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-   -   Mental Illness in RPGs (was Games based on T2K rules...) (http://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.php?t=426)

General Pain 12-18-2008 03:49 PM

Mental Illness in RPGs (was Games based on T2K rules...)
 
(thread renamed due to a focus on only one portion of the subject matter)-kato13

A lot of years ago I saw "I, madman" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097557/

and some years later I got the idea for a game called "I am madman" - the character creation is basically the same as T2K , apart from every character will recive 1 or more disorders (mental) - the amount of disorders is basically explained in the character creation itself....so.... a character with a lot of action seen would have more disorders than a typical desk-clerc .
http://www.bloggerheads.com/images/crazy_frog.jpg

Examples:

Character A: Started young and entered the us army and stayed there in 30+ years ,doing loads of stealth mission , black op missions and doing drugs on the side to keep the edge off. = loads of disorders - the GM sould really give the character trouble dealing with all his personalities etc...

Character B: A computer expert (nerd) living in the basement of his parents until the age of 45. = delusions - paranoia

Character C: A military interrogater doing banned interrogations for years - knwon for his nickname "Dr. Schmerz" (german for pain) = anger managment, socially inept etc etc

Character D: An old lady living with her cats ...= violent rage, unable to communicate etc etc

this are all examples.... I guess loads more could be created.

"Adventure/game" starts with players trying to escape from a mental institution. The institution should have various security zones , so diffrent charactes are placed randomly around the institution.

Let the crazys loose...

Other Scenarios/games

- players are federal agents (cia,nsa,fbi,kgb etc)
- players are in prison (but innocent) (atleast one of them)
- players are all tourists on the same ocean liner when a pirate attack happens

...possibilities are endless my friends

General Pain 12-18-2008 03:52 PM

possible new npc contest
 
I reckon an open npc-contest where all npcs are loonies,madmen,insane,delsuioned,deranged or crazy. (or combos) Could proove quite funny and inspiring in a disturbing way. So if the intrest is there go ahead...I'll try to design one as soon as possible.

Targan 12-18-2008 08:58 PM

I don't know where to begin... my campaign is packed with mentally disturbed characters. Some of the most messed up are the PCs.

pmulcahy11b 12-18-2008 09:27 PM

That could turn out like a GURPS-like rule -- take disadvantages in exchanges for more skill or attribute points. Gee, I wonder what schizoaffective disorder would get me....

ChalkLine 12-21-2008 02:03 PM

Having my own mental illnesses, I can tell you the gap between the reality and the roleplaying is huge. Generally someone playing someone mentally ill is just using the label to be an arsehole gamer.

Mentally ill people are limited, and nearly all of the damage is done to themselves. The external manifestations aren't much at all, and in the highly personal world of T2K etc where you are extremely close to other individuals (your party) the effects might even be lessened by the social support.

Why RP things that are mainly internal? The GM says 'this happens' and the player launches into an internal monologue about their anxieties about the disconnect between reality and the perception. Sounds a bit boring to me.

That said, I'm playing an ill player online. It gives most of the other players the shits, not what I intended.

Targan 12-21-2008 10:54 PM

As most of you know MajorPo created the mental illness rules we use and is a psychologist in RL so he keeps us on the straight and narrow when it comes to the portrayal of mentally ill PCs and NPCs in my campaign.

copeab 12-21-2008 11:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by General Pain
"Adventure/game" starts with players trying to escape from a mental institution. The institution should have various security zones , so diffrent charactes are placed randomly around the institution.

An interesting Call of Cthulhu adventure I heard about a few years ago was where there was one character and multiple players -- the character was a mental patient and each player had control of one of his (multiple) personalities. The character had become aware some dark ritual was going to be performed and had to stop it (I don't remember if he had to escape or if it was occurring at the asylum).

kato13 12-21-2008 11:39 PM

The subject of this thread has focused on Mental illness in rpgs so I am renaming the thread.

Thought I would add a link to the "Gunmaster psyche rules" thread as well.

headquarters 12-22-2008 02:22 AM

mental illness
 
not a light subject really - some in our gaming group have it .(And I strongly suspect Gen.Pain has an undiagnosed condition ).

I wanted to make it part of the game because I needed a sort of sanction against players who werent paying attention to the limitations of man so to say .(A well scored and equipped PC can be fun to run like a super villain more or less , killing thousands ,no matter of atroceties matter to you etc )

So I came up with sanitypoints (initiative+intelligence) for a max of 16 points .They loose 1 everytime their HP gets negative,or everytime they are up close and personal in a killing or some other bad stuff happens.(everyone lost 1D6+2 sanitypoints when the world as they knew it ended - mental trauma)

Anyways - too keep it from being just another excuse for being an arsehole player as some stated I took the line that sometimes mental illness manifests itself in ways that could be negative for a person in a playercharacter type enviroment .Lack of sleep/rest , selfmedication to control the illness or its symptoms ( using whatever available , mostly alcohol and organic drugs ) and this in turn leading to negative modifiers like a penalty for shooting when drunk etc .

So now most of the PCs that have been in the wars for awhile have to start every game day with a check against intelligence or initiative or they start every task with the penalty they incurred by missing the roll. (Please all - I do not want any controversy over the choice of intelligence and initiative as the control scores -I needed numbers to hang this on and my lack of intelligence and initiative told me to make it easy on my self and just choose these two)

There are still effects like "animosity towards.." " will turn violent within 1D6 hours after last drop of alcohol (minimum 60 proof ) is swallowed" etc included in the disorders ,but when I thought about it most war veterans that I have spoken to or heard of that had problems after there was some sort of substance abuse problem,sleep disorder or fatigue syndrom.(Or the most common were these ) .

Marc 12-22-2008 04:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by headquarters
Anyways - too keep it from being just another excuse for being an arsehole player as some stated I took the line that sometimes mental illness manifests itself in ways that could be negative for a person in a playercharacter type enviroment .Lack of sleep/rest , selfmedication to control the illness or its symptoms ( using whatever available , mostly alcohol and organic drugs ) and this in turn leading to negative modifiers like a penalty for shooting when drunk etc .

I totally agree on that point. The only possible way to introduce this kind of factors is to traduce them as a functional disadvantages in gaming terms. The GURPS system could be a good example. It's not the first time that I'm tempted to translate the GURPS advantage / disadvantage system to Twilight parameters. And not only for the reason regarding mental illness. If anyone has ever done such a translation, please, I'm very interested in the matter.

Anyway, HQ, I'm curious to know: Anyway to recover sanity points?

headquarters 12-22-2008 05:40 AM

sanity points
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Marc
I totally agree on that point. The only possible way to introduce this kind of factors is to traduce them as a functional disadvantages in gaming terms. The GURPS system could be a good example. It's not the first time that I'm tempted to translate the GURPS advantage / disadvantage system to Twilight parameters. And not only for the reason regarding mental illness. If anyone has ever done such a translation, please, I'm very interested in the matter.

Anyway, HQ, I'm curious to know: Anyway to recover sanity points?

In short and in theory -yes .

In game terms noone have ever dared undergo medical treatment ,therapy or medicated themselves properly .Most often they hurry off to a new firefight as soon as they are up to it from being wounded in the last one .Naturally they dont improve .

Medication and cognitive therapy as well as rest ,passage of time and other forms of traditional healing process can bring back points and in mild cases leave the character symptom free or lessen severity .

But as far as characters that have gone to far over the edge it is impractical.

Years of therapy is needed and medication as well as other treatment -not easily arranged in T2K or even in a less devestated gamesetting .

So far some of the military leaders in our campaign have tried mandatory therapy on our group of PCs .They have resisted treatment very dilligently out of fear from being controlled by an NPC/other PCs psyciathrist henchmen .(Nice little paranoia going there ) .

For one most of what they would have to deal with in therapy are warcrimes,crimes against fellow playercharacters etc and treason ,meaning that noone wants to speak (they prefer having alcohol problems and doing pills alot even if they end up driving cars and shooting at the same time while mucho barracho -some characters have been lost /wounded due to this ).Secondly no one wants medication other than sleeping pills and valiums that they get themselves out of fear for what the doc is ACTUALLY giving them .Sleeping pills and valiums etc have been blackmarket goods so far in our campaign .)

You start out with a max number of ponts of initiative + intelligence
minimum 2 maximum 16.

When you reach zero the GM decides for a disorder,ususally something like

" you have to drink or else you will not be able to sleep.When you wake up you feel bad and need a drink to get the day started. Roll avg:intelligence and the result you miss the roll by is the level of intoxication penalty to all rolls.Roll again every day /period with combat to determine your state at the time .Lack of alcohol will mean you have a permanent - 2 penalty until you get it which you will gladly hurt someone to do "
The points go one by one or many at a time as pr the situation the players are in .

When you recieve a disorder your points once again replenish to max ,and start over again until they reach zero and your current situation is worsened or new disorders afflict your PC.Some long term damage like permanent loss of sanity points meaning that you have less of a drop until you get a new problem is possible.being a psycho is not so fun when it also involves having penalties on your combat rolls and the GM always telling you that people around you are threatening your position..

If they are fatigued this would mean that their number of sanity points temporarily also is lower meaning that they can get another disorder or worsen the one they have temporarily.Also a low count sanity points meaning that in and out of fatigue will make you dip in and out of illness ( psychosis maybe ?)

Anyways - the "fun game" of "I madman " had a lot of typical movie disorders were people would turn into a howling beast or believe they were back in Nam and etc .This is interesting as plot points or to flesh out character but to make player understand that the mind needs protection too and that stress disorders are a casualty maker like none other I have to hit them with the penalties.
As far as I recall 4 out of 5 player characters have problems after years of doing the same horrible,violent and life threathening stuff.5 is new -former PC KIA relatively recently in game time.

hehe.


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