Sanity, morals and composure for AFF2

aduial
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Sanity, morals and composure for AFF2

Postby aduial » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:59 pm

I really like the AFF2 system and world. I also really like roleplaying games that aren't only gritty, but also grim, such as WFRP, Call of Cthulu, Trail of Cthulu and so on.

AFF2 is already fairly gritty, but to add a more grim aspect to it I want rules for morale, bravery and sanity. For less heroic games, where these factors may come into play, I suggest the following rules.

Composure
All characters get an extra attribute, COMPOSURE. The COMPOSURE attribute starts at a level determined by the Director. I suggest 12 for a heroic campaign, 10 if the characters are above average and 8 for normal people. It works in much the same way as LUCK. It is tested by rolling equal to the attribute or less on 2D6, and you loose one point every time you test it - regardless of success or failure.

COMPOSURE tests are demanded by the Director whenever you face disturbing or shocking circumstances. Examples may be violence beyond the norm you are used to, violently supernatural events, seeing your friends slaughtered or a baby sacrificed and so on.

If you fail a COMPOSURE test, you must flee until you reach a location where you feel safe - such as your home or somewhere else well known to you, or until you are exhausted. If some action other than running is needed to flee (such as fighting your way free or climbing up a wall), all your actions are made with a -2 penalty.

COMPOSURE is regained at the same rate as STAMINA: +2 for every meal, +4 for sleep. (Talents that increase STAMINA regeneration do not affect COMPOSURE regeneration, but the director may add other talents that improve COMPOSURE regeneration.)

Morals
All characters get an extra attribute called MORALS. MORALS start at a level determined by the Director. I suggest 12 for a heroic campaign, 10 if the characters are above average but not beyond temptation and 8 for normal people. The Director may allow this to be bought up using normal attribute points.

MORALS is checked in the same way as COMPOSURE, see above. A MORALS check should be called for by the director every time your character suffers temptation of some kind, wether it is temptations of the flesh, attempts too bribe him or something else. Characters may voluntarily fail MORALS checks, but loose a point of MORALS even if they do so (just as if they had rolled the check).

On a failed MORALS check, the character must give in to temptation.

MORALS does not normally regenerate. The Director should grant MORALS-points if the character acts with convincing penance and regret. It should also be possible to gain a point or two per day through charitable acts, such as giving to beggars.

The director may take away MORALS-points from a character who acts particularily immoral or unethically.

If MORALS reaches 0, the character becomes depraved beyond the imagination of most mortals and becomes an NPC under the control of the Director.

Sanity
All characters get an extra attribute called SANITY. Sanity starts at 12 for most characters, and is tested in the same way as COMPOSURE.

SANITY is checked whenever the character encounters something truly sanity-shattering, such as demonic incursion, true paradoxes and so on. On a failed SANITY-check, a character gets a suitable Insanity.

SANITY does not regenerate under any circumstances. When SANITY reaches 0, a character is finally and irrevocably insane, a truly raving maniac, and becomes an NPC under the control of the games master.

Insanities range from inconveniencing character traits to major problems, and are chosen and detailed by the Director. The less SANITY a character has when getting an insanity, the worse that insanity should be.

Suggested Insanities

Phobia
The director chooses something that the character is afraid of. Whenever he encounters the object of his phobia, he must make a MORALE check. The severity of this disorder depends on what the character is afraid of. Being afraid of Marsh Goblins is far less disabilitating than being afraid of daylight.

Kleptomania
The character must make a MORALS check to avoid stealing something whenever he has the chance to do so undetected. The MORALS-point lost by such an act can be regained by giving the stolen object to some sort of charity.

Pyromania
If the character has a chance to set something on fire, he must make a MORALS check to avoid doing so. If he has already made such a test, he does not need to do so again for a number of days equal to his remaining MORALS.

Mr. Hyde syndrome
Every time the character fails at a MORALS check, his personality changes into an evil and depraved version of himself. In this state he automatically fails any MORALS-check he is required to make, but does not loose any MORALS points. He counts as having a MORALS score of 0 for all intents and purposes while in his evil personality. The Director may take control of the character during these times, or allow the player to roleplay his evil side. The personality change lasts for a number of hours equal to the character's current MORALS score.

Nightmares
The character suffers horrible nightmares, and the STAMINA regeneration rate for sleep is reduced by 1.

Bulimia
The character's STAMINA regeneration from eating is reduced by 1.

Anorexia
The character may only eat one meal per day.

Megarexia
The character must eat at least four meals a day if at all possible. He does not regain any more stamina than usual, but must usually pay for (or steal) the meals.

Megalomania
The character may never back down from a challenge, and will brag of his own abilities given half a chance.

Paranoia
The character at all times believes that people around him are out to get him. He will not sleep unless he is locked in his own room or has taken similar precautions (even against his own friends), will only eat food he has prepared himself and will never perform any action where he has to trust anyone.
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bottg
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Postby bottg » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:41 pm

Very nice. These extra attributes can easily be slotted in for particular campaigns, and in fact when we do th erules companion, we will be using the original gamebooks for inspiration for extra characteristics.

These could be poison, sanity, corruption etc
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Postby torus » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:14 pm

Those are very much in keeping with the way the original gamebooks handled such things, which is great. Personally I've never really been into horror or Cthulhu, but a lot of people are so that is a good extension.

However I do like the idea of a corruption stat, increased by contact with magic, chaos and other planes. An additional hazard for wizards. This is quite a common theme in sword and sorcery stories like Conan and Elric.
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Postby bottg » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:35 pm

torus wrote:Those are very much in keeping with the way the original gamebooks handled such things, which is great. Personally I've never really been into horror or Cthulhu, but a lot of people are so that is a good extension.

However I do like the idea of a corruption stat, increased by contact with magic, chaos and other planes. An additional hazard for wizards. This is quite a common theme in sword and sorcery stories like Conan and Elric.


Or indeed Lord of the Rings!
torus
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Postby torus » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:24 pm

parkusuk wrote:
Or indeed Lord of the Rings!


Yes good point, as in the fates of Saruman and Denethor.

I guess one could have spell casting fumbles costing SANITY, or allow mages to lose SANITY instead of STAMINA or MAGIC points. Warriors are also at risk from the allure of enchanted weapons or powerful items.
aduial
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Postby aduial » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:43 pm

A corruption (or rather PURITY) attribute along the same lines as those I have outlined above is a great idea. It should probably work more or less the same way as SANITY.

It seems especially suitable for the Titan setting, with its dangerous magic and emphasis on Chaos (which I cannot help but see as at least somewhat inspired by the Chaos of the Warhammer world), which would seem to be a physically corrupting influence.

I would -personally- keep this PURITY stat a more or less purely physical/magical entity (a "how far am I from mutating into a chaos spawn"-attribute), and keep using MORALS (as outlined above) for more mental, moral and ethical corruption.
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bottg
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Postby bottg » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:23 am

aduial wrote:It seems especially suitable for the Titan setting, with its dangerous magic and emphasis on Chaos (which I cannot help but see as at least somewhat inspired by the Chaos of the Warhammer world), which would seem to be a physically corrupting influence.


It was actually the other way round i believe!


aduial wrote:I would -personally- keep this PURITY stat a more or less purely physical/magical entity (a "how far am I from mutating into a chaos spawn"-attribute), and keep using MORALS (as outlined above) for more mental, moral and ethical corruption.


I agree here
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Postby torus » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:04 am

parkusuk wrote:
aduial wrote:It seems especially suitable for the Titan setting, with its dangerous magic and emphasis on Chaos (which I cannot help but see as at least somewhat inspired by the Chaos of the Warhammer world), which would seem to be a physically corrupting influence.


It was actually the other way round i believe!


Interesting if that's true. Personally I tone down the whole Forces of Chaos thing in Titan. I prefer for most if the creatures to be essentially neutral, and for evil things to arise only from competition for resources, greed and religion, just as in our own world. Chaos should be a background threat, corrupting but not rampaging around in spiky armour.
aduial
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Postby aduial » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:15 am

torus wrote:Chaos should be a background threat, corrupting but not rampaging around in spiky armour.


I wholeheartedly agree! That's the way I play it in WFRP as well, actually - there may be Chaos Warriors in spiky armour in the Chaos Wastes - just as there might be chaos spawn and whatnot down in the wastelands of Khul - but not usually where the player characters are. Certainly not in a grim/gritty campaign. Perhaps in a heroic one. The danger of corruption is what makes Chaos interresting in both these settings, not the number of BDSM-references one can set into the setting (as modern GW publications would have you believe).

Anyway. as for what way the setting influence went... GW was started by Ian and Steve, same people as started the Fighting Fantasy line. The first edition of WFB came out around 1983 I believe, and FF started in 1982 with firetop mountain. Both settings evolved throughout the 80ies. I doubt you could say either one really predated the other, but the ideas in both certainly come from the same people and probably intermingled back and forth for a while. That said, with Warhammer being so much more well known, any work put into Titan today using Chaos is very likely to be blamed for copying Warhammer.
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Postby torus » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:30 pm

I played a lot of MERP in the 80s and the key aspect was the threat of the Shadow and its corrupting influence extending even into seemingly safe and civilised places. This was one thing which I think ICE captured well in the material they produced, whatever your opinions about other parts of the game like magic. If GW or WotC did it it would all be about going up against the Nazgul on Mount Doom.

For this reason, I like to portray Titan as a more settled place, at least on the surface in NW Allansia and the Old World, with sinister undercurrents. The way it's usually presented, as a big lawless and lethal zoo, you would wonder why anyone ever goes outside.
aduial
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Postby aduial » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:50 pm

torus wrote:I like to portray Titan as a more settled place, at least on the surface in NW Allansia and the Old World, with sinister undercurrents. The way it's usually presented, as a big lawless and lethal zoo, you would wonder why anyone ever goes outside.


Really? Hmm. Now, I portray nearly all settings as very settled, because I like big cities and big cities just dont make sense (see http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/blueroom/demog.htm) without acres upon acres upon acres of farmland. Or high magic, but I very seldom run very high magic settings.

But with Titan, I see it as much more dangerous than most settings. Especially Allansia. I see this world as one that was brought to the brink of total disaster only a few generations ago, and that has nowhere near recovered. Sure, there may be a few kings, but there's hardly any kingdoms - they tend to lord over a valley here, a city there. And the land is lawless - and with tendencies towards a zoo, at least if you leave the settled valleys. But with no real central authorities, of course it's lawless - but brigands, goblins and even worse things need some sort of civilization for food, worshippers or other resources, and there's probably enough wild game out there that even monsters usually like to go after that instead of lifestock. Because when they DO go after people, lifestock or other such things, the peasantry are fully capable of raising up torch and pitchfork. And when that fails, there are the heroes.

For Allansia is, to me, a land that only works because of heroes - or travelling mercenaries, adventurers and never-do-wells, as most people probably think of them in times when there's little use for them. Because of heroes, people can go outside, because the monsters and brigands know that when they go too far - someone comes after them. In Allansia, the lack of central authorities, knightly orders and templar houses has left a power vacuum that is filled by heroes. (Okay, so of course those things DO exist. But the way I imagine Allansia, they are spread far too thin.)

And of course, to a Hero, whose job it is to seek out the monsters and the villains, the world will always seem like a lawless Zoo. Of course, in the gamebooks, you tend to play the best and brightest even among heroes, which is why you're always lawful and good.

Take the Slaves of the Abyss book as an example. Even when Kallamehr has fought a war and sent it's remaining armies to face another threat, Lady Carolina & Co are able to summon no less than eleven well known Heroes to her court in about an hour after hearing about a new threat. And she only does this because her champion (Ramedes the Invincible, no less) is away questing for a relic...

Another example, the Citadel of Chaos. The King of Salamonis and The Grand Wizard of Yore send ONE man to handle one of the three best known dark sorcerers and übervillains of the time. And his citadel full of unknown chaotic dangers.

So clearly, even the most powerful people of the time are clearly quite used to relying on heroes and adventurers, even for tasks where you would usually send an army or two. What about less well known people? Take a look at the town in City of Thieves. There's clearly no central authority to appeal to. So they take the next wanderer who comes into town.

So yes, of course Allansia is settled, and no more lawless than say, the wild west or the worse parts of Dark Age Europe. The level of technology presented couldn't exist otherwise. But Allansia is, to my mind, not really governed. And while there are sinister undercurrents, certainly, I've always seen the threat to the communities of Titan as more immediate threats than the sneaking and insidious enemy within of for example Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.
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Postby torus » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:12 pm

I agree about the importance of heroes. In that sense Titan is akin to the worlds of Greek and Norse mythology.

What I meant was that I like the setting to include places that are more settled, civilised and apparently safer than the ‘wild' lands, even if they only comprise a small part of the whole. The Old World has plenty of such places, and has some degree of government over large regions, whereas I agree Allansia is different: it has various city states dotted around the continent, but no large-scale kingdoms - apart from the Lizard Men!

What are the least wild places in Allansia? Arantis? Frostholm? Salamonis, perhaps, after Balthus Dire is gone?
aduial
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Postby aduial » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:57 am

torus wrote:I agree about the importance of heroes. In that sense Titan is akin to the worlds of Greek and Norse mythology.

What I meant was that I like the setting to include places that are more settled, civilised and apparently safer than the ‘wild' lands, even if they only comprise a small part of the whole. The Old World has plenty of such places, and has some degree of government over large regions, whereas I agree Allansia is different: it has various city states dotted around the continent, but no large-scale kingdoms - apart from the Lizard Men!


Okay, then we agree, actually. Who'd have thought? ;-) When it comes to the Old World though, I must admit I never really managed to get a good feel for it, except for what little I read in Sorcery!... what other FF books are set there?

What are the least wild places in Allansia? Arantis? Frostholm? Salamonis, perhaps, after Balthus Dire is gone?


Not entirely sure. I'd probably say "classic allansia", as in the area from White Water River and the Vale of Willow and north until Firetop mountain etc. But I really don't know.
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Re: Sanity, morals and composure for AFF2

Postby Nuvole! » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:52 am

I think that WILLPOWER in Beneath Nightmare Castle is a pretty nice option.
He's a real Nowhere man, sitting in his Nowhere land, making all his Nowhere plans for Nobody.
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Re: Sanity, morals and composure for AFF2

Postby Ruffnut » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:55 am

Nuvole! wrote:I think that WILLPOWER in Beneath Nightmare Castle is a pretty nice option.


Same
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