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Old 06-21-2019, 03:08 AM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Disadvantage of the Week: Megalomania

Megalomania [-10] is a mundane mental disadvantage, with no self-control roll. You have ambitions well beyond your actual abilities, but believe wholeheartedly that you are fully capable of them. You tend to boast of your general wonderfulness, and expound on your plans at length. This disadvantage appeared at GURPS 1e, and hasn’t changed much.

The reasons for your ambitions, and why you feel they’re practical, need to be defined. You may feel you are chosen by destiny, perhaps as a leader of an unstoppable movement or people, or you may just believe that you’re superhuman. Your task must be on a grand scale, and while you can be capable of subtlety, and willing to take time or use indirect means, it is the focus of your life and all your efforts. As a megalomaniac who’s making progress with your scheme, you may well have followers with Fanaticism for it, or for you. You get +2 reactions from the young, naïve, or potential Fanatics, but -2 from everyone else, because of your tedious single-mindedness and self-centredness.

Mechanically, this is basically a blend of Delusion and some conditional reaction modifiers. It resembles a blend of the real-world mental conditions of “narcissistic personality disorder” and “delusions of grandeur,” styled as a classical villain motivation.

This disadvantage mainly appears as an option on templates for people with some power, such as courtiers, noblemen, tribal chiefs and wizards. Discworld treats Megalomania as a pure delusion, and provides it for dark lords and small gods; Banestorm has it for underground engineers. Bio-Tech can get rid of it at TL6, via deliberate brain damage, or abolish it via geengineering at TL9. It’s a key plot-driver in Casey & Andy, and for DF9 Summoners. Megalomania shows up on Horror’s Disembodied Brains and Evil Computers, and Madness Dossier readily inflicts it with drugs. Reign of Steel’s Zoneminds are megalomaniacs, as are quite a few Steampunk and Supers types.

None of the characters in my Infinite Cabal campaign have Megalomania on their character sheets, but sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference from Overconfidence with 800+ point world-hopping wizards. How has this disadvantage caused chaos for you?
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