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Combining Power Points and Sanity Points


Baconjurer

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I was thinking about how power points could represent your character's mental stamina and how sanity would relate to that.

Lets say you made a houserule that combines power points and sanity into a single mental stamina system. You could have a "major wound threshold" for the mind where certain extreme horrors or ultra powerful spells automatically earned you a roll on a Sanity table, or if you ever went to 0 or less you also earned a roll on a Sanity table. This way your character has a certain tolerance for horrors, but if you saw too much or cast too much or some combination before a period of recovery, you risk losing your grasp on reality. How crazy is this thought?

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I have toyed with this idea, though I naturally shy away from tables when possible. 

Basically, Soul (the combination Power Points and Sanity) has three triggers: Violence, Helplessness, and Unnatural. Each of these triggers is the character's tolerance for that type of horror. If confronted, you roll against the appropriate trigger: if you crit, then you are not phased; succeed, and you are not phased this time, but loose some points; fail, then the character is shaken, they loose their points and are at a penalty for all actions against their foe; fumbles react with a fight, flight, or unconsciousness response, players choice, and they loose max points. Higher triggers mean less subject to that form or horror; this can manifest in the character as a colder or more callous view towards that type of horror, in modern terms becoming more sociopathic.

Triggers may be checked on Crits or Fumbles; successful check roll increases score by 1d3. Soul points return at the rate of 1/day, if alone and resting, faster if under the care of a Counselor (monk, psychologist, family member; 1d3/day). Triggers can be increased or decreased if the character has committed themselves, or been committed, to a facility and is under the care of a Psychiatrist or someone else in the game world that cares for troubled minds, or troubled souls.

Factoring Magic or Psychic Abilites into the mix, this becomes something of a mental fatigue. The more magic or abilities you use, the more subject you become to "a troubled soul" or a mental break; that is to say that they factor into the maximum you can loose within a given period of time. A fumble when using powers is the same as a fumble of a trigger roll, as above. 

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary
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On 2/26/2017 at 6:27 PM, Al. said:

I've played in CoC games where remaining magic points are used as sanity

I'm not sure where the idea originated but one GM said that he go it from me and I certainly didn't invent it so it's been around for a while

Could you elaborate a bit on this? Since PC POW scores are generally in the 3-18 range, and magic points start off equal to POW, this would seem to indicate a very low SAN score.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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On 01/03/2017 at 0:18 AM, Atgxtg said:

Could you elaborate a bit on this? Since PC POW scores are generally in the 3-18 range, and magic points start off equal to POW, this would seem to indicate a very low SAN score.

Sure, sure

I've seen at least two different implementations (for all that enjoy tinkering with rules in downtime I'm a bit crap at paying attention to them in game unless I think 'ooh that's clever I might borrow that' or 'what a load of old carp'). Rolling for SAN on d20 against remaining MPs and rolling 1d100 against (remaining MPs) x5%. You'd have to be fairly sick to roll d100 against remaining MPs! (Although SBIII did have characteristic tests as a straight 1d100 against characteristic so its not without pedigree)

Rule Zero: Don't be on fire

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On 3/2/2017 at 2:55 PM, Al. said:

You'd have to be fairly sick to roll d100 against remaining MPs! (Although SBIII did have characteristic tests as a straight 1d100 against characteristic so its not without pedigree)

Back in 1980, we were rolling d100 vs 5x or 3x or 1x a given characteristic, depending on how tough the challenge; sometimes in a doubled-up "conditional" roll...

Subtle illusion of a solid floor, where there was no floor?  Roll POWx3 or under on d%.  Missed your roll:  DEX as a straight 1x d% or fall into the pit   Made your roll:  DEXx5 d% to avoid the pit.

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On 04/03/2017 at 2:31 PM, Atgxtg said:

Okay, that makes more sense. How to you handle SAN loss in such a system? Do you take it off MPs?

No

Casting spells reduces SAN. Going mad reduces SAN. But going mad doesn't affect spellcasting

On 04/03/2017 at 2:31 PM, Atgxtg said:

 I assume that the version that uses a d20 adjusts the SAN losses accordingly.. 

I honestly cannot remember, but I expect so. Otherwise madness occurs VERY quickly

Rule Zero: Don't be on fire

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On 3/6/2017 at 4:42 PM, Atgxtg said:

In my experience with CoC madness typically occurs before chargen. 

Hush now!

You can't prove that I used up my first 3 CoC groups.  There is no evidence, NONE at all.

And those sharks off the coast are here for the SEALS.

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2 hours ago, g33k said:

Hush now!

You can't prove that I used up my first 3 CoC groups.  There is no evidence, NONE at all.

"We hold these truths to be SELF evident."

2 hours ago, g33k said:

And those sharks off the coast are here for the SEALS.

A likely story. Since when do sharks know how to use an Elder Sign to seal something?

 

More worrisome is that while reading this thread I had some sort of epiphany and came up with the idea of retelling the Maltese Falcon but replacing the stature with that little bas-relief sculpture of Cthulhu from the original short story. 

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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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48 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

More worrisome is that while reading this thread I had some sort of epiphany and came up with the idea of retelling the Maltese Falcon but replacing the stature with that little bas-relief sculpture of Cthulhu from the original short story. 

You said it yourself: "with CoC madness typically occurs before chargen

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44 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Do you want me to give you the bird? Um, I mean the octopus-dragon-manlike thing?

Hah.  You can't scare me!   Not when I recently discovered that THEY quietly surrounded me whilst I was distracted!  Seriously:  in Real Life, Cthulhu has me surrounded:

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN???!?  

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7 hours ago, g33k said:

Hah.  You can't scare me!   Not when I recently discovered that THEY quietly surrounded me whilst I was distracted!  Seriously:  in Real Life, Cthulhu has me surrounded:

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN???!?  

Don't worry... the latter is just a division of HYDRA! What could go wrong?

SDLeary

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  • 2 months later...

COC is one game that would benefit from a Willpower stat for mental strength.  You could use the WILL stat for resistance checks against encounters resulting in horror or even to withstand torture.  The POW stat could become a "derived value" like Hit Points and would no longer affect Skill bonuses.  Sanity would be based on Will and you could modify it by POW if you wanted.  You could even use WILL (perhaps with POW blended in) to do things like turning Vampires... "You have to have faith for one of these to work...."

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/18/2017 at 6:55 PM, olskool said:

COC is one game that would benefit from a Willpower stat for mental strength.  You could use the WILL stat for resistance checks against encounters resulting in horror or even to withstand torture.

I'd always assumed that sort of thing was covered by POW already... that POW is a combination of presence and willpower... seeing as it powers (directly or indirectly) magic and is what you fight off spirit possession and mind domination with.

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5 hours ago, Simlasa said:

I'd always assumed that sort of thing was covered by POW already... that POW is a combination of presence and willpower... seeing as it powers (directly or indirectly) magic and is what you fight off spirit possession and mind domination with.

I made POW a "derived characteristic" so that sacrificing it wouldn't reduce your Skills.  I use WILL in essence for what POW was originally used for so I don't have to recompute the character's Skills when POW loss occurs.  In my games, this is important because just learning a new spell involves the sacrifice of a permanent point of POW (something I do to keep Magic limited in my campaign).  You can combine WILL and POW if you want to make Sanity Loss a little easier on the character.  I use different characteristics to defend against spells and special effects.  For example, with spells involving Suggestion or Hypnotism, I use the Attacker's CHA against the defender's WILL.  Of course, your game may vary. 

Edited by olskool
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My answer to this would be to make Hit Points and "Willpower points" work the same way.

-HP and WP losses represent physical and mental stress. It's easy to lose and recover those.

-Losing all HP or all WP means unbearable stress. A character with no HP falls unconscious. A character with no WP will either fall unconscious, or go mad, depending on how he lost his last WP.

-Losing more than a portion of maximum HP or WP at once will result in a long-term consequence, and a reduced maximum points total.

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