figure out the CL for the save. On the other hand, it is not a standard SIEGE method of resolution, so for players that insist upon standardized task resolution this method may not be ideal.

FORBIDDEN LORE The Sanity rules assume that some knowledge is so alien to human understanding that simply learning of its existence can shatter the psyche. While magic and nonhuman races form an everyday part of an Amazing Adventures character’s life, even a seasoned adventurer cannot conquer or understand some things. Knowledge of these secrets and creatures is represented by a new Knowledge skill that goes hand in hand with a character’s Sanity score: Forbidden Lore. Even if the GM decides not to use Knowledge Skills or Backgrounds in game, if Sanity rules are adopted, this particular Knowledge should be included.

This type of knowledge permanently erodes a character’s ability to maintain a stable and sane outlook, and a character’s current Sanity can never be higher than 99 minus the modifier the character has in the Forbidden Lore skill. This number (99 minus Forbidden Lore) is the character’s maximum Sanity. This score represents the upper limit of Sanity that can be restored by the Heal skill (see The Heal Skill and Mental Treatment, later in this section).

KNOWLEDGE SKILL: FORBIDDEN LORE You know That Which Should Not Be Known. You have had horrible supernatural experiences and read forbidden tomes, learning truly dark secrets that have challenged everything you thought you knew. Since these revelations defy logic or commonly accepted fact, it does not matter how intelligent or wise you are when using this skill—only how much exposure to these dark secrets themselves you have experienced.

FORBIDDEN LORE SIEGE CHECKS The Forbidden Lore Knowledge works identically to other Knowledge Skills, which are included on page 56. In short, having a knowledge skill grants +3 to any SIEGE check when using that Knowledge. Unlike other knowledge skills, however, Forbidden Knowledge can be improved by future contacts with blasphemous horrors. Each “improvement” to the skill grants an additional +1 to checks.

Also unlike other SIEGE checks, the only characters who add their level to Forbidden Knowledge checks are Arcanists, who are already tuned into knowledge of Things that Should Not Be. Characters cannot gain this knowledge through normal experience advancement. They can only gain ranks by reading forbidden tomes or having experiences with horrible creatures.

Likewise, characters cannot take the Forbidden Lore knowledge during character creation as one of their starting Knowledge skills (p. 64). The GM will tell you when you gain an improvement in your Forbidden Lore knowledge.

The thing that makes Forbidden Lore dangerous is its utility; despite its devastating effects on Sanity, characters will likely want to learn more Forbidden Lore once they first access it.

Answering a question about the horrible deities and secrets that lurk at the edges of reality has a CL which will vary by difficulty:
CL of 3 (for really easy questions) CL of 5 (for elementary questions) CL of 10 to 20 (for difficult or really tough questions).

Unlike in other fields of study, there are exceedingly few really easy questions associated with this dark knowledge.

A character can use this skill to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the CL of such a check equals the monster’s HD. A successful check allows a character to remember a bit of useful information about that monster. For every 5 points by which a character’s check result exceeds the DC, the GM can give another piece of useful information.

The GM can decide which monsters are subject to the Forbidden Lore knowledge and which monsters are subject to one of the standard Knowledge skills. For example, the GM may rule that Knowledge (folklore) is still the relevant skill for learning or knowing about vampires and werewolves, rather than allowing them to be identified by Forbidden Lore. There may, however, be a certain species of werewolves attached to the Great Old One Nyarlathotep, which are affected by gold rather than silver; in this case the GM may rule that Forbidden Lore is required to reveal this knowledge.

In most campaigns that use Sanity, such creatures as aberrations, oozes, demons and devils should be identified by Forbidden Lore. If the GM wants to make Forbidden Lore especially attractive, all monsters could be identified by this skill, while other knowledges grant limited information about specific creatures.

MADNESS AND MAGIC To add a touch of the alien to your Arcanists, you can tie Sanity to spells, making magic an otherworldy energy that corrupts and drains the sanity of its user. In this system, any time an arcanist casts a spell, he must make a Sanity check. The CL of this check is modified by the spell’s level. Thus, zero-level spells do not modify the CL, while 9th level spells increase the CL by +9. Failing this check costs the caster Sanity points equal to 1d6 plus the level of the spell being cast. You can modify the chance of SAN loss from a spell by changing when checks are made. If every spell cast is too much, try requiring a roll when the caster rolls a 1 or otherwise fails a spell casting roll, or have the roll occur only the first time the Caster uses a spell on a given day, week, or month.

GOING INSANE Losing more than a few Sanity points may cause a character to go insane, as described below. If a character’s Sanity score drops to 0 or lower, she begins the quick slide into permanent insanity. Each round, the character loses another point of Sanity. Once a character’s Sanity score reaches -10, she is hopelessly, incurably insane. The Heal skill can be used to stabilize a character on the threshold of permanent insanity; see The Heal Skill and Mental Treatment, below, for details.

A GM’s description of a Sanity-shaking situation should always justify the threat to a character’s well-being. Thus, a horde of frothing rats is horrifying, while a single ordinary rat usually is not (unless the character has an appropriate phobia, of course).

LOSS OF SANITY Characters ordinarily lose Sanity in a few types of circumstances: when encountering something unimaginable, when suffering a severe shock, after casting a spell or when learning a new spell, when being affected by a certain type of magic or a particular spell, or when reading a forbidden tome.

ENCOUNTERING THE UNIMAGINABLE When people perceive creatures and entities of unspeakable horror, this experience costs them some portion of their minds, since such creatures are intrinsically discomforting and repellent. We never lose awareness of their slimy, fetid, alien nature. This instinctive reaction is part and parcel of human nature. In this category, we can include supernatural events or agents not always recognized as specifically devoted to these dark gods, such as hauntings, zombies, vampires, curses, and so on.

Sanity Loss from Creatures is generally based upon their size, perceived threat, and appearance. In general, small creatures such as rats (perhaps covered in viscera) net a Sanity loss of 0/1d4, while medium-sized creatures or swarms of smaller creatures may net 1d4/1d6. Large creatures can net anywhere from 1d6/1d8 to as much as 1d10/1d20 for colossal, monstrous creatures such as, for example, if the characters were to encounter an enormous, real, undead dragon. These are only suggestions—the GM can and should adjust individual monsters he deems more or less horrible than others of their size.

In addition, certain types of monstrous behavior might force additional Sanity checks, much like those described under Severe Shocks, below.

In most games, no character should need to make a Sanity check when encountering a normal human, or for encountering domesticated or otherwise commonplace animals. Of course, stumbling upon a group of otherwise normal humans performing unspeakable acts of torture and sacrifice is another issue, entirely …

SEVERE SHOCKS A shocking sight of a more mundane nature can also cost Sanity points. Severe shocks include witnessing an untimely or violent death, experiencing personal mutilation, losing social position, being the victim of treachery, or whatever else the Game Master decides is sufficiently extreme. The following list gives some examples of severe shocks, and the Sanity loss each one provokes.

SANITY LOST1 SHOCKING SITUATION Loss on a successful check/loss on a failed check.
0/1d2 Surprised to find mangled animal carcass
0/1d3 Surprised to find human corpse
0/1d3 Surprised to find human body part
0/1d4 Finding a stream flowing with blood
1/1d4+1 Finding a mangled human corpse
0/1d6 Awakening trapped in a coffin
0/1d6 Witnessing a friend’s violent death
1/1d6 Seeing a ghoul, zombie, or other human-shaped and -sized abomination
1/1d6+1 Meeting someone a character knows to be dead
0/1d10 Undergoing severe torture
1/d10 Seeing a corpse rise from its grave or encountering a large abomination
2/2d10+1 Seeing a gigantic severed head fall from the sky
1d10/d% Seeing an Old One, Outer God, or other greater creature of the Deeper Dark

INSANE INSIGHT At the GM’s option, a character who has just gone insane may have an insight into the situation or entity that provoked the insanity. The player needs to make a CL 3 Wisdom check to gain the insight. Information provided by this sudden burst of awareness is up to the GM, but it may include something about a creature’s origin or a fact about its nature (feeding habits, natural habitat, weakness), a clue to the identity of a murderer at a murder scene, or some hint at a location of great importance.

TYPES OF INSANITY Character insanity is induced by a swift succession of shocking experiences or ghastly revelations, events usually connected with dark gods or creatures from the Outer Planes.

Horrifying encounters can result in one of three states of mental unbalance: temporary, indefinite, and permanent insanity. The first two, temporary insanity and indefinite insanity, can be cured. Permanent insanity results when a character’s Sanity points are reduced to 0 or lower. This condition cannot be cured.

TEMPORARY INSANITY Whenever a character loses Sanity points equal to or greater than one-half her Wisdom score from a single scene of game play, she has experienced enough of a shock that the GM must ask for a Sanity check. If the check fails, the character realizes the full significance of what she saw or experienced and goes temporarily insane. If the check succeeds, the character does not go insane, but she may not clearly remember what she experienced (a trick the mind plays to protect itself).

THE SCENE A “scene” of game play is a nebulous element of time that is set by the GM. It generally represents a single combat or role playing encounter, or the time it takes to investigate a location or solve a puzzle. If you think of it in terms of a movie or television series, a scene would be the length of time that the camera focuses on one specific location and set of events before cutting away to the next. It’s shorter than an “act,” which would be a collection of inter-related scenes comprising one of (usually four) sections of an adventure scenario. For more on Acts and Scenes, see Book Five: Mysteries of the Dark.

Temporary insanity might last for a few minutes or a few days. Perhaps the character acquires a phobia or fetish befitting the situation, faints, becomes hysterical, or suffers nervous twitches, but she can still respond rationally enough to run away or hide from a threat.

A character suffering from temporary insanity remains in this state for either a number of rounds or a number of hours; roll d% and consult Table: Duration of Temporary Insanity to see whether the insanity is short-term or long-term. After determining the duration of the insanity, roll d% and consult either the Short Term or Long Term Temporary Insanity Effects tables to identify the specific effect of the insanity. The GM must describe the effect so that the player can roleplay it accordingly.

Successful application of the Heal skill (see The Heal Skill and Mental Treatment, below) may alleviate or erase temporary insanity.

Temporary insanity ends either when the duration rolled on Table 6-8 has elapsed, or earlier if the GM considers it appropriate to do so.
After an episode of temporary insanity ends, traces or even profound evidence of the experience should remain. No reason exists why, for instance, a phobia should depart from someone’s mind as quickly as a warrior draws his sword. What remains behind after a brief episode of temporary insanity should exert a pervasive influence on the character. The character may still be a bit batty, but her conscious mind once again runs the show.

As a variant rule, if the amount of Sanity lost exceeds the character’s current Wisdom score, consider the temporary insanity to always be of the long-term variety.

DURATION OF TEMPORARY INSANITY d% Temporary Insanity Type Duration
01-80 Short-term 1d10+4 rounds
81-100 Long-term 1d10×10 hours

01-20 Character faints (can be awakened by vigorous action taking 1 round thereafter, character is shaken until duration expires).
21-30 Character has a screaming fit.
31-40 Character flees in panic.
41-50 Character shows physical hysterics or emotional outburst (laughing, crying, and so on).
51-55 Character babbles in incoherent rapid speech or in logorrhea (a torrent of coherent speech).
56-60 Character gripped by intense phobia, perhaps rooting her to the spot.
61-65 Character becomes homicidal, dealing harm to nearest person as efficiently as possible.
66-70 Character has hallucinations or delusions (details at the discretion of the GM).
71-75 Character gripped with echopraxia or echolalia (saying or doing whatever those nearby say or do). 76-80 Character gripped with strange or deviant eating desire (dirt, slime, cannibalism, and so on).
81-90 Character falls into a stupor (assumes fetal position, oblivious to events around her).
91-99 Character becomes catatonic (can stand but has no will or interest may be led or forced to simple actions but takes no independent action).
100 Roll on Table 2-5: Long-Term Temporary Insanity Effects.

01-10 Character performs compulsive rituals (washing hands constantly, praying, walking in a particular rhythm, never stepping on cracks, constantly checking to see if crossbow is loaded, and so on).
11-20 Character has hallucinations or delusions (details at the discretion of the GM).
21-30 Character becomes paranoid.
31-40 Character gripped with severe phobia (refuses to approach object of phobia except on successful DC 20 Will save).
41-45 Character has aberrant sexual desires (exhibitionism, nymphomania or satyriasis, teratophilia, necrophilia, and so on).
46-55 Character develops an attachment to a “lucky charm” (embraces object, type of object, or person as a safety blanket) and cannot function without it.
56-65 Character develops psychosomatic blindness, deafness, or the loss of the use of a limb or limbs. 66-75 Character has uncontrollable tics or tremors (-4 penalty on all attack rolls, checks, and saves, except those purely mental in nature).
76-85 Character has amnesia (memories of intimates usually lost first, Knowledge skills useless).
86-90 Character has bouts of reactive psychosis (incoherence, delusions, aberrant behavior, and/or hallucinations).
91-95 Character loses ability to communicate via speech or writing.
96-100 Character becomes catatonic (can stand but has no will or interest, may be led or forced into simple actions but takes no independent action).

01–15 Anxiety (includes severe phobias)
16–20 Dissociative (amnesia, multiple personalities)
21–25 Eating (anorexia, bulimia)
26–30 Impulse control (compulsions)
31–35 Mood (manic/depressive)
36–45 Personality (various neuroses)
46–50 Psychosexual (sadism, nymphomania)
51–55 Psychospecies (character falsely believes he is something other than human—vampire, werewolf, goblin, etc.)
56–70 Schizophrenia/psychotic (delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, catatonia)
71–80 Sleep (night terrors, sleepwalking)
81–85 Somatoform (psychosomatic conditions)
86–95 Substance abuse (alcoholic, drug addict)
96–100 Other (megalomania, quixotism, panzaism)

INDEFINITE INSANITY If a character loses a significant amount of Sanity points in a short space of time (say, a few hours or so), she goes indefinitely insane. The GM judges when the impact of events calls for such a measure. Some GMs never apply the concept to more than the result of a single roll, since this state can remove characters from play for extended periods. An episode of indefinite insanity lasts for 1d6 game months (or as the GM dictates). Symptoms of indefinite insanity may not be immediately apparent (which may give the GM additional time to decide what the effects of such a bout of insanity might be).

The Random Indefinite Insanity table is provided as an aid to selecting what form a character’s indefinite insanity takes. Many GMs prefer to choose an appropriate way for the insanity to manifest, based on the circumstances that provoked it. These rules will not go into detailed breakdowns of all different kinds of insanity; this isn’t a psychology textbook, and it is the author’s feeling that overly detailed rules and strictures for portraying madness in a roleplaying game will interfere with the pulpy nature of these rules.

The state of indefinite insanity is encompassing and incapacitating. For instance, a schizophrenic may be able to walk the streets while babbling and gesticulating, find rudimentary shelter, and beg for enough food to survive, but most of the business of the mind has departed into itself: She cannot fully interact with friends, family, and acquaintances. Conversation, cooperation, and all sense of personal regard have vanished from her psyche.

As a general rule, a character suffering from indefinite insanity should be removed from active play until she recovers. At the GM’s discretion, the player of the character might be allowed to use a temporary character until the end of the story. Whether this “stand-in” character is an incidental NPC in the adventure, a character of the same level as the rest of the group, one or two levels below the rest of the characters, or even a 1st-level character, is up to the GM. Different GMs have different ways of handling this transition.

If a character goes indefinitely insane near the end of an adventure, the GM may decide to set the next adventure to begin after the insane character has recovered.

After recovery, a victim retains definite traces of madness. For example, even though a character knows he is no longer insane, she might be deathly afraid of going to sleep if her insanity manifested itself in the form of terrifying nightmares. The character is in control of her actions, but the experience of insanity has changed her, perhaps forever.

PERMANENT INSANITY A character whose Sanity score falls to 0 goes permanently insane. The character becomes an NPC under the control of the Game Master.

A character with permanent insanity may be reduced to a raving lunatic or may be outwardly indistinguishable from a normal person; either way, she is inwardly corrupted by the pursuit of knowledge and power. Some of the most dangerous cultists in the world are characters who have become permanently insane, been corrupted by forbidden knowledge, and “gone over to the other side.”

A character might be driven permanently insane by forces other than dark gods or forbidden knowledge. In such cases, moral corruption need not necessarily occur. The GM might decide to consider different sorts of permanent insanity, rolling randomly or choosing from among the mental disorders on the Random Indefinite Insanity table, above.

A character who has gone permanently insane can never be normal again. She is forever lost in her own world. This need not mean a lifetime locked away from society, merely that the character has retreated so far from reality that normal mental functions can never be restored. She might be able to lead, within restricted bounds, a more or less normal life if kept away from the stimulus that triggers strong responses in her individual case. Yet a relapse may come quickly. Her calm facade can be destroyed in seconds if even the smallest reminder of what it was that drove her mad disturbs her fragile equilibrium.

In any event, the eventual fate of a permanently insane character is a matter for individual Game Masters and players to decide.

GAINING OR RECOVERING SANITY A character’s Sanity score can increase during the events of a campaign. Although a character’s Maximum Sanity score can never exceed 100 minus her Forbidden Lore bonus, her maximum Sanity and current Sanity can exceed her starting Sanity.

LEVEL ADVANCEMENT A character’s current Sanity can become higher than her starting Sanity as a result of gained levels: Whenever a character gains a new level, she rolls 1d6 and adds the result to her current Sanity. Some GMs may feel such self-improvement to be antithetical to this variant’s dark tone, and thus may not allow it. Others may allow it if the player can roll over her character’s current Sanity points after the character gains a level. Most Game Masters should find the question to be of no consequence, since characters continue to go insane regardless of how many Sanity points they gain. This is a point for players to be aware of, but not to worry about.

STORY AWARDS The GM may decide to award increases in character’s current Sanity if they foil a great horror, a demonic plan, or some other nefarious enterprise.

MENTAL TREATMENT The Sanity rules presented here provide a new use for characters with a psychology background or knowledge, allowing trained alienists to help characters recover lost Sanity points. The CL and effect of a Siege check made to restore lost Sanity depend on whether the therapist is trying to offer immediate care or long-term care.

IMMEDIATE CARE When someone suffers an episode of temporary insanity, a therapist can bring him out of it—calming his terror, snapping him out of his stupor, or doing whatever else is needed to restore the patient to the state she was in before the temporary insanity—by making a CL 3 Wisdom check. This check is the only thing the alienist can do for the entire round—no other action may be taken.

A therapist can also use immediate care to stabilize the Sanity score of a character whose current Sanity hits 0 or below. On a successful CL 5 Wisdom check, which takes the entire round and during which the therapist can take no other actions, the character’s Sanity score improves to 1.

LONG-TERM CARE Providing long-term care means treating a mentally disturbed person for a day or more in a place away from stress and distractions. A therapist must spend 1d4 hours per day doing nothing but talking to the patient. If the therapist makes a CL 10 Wisdom check at the end of this time, the patient recovers 1 Sanity point. A therapist can tend up to six patients at a time; each patient beyond the first adds 1 hour to the total time per day that must be devoted to therapy. The check must be made each day for each patient. A roll of 1 on any of these Wisdom checks indicates that the patient loses 1 point of Sanity that day, as she regresses mentally due to horrors suddenly remembered.

Recovery from indefinite insanity only comes with time (typically, 1d6 months). It is not dependent upon the character’s Sanity points and is not connected to them. A character can be sane with 24 Sanity points and insane while possessing 77 Sanity points.

TREATMENT OF INSANITY Temporary insanity ends so quickly that schedules of treatment are essentially pointless; it runs its course soon enough that one merely need protect a deranged character from further upset or harm. On the other hand, treatment of permanent insanity has no real meaning. By definition, a permanently insane character never recovers, no matter how good the therapist or the facility. Thus, indefinite insanity is the only form of mental illness that might be addressed by intervention and treatment.

After 1d6 months, if undisturbed by further trauma and with the agreement of the Game Master, an indefinitely insane character finds enough mental balance to reenter the world. Two kinds of care may help the character regain Sanity points during this recovery period. When choosing among them, the GM and player should consider the character’s resources, her friends and relatives, and how wisely she has behaved in the past.

PRIVATE CARE The best care available is at home or in some friendly place (perhaps a small church or the home of a wealthy friend) where nursing can be tender, considerate, and undistracted by the needs of competing patients. This can include outpatient therapy sessions with a skilled alienist (psychologist or psychiatrist) combined with rest, relaxation, and natural recovery.

If mental healing or medications are available, roll d% for each game month that one or the other is used. A result of 01-95 is a success: Add 1d3 Sanity points for either mental therapy or proper use of medications, whichever is used (a character can benefit from both used together, increasing gain to 1d6). On a result of 96-100, the healer fumbles the diagnosis or the character rejects the alchemical treatments. She loses 1d6 Sanity points, and no progress is made that month.

INSTITUTIONALIZATION The next best alternative to private care is commitment to a good insane asylum. These institutions are of uneven quality, however, and some may be potentially harmful. Some are creative places of experiment and therapy, while others offer mere confinement. In any setting, concentrated and nourishing treatment by strangers is rare. Therapy using the psychology background or knowledge is usually the only treatment available, but in some cases, primitive institutions offer no treatment at all. Sometimes an institution can convey an uncaring sense that undermines the useful effects of alchemical medications, leaving the character with a sense of anger and loss. He is likely to be distrustful of the organization and its motives. Escape attempts are common by inmates, even in the most enlightened fantasy settings.

Roll d% for each game month a character is in the care of an institution. A result of 01-95 is a success; add 1d3 Sanity points if therapy with the Heal skill was available, or 1 Sanity point if no treatment was present. On a result of 96-100, the character rebels against the environment. He loses 1d6 Sanity points, and no progress can be made that month.

Posted on 2017-05-16 at 12:15:41.
Edited on 2017-05-18 at 00:30:21 by Hammer

Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts

Pulp Adventure Setting

The following is a brief description of the Setting for this as-yet-to-be-named Pulp Adventure. A more detailed description will be provided in the Game Thread before this Pulp Adventure gets underway.

Somewhere Far Beyond the Realms of ElseWhere and ElseWhen is an Alternate Earth where the United States of America is known as The United Kingdoms of the Amerikas.

The Bloody Rebellion (known as the Revolutionary War on our Earth) saw an invasion of the New World Settlements by the Britons with countless Chariots and Horsemen. The Britons were victorious and ruled over the conquered New World: now known as The United Kingdoms of the Amerikas.

A Great Earthquake (in the aftermath of The Bloody Rebellion) caused the Pacific Ocean to swallow up the westward territories, as all the States as we know them disappeared from view, along the line of the Mississippi River westward. Great Cliffs from the resultant earthquake (like the White Cliffs of Dover in England) hold back the raging waters of what was come to be known as The Great Muddy Sea.

The Bloody Civil Uprising (known as the Great Civil War on our Earth) was Not waged between North and South/Blue and Grey. Rather, it was the bloodiest of wars waged on the remaining lands of the Northern Amerika, resulting in the defeat and removal of the ruling Britons all across the land.

When the War of Europia (WWI) broke out, the World Leaders were greatly surprised that the United Kingdoms of the Amerikas came to the aid of the Britons against the aggressions of Germania and others; thinking that the New World would stay out of the fight and would certainly refuse to help their former enemy that had briefly conquered their lands (there was no Pearl Harbor and no California in existence due to the flooding and devastation by the aforementioned Great Earthquake).

There is No Magic and No Sorcery and No Space Aliens in this Pulp Adventure.

Our Pulp Adventure is set in the Kingdom of Detroit during the early 1930s with the prosperity of the Roaring 20s still going strong and Prohibition with the resultant Gang Wars flourishing as well.

The Great Depression has not hit The United Kingdoms of the Amerikas (as it did in our reality), but the streets of Detroit (and the other Great Kingdom Cities to be revealed in the Game Thread) are rampant with crime and corruption and sinister workings in the underbelly of society.

Across the water of the Detroit River can be seen The Great Wall of Windsor. No one knows for sure if the Great Wall was built to keep Invaders out, or to keep something unknown within?

Detroit is a Key Target of a war that is raging on the streets of Detroit between rival gangs, secret societies and other as-yet-unknown threats upon not only the thriving Metropolis of Detroit, but of the other Economic Metropolitan Areas of the United Kingdoms of the Amerikas as well.

Plus, there are rumors of a possible Second War of Europia on the horizon, being fueled by the speculation of Germania and others seeking to gain World Supremacy once more!

Your Character (Third Level) is a member of a group of heroic adventurers who have banded together to help make the streets of Detroit safer and to rid the Metropolis of such threats to the common man.

Posted on 2017-05-16 at 12:16:44.

Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts

Roll Call

Player & Character
Eol Fefalas (Gadgeteer)
Nomad D2

Posted on 2017-05-16 at 12:19:12.
Edited on 2017-05-16 at 17:27:37 by Hammer

Nomad D2
RDI Fixture
Karma: 47/5
2303 Posts


Possibly interested, but no time for a week or two.

Posted on 2017-05-16 at 17:18:43.

Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts

Plenty of Time

I am still adding Info and have some more things to add, plus get familiar with the mechanics so I can help people with Character Creation when they have questions!

I will add you to the Roll Call my friend

Posted on 2017-05-16 at 17:26:14.

Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts

Recruitment is Open

There are other elements to this Pulp Adventure that could be included (such as Reputation, Weapons etc) but I have certainly provided more than enough Info about this Pulp Adventure to see if there is enough interest to play!

Posted on 2017-05-18 at 02:07:23.

Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts

Starting the Game

Fate Points & Sanity Points
Player Characters will begin this Pulp Adventure as Third Level Heroes with 15 Fate Points and 15 Sanity Points: after eradicating a notorious gang from the Mean Streets of Detroit.

You have succeeded in eliminating the Vipers and the menace of their bootleg whiskey. Viper Venom (as it was known on the streets) caused the consumers to behave in a super aggressive manner, almost like a drug in most cases.

It has taken 4 months of rest and recuperation for each Player Character to recover from the effects of witnessing gory mutilations between consumers of the Viper Venom; plus, the fatigue and grind of many battles-to-the-death, as you were forced to wage an all-out war against the Vipers to prevent their poison from spreading any further!

Mean Streets of Detroit
Our story will open with the Player Characters having accepted an invitation to attend a dinner party, being held in their honor (for successfully ridding the streets of both the Vipers and their Viper Venom) by a prominent citizen who is well known in the Socialite Circles.

After my Introductory Posts have established the Historical Background of The United Kingdoms of the Amerikas; plus, set the stage for the above scenario of the Player Characters being invited to a dinner party being held in their honor: Players will Write and Post their Character Back Stories, complete with Character Descriptions and Personal History (which is why the Game Master is awarding each Player Character a total of 15 Fate Points and 15 Sanity Points to begin this Pulp Adventure!)

Our Pulp Adventure will begin at the dinner party, once all the Players Write and Post their Character Descriptions and Personal History in their Opening Post, as the Characters arrive at the dinner party.

I am looking for 3 – 5 Players (preferably 5) who are ready to defy Death and Insanity, as they meet the challenges both known and unknown, on the Mean Streets of Detroit.

Posted on 2017-05-18 at 09:40:44.

Jump to: [First Page] [Prev] 1 2   

  Partners:       Dungeons and Dragons resources, from 2nd to 4th Edition | for the gamer who's sick of the typical Dungeons and Dragons Adventures, #1 resource for D&D Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition  
View/Edit Your Profile | Staff List | Contact Us
Use of the RDINN forums or chatrooms constitutes agreement with our Terms of Service.
You must enable cookies and javascript to use all features of this site.