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Old 11-21-2017, 08:31 PM   #1
Kesendeja
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Default Fear and Madness

I'm starting a GURPS Horror game dealing with nameless horrors from beyond. I need to know how to model fear and sanity for the characters. I've got the main books, and Horror, but can't find what I need. Admittedly I may just be missing it.
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Old 11-21-2017, 08:37 PM   #2
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Fear and Madness

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Originally Posted by Kesendeja View Post
I need to know how to model fear and sanity for the characters. I've got the main books, and Horror, but can't find what I need.
Have you checked out the rules for Fright Checks (pp. B360-361 and expanded in Horror, p. 139-141)? I'd start with those. There are also rules in Horror for more long-term fright and madness, under "Stress and Derangement" (pp. 141-142) and "Insanity" (pp. 142-146).
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:41 AM   #3
Kesendeja
 
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Default Re: Fear and Madness

Thanks, I'm away from my books right now, but I'll check out the pages.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Fear and Madness

And once you will be used to Fright Check rules, you may want to look at Horror options. It gives rules which allow to make a difference between ordinary frights and deeper sanity disorder.

But Fright Check rules are still sufficient to begin with. I played a lot of Call of Cthulhu adventures with them only and it perfectly worked.
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Fear and Madness

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But Fright Check rules are still sufficient to begin with. I played a lot of Call of Cthulhu adventures with them only and it perfectly worked.
By "perfectly worked" you mean it's good enough for "in the moment" sanity checks where the characters might freeze and get killed as a result, but did you not miss any of the "accumulating" effects of the original CoC SAN system?
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:24 PM   #6
David Johnston2
 
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By "perfectly worked" you mean it's good enough for "in the moment" sanity checks where the characters might freeze and get killed as a result, but did you not miss any of the "accumulating" effects of the original CoC SAN system?
Fright checks have that. All it takes is a fumble or a big enough modifier and you start to accumulate quirks, delusions, phobias...
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Fear and Madness

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Fright checks have that. All it takes is a fumble or a big enough modifier and you start to accumulate quirks, delusions, phobias...
I found this perfectly adequate for a modern-day Laundry campaign, with downtime psychotherapy. If you're going for 1920s period psychology, which wasn't too good, it gets a bit more complicated.

I'd expect to find that fight check penalties big enough to have the kind of lasting effects you'd want in that genre will cause characters to fail fright checks so often that it becomes unfun. A GM ,ight want to change the 3d + margin of failure roll on the fight check table to 3d + margin +5, or something like that.
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Fear and Madness

Am I missing something? Getting any quirks or disadvantages requires mostly a 20-or-higher margin of failure. That probably means a -15 penalty to the Fright Check roll. This only happens in extreme situations, if any (I don't think I ever gave anything worse than -9 to my players except for when encountering a Great Old One).

By "accumulating" I mean having Fright Checks get worse and worse for a character, which is a typical mechanic of CoC -- basic Fright Checks would always be the same. Even if a Fright Check gave you multiple mental disadvantages, you'd still be passing/failing them at the same rate (unless you somehow got Fearfulness), so there wouldn't be any accumulation of anything, aka "downward spiral".
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:11 PM   #9
a humble lich
 
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Default Re: Fear and Madness

I don't have 4e Horror, so I don't know if these rules have been updated and already suggested, but in 3e Horror, it was suggested that every failed fright check gives a -1 cumulative penalty on all future fright checks. This was specifically to model the downward spiral you are talking about.
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: Fear and Madness

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Originally Posted by lordabdul View Post
Am I missing something? Getting any quirks or disadvantages requires mostly a 20-or-higher margin of failure.
You are missing something. To pick a Fright Check Table entry, you roll 3d and add the margin of failure. So if, say, you failed by 3, and rolled 14 on the 3d, that would get you to 16 on the table, which gets you stunned 1d seconds, plus a new quirk.

Note that all the -10 point mental disadvantages could be ruled to be Fearfulness, loss of Will points, and so on, if you felt like that.

Edit: Horror has a bunch more variations for Fright Checks on pp143-45.

Last edited by johndallman; 04-14-2018 at 04:19 PM.
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