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Berserk-like Hindrance

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  • Berserk-like Hindrance

    Is there an existing Hindrance anywhere which represents losing one's temper to an extreme degree? I don't want it to have all the advantages of Berserk, instead just limiting it to uncontrolled Wild Attacks.

    A rough idea of what I'm looking for:

    First, this is for a dhampir race which is known for being "passionate", and the setting is one in which appearances and etiquette are of significant importance, like Victorian era London.

    In social situations, being overcome with emotion can cause the character to react disproportionately - being taunted/insulted may cause an extreme outburst of anger, sad news may make result in collapsing in a wailing heap, even extreme delight might initiate maniacal laughter. Basically, a failed Spirit check will result in the character causing a scene, getting a -2 Persuasion penalty from anyone witnessing the outburst. A critical failure will cause the character to actually attack the person bringing about this emotion.

    In situations of potential or actual violence, with a failed Spirit roll the character will fly into a mad rage, Wild Attacking their target, then any potential foes, and then possibly even the character's own friends. The Spirit roll character can be triggered by insult or some other emotional trigger, or being Shaken/Wounded.

    An ally attempting to hold the character back will give another Spirit roll to snap out of it (only once per encounter), as will each round the character attempts to harm an ally.

    Are there any existing 3rd Party Hindrances out there like this? If not, does my very rough draft above sound like a reasonable 2-point Negative Racial Ability or Major Hindrance?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Oneiros View Post
    In social situations, being overcome with emotion can cause the character to react disproportionately - being taunted/insulted may cause an extreme outburst of anger, sad news may make result in collapsing in a wailing heap, even extreme delight might initiate maniacal laughter. Basically, a failed Spirit check will result in the character causing a scene, getting a -2 Persuasion penalty from anyone witnessing the outburst. A critical failure will cause the character to actually attack the person bringing about this emotion.

    In situations of potential or actual violence, with a failed Spirit roll the character will fly into a mad rage, Wild Attacking their target, then any potential foes, and then possibly even the character's own friends. The Spirit roll character can be triggered by insult or some other emotional trigger, or being Shaken/Wounded.

    An ally attempting to hold the character back will give another Spirit roll to snap out of it (only once per encounter), as will each round the character attempts to harm an ally.
    Maybe just me but it sounds like you already have it worked out. Cut and paste that and you have a reasonable Hinderance. Depending on how often situations like this come up it could be either minor or major.

    I would modify the second paragraph to be that the character needs to fail resisting a test of some type causing the embarrassment that triggers the violent response. In combat you should expect to be shaken/wounded so that, IMO, would not trigger a response.

    As for breaking out of it.... I think you should allow a fellow party member more than one opportunity to "break them out of it," after all that is what friends are for. Maybe the friend makes a grapple check and at the start of the ragers turn they are allowed a free Spirit check. If they fail they attempt to break free of the grapple and continue their rampage.
    I have way too much time but do not always edit myself properly. Please do not take offense.

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    • #3
      Generally, that kind of extreme behavior is a trapping of an existing hindrance. Over Reaction can be the trapping for Big Mouth, Bloodthirsty, Habit (Minor), Impulsive, Mean, Outsider, Quirk, Thin Skinned, or Vengeful - all depending upon what mechanics the player wishes to attach.

      You've clearly got your own idea of the fitting game mechanics. I'm unaware of a printed Hindrance that closely resembles what you're presenting.
      Give your notes a name and you're almost there. I'd suggest: Over Wrought, Extreme Reactions, No Filter, or Inflamed Passions.

      It's not a Major Hindrance. If the social penalty was constant, like Outsider (Minor), then it would be an easy Major Hindrance. As written, it combines a very minor social weakness (Intimidation and Persuasion Tests can inflict a -2 to Persuasion for the scene) with a very minor combat weakness (may be forced to use Wild Attack) to get a combination at the extreme range of Minor Hindrances.
      I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd be minded to just go with Bloodthirsty

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        • #5
          A bit too crunchy for my tastes, but a good start. Stick a nametag on it and I think you're good.

          Personally, I'd simply go with a version of Quirk where the character just Wild Attacks whenever they get over-emotional. It's more narrative-based and almost solely in the player's control, but if the character acts reckless when more tact is needed, that's worth a Benny.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm feeling very creative here, and I may or may not have exactly what you want. Let's consider what the Berserk advantage is: you are Shaken by a physical attack or take at least 1 physical Wound, you make a Smarts roll (which you may voluntarily fail) or go berserk. When you go berserk, you have a number of benefits but also some drawbacks:
            • Ignore 1 point of your Wound penalties (presumably physical only)
            • Toughness +2 (meaning you are harder to hurt if you are hit)
            • Strength die increases 1 type (meaning you hit harder if you do hit)
            • Must Wild Attack (more likely to hit, but also more likely to be hit)
            • Possible Fatigue and Exhaustion if the berserk carries on too long
            Now, I've been watching GM Table's Baytown Mysteries, and in that SWADE setting they have social Wounds and well as physical Wounds. I don't know what you want in your setting, but if you would include social combat in it that includes social Wounds, then what you're actually looking for is an Edge. Specifically, an Edge that triggers whenever you are socially Shaken or take at least 1 social Wound and must be resisted with a Smarts check, which can be voluntarily failed. Going socially berserk bestows the following benefits and drawbacks:
            • Ignore 1 point of Wound modifiers from your social Wounds
            • Resist social damage better
            • Deal more social damage
            • Be more likely to hit socially, but also more likely to be hit socially
            • Possible Fatigue and Exhaustion if berserk goes on too long
            If you're feeling very generous, physical Berserk and social Berserk might very well be the same edge; the guy who will lose his **** and just and rip and tear if you hurt him in combat is the same guy who ubleash devastating rhetoric and racial slurs on you if you seriously insult him in a more civilized context.

            Comment


            • ValhallaGH
              ValhallaGH commented
              Editing a comment
              Wounds are Wounds. Unless you've house ruled in an entirely new mental damage track, there are only Wounds.
              Wounds are caused by physical damage, but characters can be Shaken by emotional and intellectual attacks (including Tests, Fear, Suppressive Fire, etc.).

              Any "Social Wound" system should work like Fatigue. Interface Zero does that, giving a third Fatigue level and making it possible for Tests and other social attacks to cause Fatigue.
              Because cutting remarks and shocking revelations don't break your knees or scar your lungs. Things that can happen when rolling on the Injury Table.
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