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Question Permanent Sanity versus Temp Sanity


halciber

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Hello Everyone,

There is a part of the Sanity rules that I'm not clear on. The rules talk about temporary and indefinite sanity. This is clear. When reaching 0 sanity points, the character is 'permanently' insane. This is clear. What I'm not clear on is the character's ability to recover sanity points. From the temporary and indefinite sanity rules, it seems like sanity points lost in a game session can be recovered. It doesn't specify cases where points can't be recovered.

But I'm wondering if there are cases or events where a loss of points is permanent? For example, does studying mythos tomes cause permanent sanity point loss. Or encountering a horrible monster cause permanent point loss. What about a character regularly casting spells? Are these points always recoverable, or is there a point when the sanity points can't be recovered?

Thanks,

Mike

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Page 164 - 168 of the 7e Core Rule Book.

In essence all San loss is to some extent permanent, it doesn’t recover like hit points do but equally San gain can be permanent as well. The only permanent reduction is that max San is (99-Cthulhu mythos). No other San loss permanently fixes a characters San at a number until a character reaches 0 when it’s all over.

The death spiral effect of losing San is that the less a character has the more they are likely to fail a San roll and thus lose a big chunk when they encounter shocking situation. Plus having low San means the indefinite insanity threshold is closer. Having a character with high San they almost always make their San rolls and lose 0 or 1 San multiple times where the low San character is failing and losing 1d4, 1d6 or 1d8 each time.

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On 9/23/2022 at 7:20 PM, werecorpse said:

Page 164 - 168 of the 7e Core Rule Book.

In essence all San loss is to some extent permanent, it doesn’t recover like hit points do but equally San gain can be permanent as well. The only permanent reduction is that max San is (99-Cthulhu mythos). No other San loss permanently fixes a characters San at a number until a character reaches 0 when it’s all over.

The death spiral effect of losing San is that the less a character has the more they are likely to fail a San roll and thus lose a big chunk when they encounter shocking situation. Plus having low San means the indefinite insanity threshold is closer. Having a character with high San they almost always make their San rolls and lose 0 or 1 San multiple times where the low San character is failing and losing 1d4, 1d6 or 1d8 each time.

Thank you werecorpse. This explanation is really helpful. From your explanation it seems like that unless the characters are spending months in recovery between adventures, the small hits to sanity begin to add up. So, it becomes easier (over time) to succumb to more serious bouts of insanity.

I really appreciate your help. Thank you!

Mike 

 

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17 hours ago, halciber said:

Thank you werecorpse. This explanation is really helpful. From your explanation it seems like that unless the characters are spending months in recovery between adventures, the small hits to sanity begin to add up. So, it becomes easier (over time) to succumb to more serious bouts of insanity.

I really appreciate your help. Thank you!

Mike 

 

Casting the net just a little wider, Delta Green's system for SAN loss is just as devastating.

DG characters have 'bonds', people who are important to them - - the people DG operatives fight the Mythos for. But the more operations you go on, the more exposure you have to the Mythos, the more SAN you lose, the easier it is to damage or lose a bond-relationship. This means that as you gain experience you also erode the support system that is so important for you to regain that SAN.

On a personal note, I am a mental health patient with PTSD. The process of 'the better at your job you get, the crazier you get, the less support you have' rings very true to my experiences.

I'm not bringing this up to elicit sympathy or 'thoughts and prayers'. My intention to is just to explain why I think the DG system is authentic to the processes of mental health damage [aka SAN loss] and recovery. Just as in CoC, DG has processes by which SAN can be regained on a permanent basis, but the patient [aka the PC] must be willing to repair or form new bonds and make an especial point of maintaining them.

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8 hours ago, svensson said:

Casting the net just a little wider, Delta Green's system for SAN loss is just as devastating.

DG characters have 'bonds', people who are important to them - - the people DG operatives fight the Mythos for. But the more operations you go on, the more exposure you have to the Mythos, the more SAN you lose, the easier it is to damage or lose a bond-relationship. This means that as you gain experience you also erode the support system that is so important for you to regain that SAN.

On a personal note, I am a mental health patient with PTSD. The process of 'the better at your job you get, the crazier you get, the less support you have' rings very true to my experiences.

I'm not bringing this up to elicit sympathy or 'thoughts and prayers'. My intention to is just to explain why I think the DG system is authentic to the processes of mental health damage [aka SAN loss] and recovery. Just as in CoC, DG has processes by which SAN can be regained on a permanent basis, but the patient [aka the PC] must be willing to repair or form new bonds and make an especial point of maintaining them.

Hi Svenson,

Thank you for this input. Until your post, I hadn't heard of Delta Green. I just took a quick peek. Given what you wrote this makes sense to me. In fact the point of getting more experience eroding one's sanity was where my confusion lay. I just thought repeated exposure would eventually tear apart a person's mind, regardless of the mental health help they got. Furthermore, given the mythos is a hidden part of the universe, mental health professionals wouldn't necessarily  be exposed to the mythos, and thus treat everyone who's been exposed a sick people. And as a result giving the characters useless treatment. 

I'm going to take a deeper look at DG. I really appreciate your perspectives on this question.

 

Regards,

Mike

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Happy to provide grist for the mill 😀

And yes, the game does get into the idea that no doctor-patient privilege is going to cover tentacles appearing out of the middle of a wall 😄 Telling your counselor/psychiatrist too much is as harmful as not telling them enough, from a therapeutic SAN-recovery standpoint. A DG operative could easily find himself involuntarily committed and being court-ordered to take psychotropic anti-hallucinatories. Or red-flagged as a asocial anger-management problem that has their firearms rights or security credentials [FBI credentials, for example] revoked.

An EXCELLENT summary for Delta Green is the 'Need To Know' book, available from drivethrurpg. It's a great condensation of the Agent's and Handler's [referee] rulebooks and gives you a solid idea of the setting at a very affordable price.

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Don’t underestimate the impact of San rewards at the end of the scenario- for overcoming mythos threats or rescuing threatened persons etc.
Fwiw I have found that the rewards at the end of the scenario can result in the character ending a scenario with more San than they started if they are generally successful! This is by no means guaranteed but is frequent enough that it’s not an outlier. This is in both CoC and DG and especially the case if the characters are regularly making their San checks (so not losing all that much in scenario) & in DG’s case pushing off San loss onto bonds. This IME is the main source of San repair and does facilitate campaign play; ime I think the amounts granted can sometimes be too high. 

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