Mental Corruption charts for Scientists and others exposed to things Man Was Not Meant to Know, such as prolonged exposure to hyper-space. Roll 1d10 modified by Sanity mods; may burn a point of Luck after roll to negate effect.
Minor Mental Corruption
- Paranoia strikes deep. You become convinced your companions are out to steal your ideas: you may not proceed with work on any of them while there’s a chance of being observed.
- Caffiend. Become addicted to a (legal) stimulant. -1d when working on any project if you haven’t dosed yourself today.
- Sleepwalking. Wander randomly for 1d4 times ten minutes starting 1d3 hours after falling asleep. On a 4 begin doing an experiment in your sleep.
- Insomnia. Must make a DC 10 Will roll to fall asleep (+1 to roll for each sleepless night in a row) Don’t recover Sanity on any sleepless night.
- Minor OCD. Develop a compulsion to 1) close any open doors/drawers/windows you’re not actively using 2) Count whatever inanimate object in the room has the most instances 3) Check and recheck your equipment for five minutes before using it 4) wash your hands after touching anything you don’t own 5) perform some ritual like knocking three times before entering a room 6) Other. If you can’t carry out your compulsion, you are anxious and distracted (-1d) on tasks until you can.
- Monomania. Can’t stop talking about your obsession (-1 Personality unless somebody shares your obsession); usually the obsession is your latest research/project and ends when it’s complete.
- Irritability. -1 Personality until you critically succeed at a mental task, or completely free your mind temporarily of your latest problem (e.g. get blotto, take a two week vacation, or get your ashes hauled).
- Physical tic. Develop a physical tic such as a twitch, hand-washing motions, cracking knuckles, etc.
- Verbal tic. Develop a verb tic, such as saying “obviously” or “my dear chap.”
- Sudden Afflatus. Struck by inspiration you must put aside any current project or endeavor to begin a new one; can’t resume the old one until the new one is completed.
Major Mental Corruption
- Mental Wreck. Your mind is shattered, with only brief periods lucidity between bouts of babbling…but is there a method to your madness? Ten percent chance per level that careful attention to your ravings can yield an insight.
- Dominated By An Idea From Space. You now exist to bring an idea to fruition; all your efforts are bent towards realizing the idea, opening the way for….what? Ends if the idea is realized.
- The Abyss Stares Back. You now have a patron, whether you want one or not. GM determines patron. Future major mental corruption is replaced by patron taint.
- Full-blown madness: 1) Paranoia 2) Catatonia 3) Anxiety disorder 4) Mood disorder (e.g. bipolar) 5) Psychosis 6) Eating disorder 7) OCD 8) PTSD
- Addiction. -1d to tasks to 1) all 2) weird science 3) science 4) current project related tasks while not under the influence.
- Split Personality. DC 15 to avoid switching under stress. Alternate personality has the same stats, but not necessarily the same alignment or even class.
- Imaginary companion… or is it?
- Absent-minded. DC 10 to remember any task that isn’t part of your current project.
- Obsessed. Won’t stop working on your project until it’s finished, unless physically constrained, regardless of effects on your health or even how counterproductive attempting to continue through your exhaustion is.
- Inspired. Minus 1d3 Sanity, but that many steps closer to completing the current project.
Note: this post originally appeared in a slightly different form in my related blog, Elves and Espers. I’m reusing the material from there as appropriate for my new campaign.