System Update to Sanity

Posted: April 20, 2014 by luvlymish in System

We have updated the system with regard to how sanity works – feel free to post questions here or ask them of the refs elsewhere.


A character’s sanity is a value which runs from 1 to 5 with five being stable for that character.

Sanity Effects are rated as 1 to 3 or Purple 1 to 3. If a player is exposed to a normal (not Purple) Sanity Effect then they immediately lose that amount of Sanity and must react appropriately. During the day players may see and interact with situations which they feel may affect their particular character, they should feel free to make use of their Coping Mechanisms and Insanity as appropriate.

Sanity may be restored by indulging in one or more of your Coping Mechanisms. By using a Coping Mechanism you regain a point of sanity. If you get a good night’s sleep then at ref discretion you may regain up to one point in addition to your use of Coping Mechanisms.

Each character has two Coping Mechanisms, an active and a passive one. You may only use one Coping Mechanism per Sanity Effect. Coping Mechanisms should be roleplayed for an appropriate length of time, if this is not indicated on your character sheet please roleplay appropriate to the mechanism.

For example, a player witnesses a brutal murder. That might be enough to shake their faith in humanity and they decide it’s a one-point Sanity Effect. They are shaken but indulge their Coping Mechanism of ‘A Stiff Drink’ and recover that lost point.

However, the same player later witnesses a police phonebox disappear before his eyes. Such a thing defies any law of physics and the character’s world is turned upside down. They take a 3-point Sanity Effect and no matter how many times the player uses his Coping Mechanism, he can never restore more than 1 of those lost Sanity points. The player may also decide that his Coping Mechanism of ‘Obsessive Compulsion’ is more appropriate to the situation than ‘A Stiff Drink’ (possibly because he finished his flask due to the murder earlier).

Each character trends towards a form of insanity as described on their character sheet. These are left deliberately broad for the player’s interpretation based upon the horror they are faced with. The lower a character’s Sanity becomes the more pronounced their derangement is. At zero Sanity a character is deranged and must act out their insanity to the fullest. If you have lost one point of Sanity and regain that point by using a coping mechanism you do not need to roleplay your Insanity.

The exception to roleplaying through your Insanity is when faced with a Purple Sanity Threat, these are usually attached to unseen Sanity Threats which will be described by a ref, the player can choose to use their Coping Mechanism in order to cope with the threat but if they choose not to use their Coping Mechanism then rather than play through their Insanity they will play through a specific urge/insanity/etc. which the Ref will give them.

For example a player is walking down an apparently empty corridor when a ref informs them that for the briefest instant non-euclidean shapes appear on the inside of their retina and they have the urge to create an entirely spherical environment in which to live. This is a level 1 Purple Sanity Threat. The player decides to have a Stiff Drink and the urge becomes a passing memory.

Later that same player is walking in the deserted garden and sees nothing but gets the urge to talk excitedly about meteors from outer-space. This is a 2 point Purple Sanity Threat and he opts not to make use of his Coping Mechanisms. He goes inside and talks about the wonders of meteors to the other players for a good quarter of an hour or longer if it seems appropriate.


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