[MUD-Dev] Re: Attributes: Sanity

Holly Sommer hsommer at micro.ti.com
Thu May 14 12:51:17 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Thu, 14 May 1998, Travis S. Casey wrote:

> On Mon, 11 May 1998, Holly Sommer wrote:
> > I had written:
> > : Too much loss of sanity, however, results in negative effects like 
> > : paranoia and hallucinations - it tends to lower one's credibility and 
> > : reliability in the eyes of others.
> Small question:  Did you get this idea from the _Call of Cthulhu_ paper
> RPG, or did you invent it independently?

Neither. I've never played any paper RPGs (with the exception of 
Shadowrun once, about 4 years ago). A friend of mine has a creative 
campaign designer, who created the stat, and my friend their sanity stat, 
along with some things they used it for. I built up some specs around it.

> [much cut]
> Why should complete sanity prevent someone from seeing and hearing a
> leprechaun?  Denying the evidence of one's senses is a mark of *insanity*,
> not of sanity.

I disagree - it parallels what each of us has experienced from time to time:

"No. That *can't* have happened. I did *not* see that." Seeing isn't 
always believing, and the ability of humans to dismiss things as 
"imagination" or "a trick of the lights" helps us maintain our sanity... 
the supernatural is best left to the world of the supernatural, or else 
it'll force us to re-examine what we know as real :) Insane people tend 
to not always deal with "just" "reality" ;) 

This is, of course, partially my invention, to suit the gaming world we 
are working on, and is not intended to mirror Real Life - just to borrow 
enough bits and pieces from it, so that it is recognized as somewhat 
structured (rather than totally whimsical) to the player.

> Another name might be more appropriate, or it might be appropriate to
> break this into two attributes -- one which gives the ability to see
> fantastic creatures, and one in which low values cause hallucinations.

This is part of the package deal, too - and not something I mentioned 
directly in the mail I sent here (it is referenced from the URL I pointed 
out, however). Two "abilities" - The Sight and The Hearing. Essentially, 
medium abilities. Anyone with The Sight can see, but not hear, 
fantastical creatures (especially the dead), without losing any sanity. 
Anyone with The Hearing can as well. It's a randomly distributed in-born 
ability which might not be apparent to the player immediately. In fact, 
the rare individual who is blessed (cursed? :) with both, might be 
mistaken for an insane person, as he is able to see and hear and converse 
with the souls of the undead, and leprechauns and chimeras (provided, of 
course, that they chose to make themselves visible/heard) as though it 
were another, normaly person in the room with them. That can look odd to 
anyone else ;)

> With this split, it would become possible for there to be some people who
> can reliably see fantastic creatures without confounding hallucinations,
> some who just hallucinate, and some who do both.  For extra fun, this
> also means that someone who was reliable, and whose visions characters had
> come to trust, could start to go insane.


You may want to check out the threads I authored at that website, under 
the subjects of "Definitions" and "Death" as well.


MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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