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TabletopNuke
2009-10-29, 12:03 PM
I'm trying to create series of "madness feats", which work independently from Unearthed Arcana's Sanity system. These probably wouldn't work well with the Taint system either.

I'm expanding and reworking this at Djinn in Tonic's suggestion. This is all heavily under construction.

Edit 01/06: I rewrote many of the feats here, so please look them over and tell me what you thing.

Edit 01/12: No one's puppet was regarded as overpowered, so I changed it so it only provides immunity to Compulsion effects.

I will be building a system similar to the Sanity loss one from UA to go with this.

Madness
This variant allows you to introduce various levels of mental instability to your game. In campaigns using these rules, characters gain a feature called a Madness Score. This statistic functions differently from an ability score, and has it's own mechanics, representing the vast difference between a mentally sound person and someone lost in the depths of insanity.

Most characters begin their adventuring career perfectly sane, and they usually stay that way, in the long-term at least. However, the world is sometimes an unpleasant place, and bad things can happen. An adventurer is often exposed to horrible things, any of which can wear on the mind, the horrors of war, monstrous and unnatural entities from other universes, mind-altering supernatural powers, torture, to name a few. Even more mundane events, such as the loss of a loved one, childhood abuse, or severe injury, can prove devastating and mentally trying.

Madness Score
A Madness Score of zero indicates a mentally healthy character. They may have the occasional eccentricity, but they act in a fairly reasonable manner, and function in daily life.

A Madness Score of 1 or higher means that a character has some degree of mental instability. The higher a character's Madness score, the more severe their mental illness is. A low score, 1 or 2, indicates that the character is somewhat off, but still fairly rational. A character with a very high score, say 7 or 8, is quickly identifiable as severely insane.

Madness Feats
Madness feats typically have double the benefit of regular feats, because they come with hefty drawbacks. A creature has a "madness score" equal to the number of madness feats they possess.

This score is applied as a penalty on all Wisdom-based checks (Spot, Survival, Will Saves, and so on), representing hallucinations, delusions, poor judgment, irrational thinking, and the like. This score is also applied as a penalty on Diplomacy and Gather Information checks made to influence sane creatures, and on Disguise checks to impersonate sane creatures. The madness score applies as a bonus on Intimidate checks made to influence sane creatures.

Sane creatures are defined as creatures without madness feats, racial madness, such as that of beholders, derro, and howling dragons, or under the influence of an effect such as the insanity spell.

With the Madness feat rules, the special ability for the Madness cleric domain is Clarity of Madness as a bonus feat, rather than the usual special ability.

Going Insane
Sometime all it takes is a single devastating event to completely unravel a previously sound mind. When a character reaches a new level, with the DMís approval, they may switch out any number of pre-existing feats for any madness feats for which they meet the requirements. The character cannot switch out any feats that are requirements for other features the character possesses (such as prestige classes and other feats).

I have a fluffed version of this stuff too, for anyone interested:Adventuring with Madness
Insanity greatly influences those who live with it. An adventurer afflicted with madness will likely have to rely on his teammates to make up for his shortcomings. An insane character will almost certainly not be the speaker for the party. His poor judgment and difficulty to separate reality from fantasy probably makes the role team leader and unwise decision. Party scout will also be a difficult role to fill.

However, a mad adventurerís troubled mind may prove an unpleasant surprise for the evil enchanter who thinks dominating such a character would be a good idea. The insane characterís complete disregard for personal safety might make him the only party member not cowering in fear as the ancient red dragon swoops down on the group.

Degrees of Madness
Madness comes in varying degrees. There is a world of difference between the gloomy soul who just canít see the bright side of life and the delusional psychopath who spends most of her life lost in hallucinations. The severity of a creatureís mental instability is measured by its madness score, which is equal to the number of madness feats it possesses.

Roleplaying Insanity
Madness feats provide a wealth of roleplaying opportunities. A player who makes an insane character should consider several factors.

What drove the character insane? Was he the victim of some childhood trauma that damaged his mind? Has he inherited madness from a parent, possibly even a monstrous ancestor such as a howling dragon? Is it the result of exposure to some unnatural anomaly, such exposure to the Far Realm?

How does the characterís insanity manifest? Does he suffer manic periods followed by deep depression? Is he unable to recall the order that events happened in? What kind of effect does the characterís mental instability have on others, particularly his teammates? You might even choose specific mental conditions.

Madness Feats

Audacious Certainty (Madness):
You have absolute confidence in your own capability, regardless of any evidence to the contrary.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 3, Cha 13, Insane Confidence
Benefit: You do not apply your madness score as a penalty to Will saves.

Clarity of Madness (Madness):
Your madness occasionally grants you bursts of insight beyond what others perceive.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 1
Benefit: You can add Ĺ your character level to the result of a single Will save or Wisdom-based skill check. You must decide to add the bonus before you know if the check or save succeeds. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to Ĺ your Madness Score (rounded up).

Erratic Strike (Madness):
Your confusing movements are difficult for others to defend themselves against.
Benefit: You can attack such a way that you catch your opponent off-guard, denying them their Dexterity bonus to their Armor Class. You can only use this ability against a sane opponent within 30 feet, and only once per opponent per encounter (an opponent who is targeted by this ability can recognize it for the duration of that combat.). Any abilities that can be used when a foe is denied his Dexterity bonus to his Armor Class can be used with an Eratic Strike attack (for example, a sneak attack could be made with this attack if you can make such an attack).

In addition, you can make a Bluff check to feint in combat as a move action, as opposed to a standard action.

Special: Erratic Strike has no effect against foes with no line of effect to you. This feat can be substituted for the Improved Feint feat for the purpose of qualifying for classes or other feats.

Fear Nothing (Madness):
You have become disconnected from reality to the point that you can no longer tell if a situation is unsafe.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 1
Benefit: You are immune to all fear effects (magical or otherwise).

Feel No Pain (Madness):
You are indifferent to physical pain.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 1
Benefit: You are immune to all pain effects (such as physical torture or symbol of pain).

Hypervigilant Combatant (Madness):
Your ubiquitous suspicion may interfere with daily life, but it does provide an advantage in combat.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 2, Paranoid
Benefit: You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to AC if two of more opponents threaten you. This feat does not apply if you are flat-footed or otherwise denied your Dexterity bonus to AC. In addition, enemies do not gain a bonus on attacks for flanking you. However, you are still considered flanked, and can still be sneak attacked.

Insane Confidence (Madness):
Your belief in yourself extends past what most consider good sense.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 2, Cha 11
Benefit: You add your Charisma modifier to Will saves instead of your Wisdom modifier. However, you can no longer apply the bonus from Clarity of Madness feat as to Will saves. In addition, you apply only 1/2 your madness score (rounded up) as a penalty on Will saves.

Lunatic Insight (Madness):
You can immerse yourself in the depths of your hallucinations and delusions in order to see truths that sane minds canít comprehend.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 2, Feats: Clarity of Madness
Benefit: You can tap into your insanity and receive the answer to a yes or no question, as if you had asked it with a commune spell (PH 211). You can use this ability a number of times per week equal to Ĺ your Madness Score (rounded up), but no more than once per day.

Using this ability renders you exhausted.

Mad Resiliency (Madness):
You act with complete disregard for the condition of your body.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 2, Feats: Feel No Pain
Benefit: You can continue to fight without penalty even while disabled or dying. This benefit has the following specific game effects.
When reduced to 0 hit points, you can act as if you werenít disabled (that is, you ignore the normal restriction of only a single move action or standard action per round). You do not lose 1 hit point for performing a standard action or otherwise strenuous action while at 0 hit points.
When reduced to -1 to -9 hit points, you do not fall unconscious. You do not automatically lose 1 hit point each round when at -1 to -9 hit points.
When your current hit points drop to -10 or lower, you immediately die.

No Onesí Puppet (Madness):
Your mind is so incomprehensible that it can't be manipulated as others might.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 1
Benefit: You are immune to compulsion effects.

Paranoid (Madness):
You know that everyone and everything is out to get you, but you won't let give them the opportunity to do so.
Benefit: You add your Madness Score as a bonus on Initiative checks. In addition, you only add 1/2 your Madness Score (rounded down) as a penalty on Listen and Spot checks.

Special: The Initiative bonus granted by this feat does not stack with the one granted by Reckless.

Reckless (Madness):
Acting without any hesitation or inhibition enables you to move faster, even if others consider it dangerous.
Benefit: You gain a bonus on Initiative checks equal and Reflex saves equal to 1 + Ĺ your Madness Score (rounded up). This feat does not stack with the Improved Initiative or Lightning Reflexes feat, but counts as both of them for purposes such as qualifying for feats and prestige classes.

Special: The Initiative bonus granted by this feat does not stack with the one granted by Paranoid.

Terrifying Madness (Madness):
Your madness can strike terror into the weak of heart.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 2, Intimidate 5 Ranks
Benefit: You gain the use of the frightful presence ability. Whenever you attack or charge, all opponents within a radius of 30 feet who have fewer levels of Hit Dice than you become shaken for a number of rounds equal to 6 + your madness score. The effect is negated by a Will save (DC 10 + Ĺ your character level + your madness score).

A successful save indicates that the opponent is immune to your frightful presence for 24 hours. This ability canít affect creatures with an Intelligence of 3 or lower.

In addition, you can use your madness score in place of your Charisma modifier on Intimidate checks. This means that you add double your madness score on Intimidate checks made to influence sane creatures.

Treacherous Mind:
The mind is a dangerous place, especially yours.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 3
Benefit: Your mind is something horrid and unfathomable, filled with terrifying visions and incomprehensible ideas. Anyone who attempts mental contact with you exposes themselves to this madness. Whenever someone targets you mind control or thought detection, they must make a Will save (DC 14 + your madness score) to retain their mental composure to the sudden onslaught of insanity. On a failed save, the subject takes Wisdom damage equal to twice your Madness Score from the mental trauma. On a successful save, the subject still takes Wisdom damage equal to your Madness Score from the shock of the experience.

This is a mind-affecting enchantment effect, but not supernatural in nature.

You cannot suppress this ability, however it only affects mental contact initiated by another creature, not mental contact you initiate.

Unbreakable:
Your mind cannot be damaged any further than it already is.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 4, Special: Immunity to Enchantment, Fear, and Pain
Benefit: You are immune to ability damage and drain to your mental ability scores. In addition, you are immune to all mind-effecting affects.

Unpredictable (Madness):
Your irregular movements give opponents trouble landing attacks on you.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 2, Erratic Strike
Benefit: During your action, you may designate a sane opponent and recieve a dodge bonus to Armor Class equal to 1/2 your Madness Score (rounded up) against any attacks from that opponent. You can select a new opponent on any action.

A condition that makes you lose your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) also makes you lose dodge bonuses. Also, dodge bonuses (such as this one and the Dodge feat) stack with each other, unlike other bonuses.

Special: Unpredictable has no effect against foes with no line of effect to you. This feat can be substituted for the Dodge feat for the purpose of qualifying for classes or other feats.

DracoDei
2009-11-08, 02:25 PM
I usually give more feedback than this, but in this case I am just going to say that it is an interesting idea, and bump it.

Debihuman
2009-11-08, 03:26 PM
I usually just adopt the sanity rules in Call of Cthulhu d20 or Ravenloft Campaign setting. I'd have to check to see if either of those are open gaming content. The CoC rules are open because they seem to be in the SRD. These feats might work with that. I'd have to read in more detail.

Debby

Eldan
2009-11-08, 04:44 PM
You might want to look at the Planewalker Setting (http://www.planewalker.com/sections/30-/-35-edition) here, they also have madness feats... perhaps they can give you some inspiration.

TabletopNuke
2009-11-09, 12:03 PM
Thanks, everyone.

I looked into the Planewalker's madness rules. They were interesting, but not quite what I had in mind. The goal of these feats is to provide benefits from insanity, while providing actual mechanics for the drawbacks of madness. So what does it mean for an entire species to be afflicted by insanity?

Monsters sometimes get described as "insane" without actually explaining what that means. Take howling dragons, for example. Yes, they start out with a Wis of 8 as wyrmlings, but that's probably better than a human child. And with age a howling dragon's Wis quickly surpasses a human's. As a house rule, I'd probably give monsters such as these a handful of madness feats as racial bonus feats.

I also asked for help on this matter over at EN World http://www.enworld.org/forum/d-d-3rd-edition-house-rules/267627-madness-feats-3-5-e-unrelated-sanity-system.html Some possible problems were pointed out to me, and I'd love some help with them.

This is probably and important bit of information: each madness feat is basically equal to 2 regular feats, balanced out by the Wisdom check penalty.


Insane Confidence
I was told that the madness penalty to Will saves should still apply, even though it's no longer a Wis-based check with this feat.

I was a little unsure about Insane Confidence. As it is, most PCs with a hefty madness score will pick it up regardless of their Charisma, just to escape the Will penalty.
However, if I leave the penalty, the feat only barely surpasses Complete Adventurer's Force of Personality. In that case, it probably isn't worth the penalty increase, and gets doomed to the forgotten pit of sucky feats (a fate I would hate to condemn one of my homebrewed babies too).

Here are some ideas for rewriting the feat:
Allows character to use Cha for Will saves, and halves the madness penalty for Will
-or-
Halves the madness penalty for Will,but provides no other benefit
-or-
Removes the madness penalty on Will saves, but provides no other benefit (This would significantly reduce the cost of a madness score, but basically costs a feat slot)

Which one sounds best?

Lunatic Sagacity
I was told that Lunatic Sagacity would be more balanced if it only caused the character to be fatigued.

Lunatic Sagacity has the same benefit as the Omniscient Whispers spelltouched feat from Unearthed Arcana, except its usable twice a week, instead of once. You think that's not enough to offset the madness penalty?
I'm a little concerned about the balance of the feat, if it just caused fatigue. What do you think?

Unpredictable
According to the poster at EN World, Unpredictable could be easily broken. They recommended a prerequisite Madness score of 3 at the very least, and that I change it so that it can be used a number of times per encounter equal to your Madness score.

Unpredictable is a combination of the Dodge feat and the Neraph Charge feat from the Planar Handbook. Is Neraph Charge broken? No one in my group ever used it.

Volos
2009-11-09, 05:08 PM
Depending on how your feat progession for the players goes and how much you are planning on making their mental states part of the game... this could be really awesome. Perhaps you should add some feats to resist going mad, so that people who want to stay sane would be able to? Give them some benifits for that and you would have a nice ballance and a really cool idea.

IonDragon
2009-11-09, 06:27 PM
Mad Resiliency has about the exact same effect as Die Hard with about the same requirements and the added drawback of being a Madness Feat. IMO it could use a little buff especially if you compare it to Reckless which is basically Buy one feat, get one free.

The Dark Fiddler
2009-11-09, 06:53 PM
Allows character to use Cha for Will saves, and halves the madness penalty for Will
-or-
Halves the madness penalty for Will,but provides no other benefit
-or-
Removes the madness penalty on Will saves, but provides no other benefit (This would significantly reduce the cost of a madness score, but basically costs a feat slot)

I'd say the first two are better than the last. Not sure which of the first two'd be better though.

TabletopNuke
2009-11-09, 10:46 PM
Depending on how your feat progession for the players goes and how much you are planning on making their mental states part of the game... this could be really awesome. Perhaps you should add some feats to resist going mad, so that people who want to stay sane would be able to? Give them some benifits for that and you would have a nice ballance and a really cool idea.

My setting isn't any more hazardous to the mind than the typical D&D world (not that that's saying much). These feats only represent turning a particular aspect of one's mental instability into an advantage. Insanity is usually more of a hindrance.

Insanity can be caused by magic and psionics (Insanity, Bestow Curse, ect), creatures with maddening auras, torture, or more mundane causes such as genetics, chemical exposure, or the like. Iron Will is the main feat for resisting madness. There are some regions with harmful psychic resonance that induces hallucinations and mania. I suppose I could make a feat that grants resistance to this effect.

One aspect of the UA sanity system I didn't like was that a permanently insane character becomes an NPC. Why can't we play irreparably crazy characters? While I can't see someone afflicted with crippling obsessive-compulsive disorder going on a dungeon crawl, hallucinations might make the experience all the more interesting.

Famous fictional characters have proved time and time again that rampant madness doesn't have to stand in the way of adventure! Marvel Comics has Deadpool. Many of the Silent Hill characters have more than a few screws loose. The Metal Gear Solid series has Grey Fox, the Beauty and the Beast squad, Vamp, Raiden, and probably others I've missed. DC has the Creeper, and of course there's the Joker (along with just about every other Batman villain).


Mad Resiliency has about the exact same effect as Die Hard with about the same requirements and the added drawback of being a Madness Feat.

What would you recommend buffing it with? Does a +1 or +2 bonus on Fort saves sound good?


I'd say the first two are better than the last. Not sure which of the first two'd be better though.

The key lies in figuring out much of the balance of a madness penalty is in the Will save. I'm not entirely sure how accurate this is, but here's my reasoning:

Madness Feat = 2 Regular Feats - Madness Penalty.
The Weak-Willed Flaw from UA is worth 1 Feat, and imposes a -3 penalty to Will.
A Madness Score of 1 imposes a -1 penalty to Will, 1/3 the penalty of Weak-Willed. So (assuming Weak-Willed is balanced) the Will save would be 1/3 of the drawback of a Madness Score (the other 2/3 being the skill penalties).
Would 1 madness feat (which equals 2 regular feats) be enough to reduce 1/3 of the drawback for these feats? Is it only worth 1 regular feat?
If the Will penalty is too important as a balancing factor, one possibility is making a madness feat that removes half the Will penalty, and another feat (with the first as a requirement, of course) removing all the penalty, and allowing Charisma to be used for Will saves.

Fako
2009-11-09, 11:33 PM
Mad Resiliency has about the exact same effect as Die Hard with about the same requirements and the added drawback of being a Madness Feat. IMO it could use a little buff especially if you compare it to Reckless which is basically Buy one feat, get one free.

Not quite. Die Hard (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#diehard) keeps you stable, but you act as if disabled and take damage every time you take a standard action. Mad Resiliency is much better, considering it removes both penalties...

For Insane Confidence, my vote is for the first option (Cha to save, 1/2 madness to will). Either that, or allow them to turn their madness penalty into a bonus on their will saves charisma modifier times per day.

IonDragon
2009-11-10, 05:20 AM
Not quite. Die Hard (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#diehard) keeps you stable, but you act as if disabled and take damage every time you take a standard action. Mad Resiliency is much better, considering it removes both penalties...

You are quite right. We usually use homebrew rule books in my games, and I failed to double check that with the SRD. Apologies.


If the Will penalty is too important as a balancing factor, one possibility is making a madness feat that removes half the Will penalty, and another feat (with the first as a requirement, of course) removing all the penalty, and allowing Charisma to be used for Will saves.

I like that idea. Skill penalties are not that large of a draw back, but at the same time they are still a draw back. Perhaps make the first feat 1/2 penalty and allowing Charisma to be used for Will saves, making the second feat more for those who really care about their will saves.

TabletopNuke
2009-11-10, 12:03 PM
How do these look? Do you think it's okay for the first feat to grant the ability to use Cha on Will saves? Or should it be gained on the second feat?

Insane Confidence:
Your belief in yourself extends past what most consider good sense.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 2, Cha 11
Benefit: You add your Charisma modifier to Will saves instead of your Wisdom modifier. However, you can no longer apply the bonus from Clarity of Madness feat as to Will saves.
In addition, you apply only 1/2 your madness score (rounded up) as a penalty on Will saves.

Audacious Certainty:
You have absolute confidence in your own capability, regardless of any evidence to the contrary.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 3, Cha 13, Insane Confidence
Benefit: You do not apply your madness score as a penalty to Will saves.

Edit 11-11-09: I haven't gotten anymore complaints about this change, so I'm going to go add it to the original. If anyone thinks these still need to be changed, let me know.

imp_fireball
2009-12-28, 10:38 PM
I'd like to add my note to this: Insanity doesn't always involve hallucinations. Sometimes it just changes the way you think (from what is defined as 'sane'). Perceptions change but I don't think it should always involve a penalty to will saves.

One thing that UA offered was a table of symptoms that could manifest in a character. For a sociopath, perhaps a sudden bout of rage? Easy provocation despite neutral or good alignment? They may be aware of their condition and that they find themselves treating others like dirt, but sometimes they just can't help it and it bottles upside and (and!) and... !!!! :smallfurious: *realization dawns; rage ends, suddenly begins sobbing*

Before saying any more I'll just add that I think this sort of thing demands the input of a therapist who's worked in the field to have true scope and depth. :smallbiggrin:

robotrobot2
2009-12-29, 11:15 AM
No Onesí Puppet might be a bit overpowered. It basically provides immunity to a huge portion of all spells and spell-like abilities. The main drawback of madness feats are their penalty to will saves, which is basically irrelevant if you have this feat. Very few spells allow a will save and aren't enchantment anyway. Instead, removing the prereq and make the feat provide your madness score as bonus against all enchantment effects, rather than a penalty.

TabletopNuke
2009-12-29, 02:50 PM
I'm in the process of reworking the madness feats (incorporating the madness score more often). I'll post it when I get the chance, but I'm on vacation at the moment with limited internet access and very few of my sourcebooks. Meanwhile, here's a new madness feat for PEACHing.

Paranoid (Madness):
You are exceedingly suspicious. While your overabundant paranoia may interfere with everyday life, they do prove useful in combat.
Prerequisites: Base Attack Bonus +3
Benefit: Enemies do not gain a bonus on attacks for flanking you. However, you are still considered flanked, and can still be sneak attacked. In addition, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to AC if two of more opponents threaten you. This feat does not apply if you are flat-footed or otherwise denied your Dexterity bonus to AC.


I'd like to add my note to this: Insanity doesn't always involve hallucinations. Sometimes it just changes the way you think (from what is defined as 'sane'). Perceptions change but I don't think it should always involve a penalty to will saves.

One thing that UA offered was a table of symptoms that could manifest in a character. For a sociopath, perhaps a sudden bout of rage? Easy provocation despite neutral or good alignment? They may be aware of their condition and that they find themselves treating others like dirt, but sometimes they just can't help it and it bottles upside and (and!) and... !!!! :smallfurious: *realization dawns; rage ends, suddenly begins sobbing*

Before saying any more I'll just add that I think this sort of thing demands the input of a therapist who's worked in the field to have true scope and depth. :smallbiggrin:

The reason I chose the penalties I did was because I felt they were severe enough to counterbalance the large benefits and could be interpreted as a wide variety of symptoms (anger, depression, hallucinations, delusions, distractability, ect). I do plan to include a list of possible symptoms and how they escalate, like UA and the Depravity score from Heroes of Horror.

I would be happy to make a rage-like madness feat for anger problems, though. What if the feat allowed the character to enter a rage identical to a barbarian's once per day? Perhaps the rage would have similar drawbacks to the frenzied berserker PrC. In the absence of nearby enemies, the character would have to attack the nearest ally, and could end the rage with a DC 20 Will save.

If I may offer my humble opinion, I consider myself fairly knowledgeable in the field of psychology. :smallbiggrin: My mom is a psychologist (and used to teach psychology at a university), I grew up reading her psychology books. Additionally, I just completed a college course in psychology, and I have the bizarre hobby of studying psychological anomalies in my spare time. I could always ask for my mom's input if you think it would help, though.


No Onesí Puppet might be a bit overpowered. It basically provides immunity to a huge portion of all spells and spell-like abilities. The main drawback of madness feats are their penalty to will saves, which is basically irrelevant if you have this feat. Very few spells allow a will save and aren't enchantment anyway. Instead, removing the prereq and make the feat provide your madness score as bonus against all enchantment effects, rather than a penalty.

What if I adjusted the prerequisites? Perhaps it requires a higher madness score, or more prerequisite feats. On the other hand, Fear Nothing, Feel No Pain, and No One's Puppet, could all grant a bonus equal to the character's Madness Score on saves against the relevant effect. Then Unbreakable would be the capstone, granting outright immunity to those effects (in addition to mental ability score damage).

imp_fireball
2009-12-29, 10:01 PM
I could always ask for my mom's input if you think it would help, though.

It would definitely add to this. :smallbiggrin:


Paranoid (Madness):

I never really thought of paranoia as actually being able to help in combat. Getting flanked isn't necessarily always due to the fact that you are unaware of the other guy (or unable to see him at all times), but because you can't react to both opponents at the same time - the one flanking has a severe advantage (in real life terms; not so much in DnD) over you as a result.

Being constantly on your toes would just make more sense, imo, for resisting being surprised. Maybe a bonus to spot and listen checks and then some kind of disadvantage; say you act as if shaken at all times, even around allies but you can suppress this affect with a will save.

Here's a suggestion - The higher the madness score, the lower your charisma becomes (or at least diplomacy checks). The sane are naturally unnerved around the clearly unstable.
-----

Here's another idea (stemming from forbidden lore in UA); you can refine these ideas however you wish:

Obsessive - You have a deep interest in the peculiar and odd, of which others would ordinarily ignore. This interest, as a result of mad recklessness has attracted the ebb and flow of eldritch energy. Acquire minor spell-like abilities or powers.

Voices in my Head! - Once per day, at any time, the GM secretly rolls a will save. Failure indicates that they roll another die on a random table, with each player representing a number in the given table. The player rolled acquires control of that character for 1d4 hours, although each decision can still be influenced by the original player with a will save (success means they 'influence' the decision). Actions that are suicidal or in opposition to alignment give the original player a +5 bonus to their save. The player controlling the character uses the BAB and skill modifiers for class skills that match up to their own PC.

TabletopNuke
2009-12-31, 12:32 AM
I'm working on revamping the Madness system to make it a bit more like the Sanity system. Madness Scores will be something every character has. Madness feats represent ways the characters have learned to take advantage of their condition. I don't have my copy of UA with me at the moment, so I can't expand much on this for a few days.

I think I'm going to stick with the original Madness Score penalties (Will, Wis-based Skills, Diplomacy, and Gather Information). However, I'm considering finding a way to some of the extra effects from UA's Sanity system (phobias, ect).

With this in mind, there are two ways Madness feats could work. Option 1 is that a character would add the number of Madness feats they possess to their Madness Score. Option 2 is that the number of Madness feats a character can have is limited to their Madness Score.


I never really thought of paranoia as actually being able to help in combat. Getting flanked isn't necessarily always due to the fact that you are unaware of the other guy (or unable to see him at all times), but because you can't react to both opponents at the same time - the one flanking has a severe advantage (in real life terms; not so much in DnD) over you as a result.

What if I change Paranoid a bonus to Initiative, Spot, and Listen? Then I could make a feat called Hypervigilant, that provided similar benefits to what Paranoid originally provided. Hypervigilant would have Paranoid as a prerequisite.


Here's a suggestion - The higher the madness score, the lower your charisma becomes (or at least diplomacy checks). The sane are naturally unnerved around the clearly unstable.

A character has a penalty on Diplomacy and Gather Information (and a bonus on Intimidate) equal to their Madness Score on checks made to influence sane creatures. (I think I included that up at the top of the page)


Here's another idea (stemming from forbidden lore in UA); you can refine these ideas however you wish:

Obsessive - You have a deep interest in the peculiar and odd, of which others would ordinarily ignore. This interest, as a result of mad recklessness has attracted the ebb and flow of eldritch energy. Acquire minor spell-like abilities or powers.

Voices in my Head! - Once per day, at any time, the GM secretly rolls a will save. Failure indicates that they roll another die on a random table, with each player representing a number in the given table. The player rolled acquires control of that character for 1d4 hours, although each decision can still be influenced by the original player with a will save (success means they 'influence' the decision). Actions that are suicidal or in opposition to alignment give the original player a +5 bonus to their save. The player controlling the character uses the BAB and skill modifiers for class skills that match up to their own PC.

Obsessive gives me some neat ideas (thanks!). What about some Madness feats that grant a character spell/psi-like abilities that damage other creatures minds (spread the madness). These spell-like abilities could be things like confusion, insanity, or touch of idiocy. The feats would have a caster/manifester level as a prerequisite.

Voices in My Head sounds like something that could really frustrate or upset players unless it was a really tight-knit and trusting group. It would probably be best used as an optional rule for groups who were mature enough to handle that kind of thing. (Don't believe me? I once had to give a player a time-out. I kid you not!) It's a good idea though, very much outside the box.

Thanks for all the feedback.

imp_fireball
2009-12-31, 05:02 AM
What if I change Paranoid a bonus to Initiative, Spot, and Listen? Then I could make a feat called Hypervigilant, that provided similar benefits to what Paranoid originally provided. Hypervigilant would have Paranoid as a prerequisite.

Sounds good.


What about some Madness feats that grant a character spell/psi-like abilities that damage other creatures minds (spread the madness). These spell-like abilities could be things like confusion, insanity, or touch of idiocy. The feats would have a caster/manifester level as a prerequisite.


The madness cleric domain would probably help in that direction.

As for the feat itself granting anything beyond minor spell-like/psi abilities, it's hard to say (I'm not a master in the way of d20 balance). You can roll with it, however you wish.

TabletopNuke
2010-01-01, 01:42 AM
How do these look? I'll have to fluff them later.
Hypervigilant (Madness)
Prerequisites: Paranoid, Madness Score 2
Benefit: Enemies do not gain a bonus on attacks for flanking you. However, you are still considered flanked, and can still be sneak attacked. In addition, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to AC if two of more opponents threaten you. This feat does not apply if you are flat-footed or otherwise denied your Dexterity bonus to AC.

Paranoid (Madness)
Benefit:You add your Madness Score as a bonus on Initiative checks. In addition, you only add 1/2 your Madness Score (rounded down) as a penalty on Listen and Spot checks.

As for spell/psi-like abilities, I'm thinking I'll look to the Eberron Dragonmark feats for ideas. The feats will have requisite Madness scores, perhaps 1 for least-equivalent abilities, 3 for lesser, 5 for greater, and 7 for Sibyris. These are very rough estimations. I'm still on vacation and don't have my books handy.

TabletopNuke
2010-02-14, 06:37 PM
I tweaked a few of the madness feats:

Fear Nothing (Madness):
You have become disconnected from reality to the point that you can no longer tell if a situation is unsafe.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 1
Benefit: You no longer apply your madness score as a penalty on Will sakes made against fear effects (magical or otherwise). In addition, you gain a bonus on saves made against fear effects equal to 1/2 your madness score (rounded down, minimum 1).

Feel No Pain (Madness):
You are indifferent to physical pain.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 1
Benefit: You no longer apply your madness score as a penalty on Will sakes made against pain effects (such as physical torture or symbol of pain). In addition, you gain a bonus on saves made against pain effects equal to 1/2 your madness score (rounded down, minimum 1). This bonus is applied even if the save isn't Will.

No Onesí Puppet (Madness):
Your mind is so incomprehensible that it can't be manipulated as others might.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 1
Benefit: You no longer apply your madness score as a penalty on Will sakes made against compulsion effects (magical or otherwise). In addition, you gain a bonus on saves made against compulsion effects equal to 1/2 your madness score (rounded down, minimum 1).

Also, at Imp_Fireball's suggestion, here are some madness spell-like abilities:

Share Minor Madness (Madness):
Your insanity and supernatural ability have twisted together, resulting in the ability to force your madness into the minds of others.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 1, one special ability with the (Ps), (Sp), or (Su) descriptor)
Benefit: You gain a Spell-like (Or Psi-like, if you have the Psionic subtype) ability, chosen from the following: Bane, Cause Fear, Charm Person, Lesser Confusion. Once this decision is made, it cannot be changed.

Your Spell-like (or Psi-like) is usable twice per day, and has a save DC equal to 10 + the level of the spell + your Madness Score. The caster (or manifester) level is equal to 1/2 your character level.

Share Lesser Madness (Madness):
Your madness has grown, as has your supernatural power.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 3, caster or manifester level 6th, Share Minor Madness
Benefit: You gain a Spell-like (Or Psi-like, if you have the Psionic subtype) ability, chosen from the following: confusion 1/day, crushing despair 2/day, fear 1/day or rage 2/day. Once this decision is made, it cannot be changed.

Your Spell-like (or Psi-like) has a save DC equal to 10 + the level of the spell + your Madness Score. In addition, you can use the ability granted to you by Share Minor Madness one additional time per day. The caster (or manifester) level for all your madness Spell-like (or Psi-like) abilities is equal to 3 + 1/2 your character level.

Share Greater Madness (Madness):
Your insanity and supernatural ability have mutated into something truly terrible to behold.
Prerequisites: Madness Score 5, caster or manifester level 9th, Share Lesser Madness
Benefit: You gain a Spell-like (Or Psi-like, if you have the Psionic subtype) ability, chosen from the following: feeblemind 2/day, hold monster 1/day, modify memory 2/day, nightmare 1/day . Once this decision is made, it cannot be changed.

Your Spell-like (or Psi-like) has a save DC equal to 10 + the level of the spell + your Madness Score. In addition, you can use the abilities granted to you by Share Minor Madness and Share Lesser Madness one additional time per day. The caster (or manifester) level for all your madness Spell-like (or Psi-like) abilities is equal to 5 + 1/2 your character level.

How do those look?