Hi guys I've been co-running a horror game in Spycraft for a couple months now and we decided that we wanted to make the Stress rules even more dangerous than what is presented in Fragile Minds. Its a game loosely based on Call of Cthulhu but we wanted PC sanity to be as big of an issue as their meager vitality/wound points.
We've used it for one session so far and it seemed to work out great. The PCs seemed much more concerned with mental damage since they had so few points and Sanity heals much more slowly than Stress.
A player character can be subject to mental damage which applies the following rules:
• He starts with a number of stress equal to 6 (plus Wisdom modifier) at 1st level and gains an additional 3 (plus Wisdom modifier) per character level. This is very similar to vitality and it will also heal at a rate of 1 per character level per hour as long as the character is not in a stressful situation. Any time a character takes mental damage it is applied to his stress points first unless action dice are spent to cause a critical hit. A critical mental damage hit bypasses stress completely and applies the mental damage directly to sanity points.
• He also starts with a number of sanity points equal to his wisdom score. He heals sanity at a rate of 1 per day as long as he is not in a stressful situation for the entire day. This rate can be increased to 2 per day if a successful (DC 15) Resolve/R&R or Medicine/Therapy check is made. A Refresh action can also heal 2 sanity damage at a cost of 1 action die. Other than GM fiat these are the only ways that sanity can be healed.
• Each time he loses 1 or more sanity points for any reason or his stress points are reduced to 0 he becomes stressed. His fluid initiative count also decreases by 2 every time he takes sanity damage and it decreases by 3 for every mental condition he acquires.
• If he takes mental damage equal to or greater than his Wisdom score in one round he must make a Will save equal to the amount of mental damage dealt in the current round plus 1 for every point of Forbidden Knowledge he possesses. If he loses Sanity during the round the Will save is increased by an additional 10. If he fails his roll is compared to the Table of Sproing to determine his mental injury. If he suffers a mental injury worse than either traumatized or rattled he will suffer both of these in succession as well.
• If his sanity becomes 0 or lower he makes a Will save against mental injury but the Will save is increased by an additional 20 (total 30).
• If his sanity becomes -1 he gains the petrified condition.
• If his sanity becomes -10 he is Scared to death (instantly dead).
Table of Sproing
Will save fails by… Mental Injury
12-13 Stupefied (dazed)
14-15 Frozen (paralyzed)
16 Enraptured (fixated)
17 Obsessive-Compulsive disorder (gain Compulsion Subplot) ††
18 Split personality (gain Mistaken Identity Subplot) ††
19 Phobia (gain Fear Subplot) ††
20 Schizophrenic hallucinations (permanently drunk and flanked)
21 Distracted (Permanently nauseated)
22 Severe depression (permanently fatigued)
23 Hysterical dumbness (permanently mute)
24 Hysterical deafness (permanently deaf)
25 Partial amnesia (permanently baffled)
26 Hysterical blindness (permanently blind)
27 Violent hallucinations (permanently enraged)
28 Complete mental breakdown (Wisdom score decreases to 0)
29 Catatonic (Intelligence score decreases to 0)
30+ Coma (Charisma score decreases to 0)
* The character heals 1 increment before the start of each mission and for each full month of downtime. When an increment reaches 0, the mental injury heals naturally. With a successful Medicine/Therapy check at the listed DC, the mental injury’s healing time decreases by 2 (minimum 1).
** This effect lasts until the character receives a successful 1 Full Action Medicine/Therapy check at the listed DC or for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 the mental damage suffered during the current round (rounded up).
† This forgiving mental injury heals at the end of the current scene. However if a character receives any mental injury that is farther along the table than Traumatized and Rattled, he gains these conditions until the end of the scene as well.
††This Subplot is gained in addition to the character’s current Subplots and doesn’t count toward the maximum number of Subplots the character may possess. It may be completed per the standard rules but never counts toward the character’s completed Subplots for the purpose of crossroads benefits or other character advancement.
Δ The character is assumed to receive adequate therapy after the current mission.
ΔΔ See the Spycraft Rulebook, page 17, for more detail. An attribute decreased by this result is regained at the standard rate of 1 per full day of rest, beginning at the end of the current mission. A successful therapy check will allow the damage to begin healing during the current mission.
Petrified: A character with -1 to -9 sanity points is petrified and probably has additional mental injuries. At the end of the round, he must roll d%. If the result is equal to or less than his Wisdom score, he stabilizes, returning to 0 sanity (but retaining all mental injuries); otherwise he loses 1 sanity point. The character may be saved with a successful 1 Full Action (DC 15) Medicine/Therapy (Stabilize) check. The error range of this check is 1-2 and it increases by +2 in combat. This check also possesses the Hands-On tag.
This is the stress/sanity equivalent of the dying mechanic. It also requires the Hands-On tag for treatment because it is such a serious mental condition.
Stressed: A stressed character takes a -1 penalty with all attack and skill checks, and his error range is increased by 1 for all these checks. A character loses this condition after a successful (DC 15) Resolve/R&R or Medicine/Therapy check.
This feat gives 2 points of stress resistance which only applies when mental damage is applied to stress. If for any reason the character has no points of stress left or if the mental damage bypasses stress then the stress damage resistance does not apply. Also the stress damage resistance may never reduce mental damage below 1 point.
This feat has been nerfed because stress/sanity is much more important in this game than traditional Spycraft. Also the equivalent feat for vitality/wounds that gives DR 2 is Too Ugly to Die and that has penalties and higher prerequisites.
The Iron Will feat now gives +3 Will saves and 3 extra sanity points instead of its normal function.
The change to this feat emphasizes that the stress/sanity system now mirrors vitality/wounds. Iron Will is now the mirror of Great Fortitude.
Any critiques on the rules?