Sanity Rules, Realms of Chthulhu vs. Horror Companion

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Willis
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Sanity Rules, Realms of Chthulhu vs. Horror Companion

#1 Postby Willis » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:43 am

I'm wanting to run a sci-fi horror game and want some sanity rules to use. I haven't picked up RoC or HC, and was wondering which book people would recommend using. I'm wanting to go with more of a Chthulhu type horror feel so I'm inclined to grab that one, but I just wanted some opinions from people that may have both.

Thanks in advance.

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Bavix
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#2 Postby Bavix » Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:02 pm

Honestly, either one will work, but if you're running a generic horror game with hints of Lovecraftian horror, the entire Horror Companion will be invaluable. I've actually switched my Rippers game from using the Reason setting rule to the Horror Companion Sanity rule. I think it works much better.
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Re: Sanity Rules, Realms of Chthulhu vs. Horror Companion

#3 Postby TommyBrownell » Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:47 pm

Willis wrote:I'm wanting to run a sci-fi horror game and want some sanity rules to use. I haven't picked up RoC or HC, and was wondering which book people would recommend using. I'm wanting to go with more of a Chthulhu type horror feel so I'm inclined to grab that one, but I just wanted some opinions from people that may have both.

Thanks in advance.


I prefer the Sanity rules from Realms, but the Horror Companion was my favorite companion.

No help, I know.
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#4 Postby Jonah Hex » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:24 am

Bavix wrote:Honestly, either one will work, but if you're running a generic horror game with hints of Lovecraftian horror, the entire Horror Companion will be invaluable. I've actually switched my Rippers game from using the Reason setting rule to the Horror Companion Sanity rule. I think it works much better.


Not to threadcrap, but how did you handle the interaction between sanity and Rippertech with dropping Reason?

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J Gregory
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#5 Postby J Gregory » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:39 am

I like both. IMO, the RoC system would be better labelled "Stability" than "Madness" - it does a great job of modelling the shocks and traumas that blast a person's equilibrium in the short term. This one is my preference for action games and one-shots.

The HC version is a bit closer to a Call of Cthulhu's erosion-style Sanity track, emphasising the slow slide into insanity over the long term. Just tweak it a smidge to make characters go irretrievably mad when they hit zero and you're there. I'd go with this one for longer or bleaker Lovecraftian campaigns.

I've always thought that it would be an interesting experiment to use both these systems (Stability and Sanity) in tandem, in much the same way that Pelgrane's Trail of Cthulhu does.
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#6 Postby SeeleyOne » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:45 pm

If you use the two books together, using both Sanity from the HC and Stability from RoC, along with the source materials, you can run a good game of Monster Hunters International
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#7 Postby StrayGeologist » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:21 pm

How would that work exactly? using both...

I imagine it would be like:
A player sees something Nameless and Horrible, they roll Guts and fail (losing a point of Sanity), but they also get hit by the creature's Anguish damage vs. Sanity. The player would then take potential "Madness" wounds from whatever they saw.

Would they lose the point of Sanity before or after, as far as what the Mental Anguish amount is applied to?

I'm really interested to hear if J Gregory has any suggestions on how to use both to emulate Trail of Cthulhu's Stability/Sanity rules in SavageWorlds. I've played and run ToC and found the game mechanics to be incredibly unfulfilling, but there is some solid potential in what they did with Sanity rules.
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#8 Postby Virgobrown72 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:02 am

I'd actually used the GlowMadness rules from "Sundered Skies", and they were extremely simple and effective...
"That which does not kill me, makes me Shaken..."

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J Gregory
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#9 Postby J Gregory » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:39 am

StrayGeologist wrote:
I'm really interested to hear if J Gregory has any suggestions on how to use both to emulate Trail of Cthulhu's Stability/Sanity rules in SavageWorlds. I've played and run ToC and found the game mechanics to be incredibly unfulfilling, but there is some solid potential in what they did with Sanity rules.


Sorry its taken me a while to reply - I've been rolling this around in my head, trying to find a way to make it work elegantly, and I've come to the conclusion that you can't (well, at least I can't...). It just gets too clogged up with stats and bookwork - you wind up mousemilking.

I think a more streamlined way of approximating the Gumshoe style would be to run with the HC system in the place of Gumshoe's Sanity, and use the SW Fatigue track to model Mental Stability.

Failing a Guts check over a Mythos horror would have you immediately lose 1 San point (2 for a critical) a la the HC system. I think this does a decent job of representing the power and ease with which Mythos knowledge can shatter minds. Get down to zero San, and it's the rubber room for your investigator.

Failing a Guts check over something more mundane, say, a mangled corpse, costs a level of Mental Fatigue (this is just another flavour in the big grab bag of Fatigues, and stacks with the others ie. a level of mental fatigue and a level of fatigue from lack of sleep = 2 levels of Fatigue). When you get to "Mentally Incapacitated", you make a Spirit check:

Raise=Shaken + Psychosis for the encounter
Success=Shaken + Psychosis until all levels of Fatigue are removed
Failure=Shaken + Lose 1 San + Psychosis that requires Therapy to remove
Critical Failure=Unconscious + Lose 2 San + Permanent Psychosis.

Psychoses are generated by rolling on the HC Psychosis Table.

(Though my table above is shamelessly based on the excellent RoC Insanity table, I've gone for the HC Psychosis Table for the results rather than the RoC Mental Disorder Table, purely to confine the system to only using one additional reference book (the HC). If you've got it, you could easily use the RoC Table).

Going down this path might risk overloading the Fatigue track a little - it might be necessary to extend it to three levels (a la Suzerain). I'd have to playtest it to find out for my group. I guess it depends on whether you are the type of GM who uses other types of Fatigue a lot.

One regret is having to give up the name Stability for Mental Fatigue, but you've gotta run with what works, eh?
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#10 Postby jonrog1 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:59 pm

Mental Fatigue adaptation of Stability is officially YOINKED for my Firefly/Cthulhu game. Having played around with it, I agree you need to expand the Fatigue track to three levels.


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