House Rules for Insanity


We’ve talked about it more than once on the Discord Server, and I’m sure there have been conversations of it in some of the other community outlets. Let’s talk about it here!

So then,
What’s to be done about bringing in a House Rule for “Death by Insanity?”

  • Do we add a mental health bar [Sanity = 2 x (Logic + Perception + Will) +10, for example], and if we do, would Resolve be its only defense?

  • Do we create a new bane that can cause death [perhaps like Fatigued, but for the mind]?

For all of those who want to spice up their Open Legend campaign with psionics, horror, romance, or science gibberish the will blow your mind, what are YOUR ideas for Insanity?

My idea for this has always been:

  • Sanity (takes damage like HP) = 10 + ( Will + Presence + Logic ) x 2
  • Only has one defense – Your Resolve score
  • When reduced to Zero Sanity, you don’t die, you receive a flaw (those in the Core Rules are a good starting point) in the form of a mental illness
  • Add a “cooldown” mechanic where, if you go for X amount of time without taking Sanity damage, one of your flaws suffered from Sanity damage is removed.

Hey I really like that!

I wonder what the cooldown should be. Do you think it ought to have something to do with Fortitude? Will?

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I don’t think so. Simple seems best here. Maybe 24 hrs without taking Sanity damage.

Also I forgot, there needs to be a “when you accumulate X flaws, you lots your character and become permanently insane.” Mechanic


Sounds good to me!

I’m thinking Sick, Cowardly, Phobia, and Psychotic (in that order, maybe?). After all 4 of those have accumulated, and they’re Sanity score is reduced to Zero again before 24 hours, they’d permanently go Insane.

In the official rules, I’d just make it so there is no particular order of accumulation. Keep in mind you might just acquire phobia over and over, but the severity and how common the object of your phobia is might become increasingly problematic. For example, phobia: spiders, phobia: dark, phobia: water, in that order. When you get to phobia: water, you’ve got a ticking time bomb because you can’t drink water and need to get better before the phobia causes you to kill yourself


Thanks for this guys.

I’m going adopt these rules but for a HUMANITY score. My game is one where powers from ‘beyond the Veil’ are using the PCs as avatars to play their godly games on Earth in a Cyberpunk setting. What I want is a mechanic where the players can slowly lose their humanity to these mysterious powers.

I think I’ll make the Humanity score the 10 + (Will + Presence + Logic X 2). What I’m trying to decide is what event will cause them to make a Resolve roll. My idea was anytime they use their powers and they blow up beyond expectation. (The rolls goes 10+ the Difficulty Rating.) If that is the case, the Players will be hesitant to use their powers for petty purposes, reserving their extraordinary powers for the most dire of circumstances.

The thing is, their Humanity should be wholly ablative, meaning I don’t want them to recover it very quickly or at all. I’m looking for a dark game where the slow decent into the arms of their mysterious benefactors is inevitable.

Thoughts and ideas?

I would probably start your own post/thread on this instead of tacking it onto this one that is so old.

If you want more permanence than you need Flaws that will represent it I would say.

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