Modeling sanity loss is always a challenging issue. Hero has great mechanics for broad-based mental effects, but they are generally applied uniformly across a group, which is rarely appropriate for something as personal as sanity. Certainly the narrative tells us that while one character might be going fetal or fleeing in terror, other characters should have the potential to hold their ground and stay calm.
PRE Terror Description
2d6 0 mangled animal carcass
2d6 0 blood flowing
3d6 0 corpse/body part
4d6 0 mangled human corpse
3d6 0 minor animal/mundane threat (angry dog, guy with a knife)
5d6 0 major animal/mundane threat (large wolf, bear, guy with a gun)
7d6 0 extreme animal/mundane threat (elephant, polar bear, pack of wolves, guys with guns)
6d6 1/2d6 witness a friend's violent death
6d6 1d6 awake in death trap, still alive
8d6 1 1/2d6 undergo severe torture
3d6 1/2d6 meet someone you know to be dead
2-3d6 1/2d6 lesser mythos creature
4d6 1d6 minor mythos creature (ghoul, nightgaunt, mi-go)
5d6 1d6+1 major mythos creatures (gug, ghast)
6-8d6 1 1/2d6 greater mythos creatures (flying polyps, hunting horrors)
6-8d6 2d6 epic mythos creatures (dholes, formless spawn, leng spiders, hounds of tindalos)
5d6 1d6 see a corpse rise from its grave
8d6 2d6 see gigantic severed head fall from the sky
8d6 3d6 see Elder God
10d6 4d6 see Great Old One
12d6 8d6 see Outer God
Recovering Terror Damage
Can be controlled with an INT roll or succumb for 2d6 Phases. Each subsequent exposure to Terror will trigger an episode if the character fails and INT roll. All Terror penalties apply.
3-5 fainting or screaming fit
6-7 flees in panic
8 physical hysterics or emotional outburst (laughing, crying, etc.)
9 babbling, incoherent, rapid speech, or logorrhea (a torrent of coherent speech)
10 intense phobia, perhaps rooting investigator to the spot
11 homicidal or suicidal mania
12 hallucinations or delusions
13 echopraxia or echolalia (investigator does/says what others around him do/say)
14-15 strange or deviant eating desire (dirt, slime, cannibalism, etc.)
16-18 stupor (assumes foetal positions, oblivious to events) or catatonia (can stand but has no will or interest; may be led or forced to simple actions but takes no independent action)
Can be controlled with an INT roll or succumb for 3d6x5 hours. Each subsequent exposure to Terror will trigger an episode if the character fails and INT roll. All Terror penalties apply.
3-5 amnesia (memories of intimates usually lost first; languages and physical skills engaged, but intellectual skills absent) or stupor/catatonia (see short term)
6-7 severe phobia (can flee, but sees object of obsession everywhere)
9 strange sexual desires (exhibitionism, nymphomania or satyriasis, teratophilia, etc.)
10 fetish (investigator latches onto some object, type of object or person as a safety blanket)
11 uncontrollable ties, tremors, or inability to communicate via speech or writing
12 psychosomatic blindness, deafness, or loss of the use of a limb or limbs
13 brief reactive psychosis (incoherence, delusions, aberrant, behavior, and/or hallucinations)
14-15 temporary paranoia
16-18 compulsive rituals (washing hands, praying, walking in a particular rhythm, never stepping on cracks, checking one's gun constantly etc.)
Such lunacy is often not summed up by a single roll. Indefinite Insanities should be chosen with care and often do not immediately manifest, but when they do the character will be hindered significantly. These traits will last for 1d6 months and may resurface if the character is not healed.
5 Delusions and Hallucinations
7 Generalized Anxiety Disorder
9 Night Terrors
14 Psychotic Episodes
15 Sociopathic Tendencies
16-18 Weak Mind
Mythos lore is a dangerous subject. The more a character knows of the Mythos the less sane he can possibly be. Those of strong mind can often fair well as their knowledge blossoms, and as a result such individuals often believe they can safely master even deeper lore.
This is not true.
Mythos Lore is not a skill that can be bought with experience but can only be earned during game play. Tomes and Grimoires can provide ready knowledge to those who would seek it out, and possibly reveal secret magics.
Mythos Lore is a unique skill that starts at 3- with a character's first experience and costs 1 Character Point. The only way a character may acquire Mythos Lore is either by reading a book or by going insane (any level of Transformation as a result of Terror). Each experience allows the character to raise his skill by +1. When the skill reaches 11-, the skill costs 2 points, and each subsequent increase costs 1 point, typically paid for through a reduction in EGO (see below).
After a book is read (requiring 2d6x3 hours) the character attempts a Mythos Lore roll at +3 (or INT roll +0, whichever is higher), applying the Complexity penalty of the book, as well as a Language penalty. All such books require the character to be Completely Fluent in the Language. He suffers a penalty of -1 if his mastery is Fluent Conversation, -3 if only Basic Conversation. If his knowledge is Idiomatic he is +1 and if he can Imitate Dialects it is +3. If successful, the character has understood what he read and may increase his Mythos Lore by 1 point plus +1 point per 3 Complexity. Regardless, the character must make a Terror Check or suffer 1/2d6 Sanity Damage per point of Complexity; each 2 points of success on the previous roll grants a +1 to the Terror Check.
Skimming the book takes 1d6-1 hours (minimum 1) and will tell the character what is in the book, including whether or not there are any spells.
A character's maximum EGO is equal to 36 - 2 x Mythos Lore. If the character's EGO is greater than this those points can be allocated elsewhere.
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