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ThenDoctor

How to Gain Insanity After a Certain Point?

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Maybe I'm just not really getting how to gain insanity in the first place. But after characters hit 80 IsP they're immune to Fear (4). How exactly are they supposed to gain insanity.

 

For that matter how do you all give insanity in your games. Maybe that'll be a more useful answer.

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Fear isn't the first way my characters gain insanity.

 

They gain insanity by seing things.

 

 

Going into the psyche of a madman with telepathy, having a discussion with a xenos scientist. They gain insanity when they happen to do things that a normal or even unhinged man shouldn't/couldn't do.

 

 

Even if a lof of these insanity gains could be worked out by fear tests, I use fear tests principally when the thing should instantly shock/terrify the character, but when they see thousands of arms sewned together to create a freakin big sun on the ground, I tend to give them a willpower test, and give a value like this lesser number/high number.

 

Example: Characters see a khornate daemon clawing one shot the spinal column and skull of a dead foe out of its body. I make them test a WP-10 for 1/1D5 insanity. If they succed, they gain one, if they fail, they gain 1D5.

 

The numbers can be greater, like 2/1D10, or 2/1D5+1, etc.

 

 

In the end, I consider jaded very important: seeing 3 dead babies nailed to a door won't affect a jaded character, but seeing impossible things like a daemon cutting a man to pieces while the man is crying out in pain even if he's beheaded is something that you can't see as normal. But the more insane a character, the less I give great numbers, so even a 80+ insanity characters will suffer some, but will suffer something like 

 

0/1D5-2, for example.

 

So the progression still exists, but is slower and slower, which also gives a chance to characters to survive longer. 

 

 

I rarely give characters corruption/insanity without roll to protect them from those, but corruption tends to be steadier: even while very corrupted, your rolls will be 1/1D5 and won't decrease to 0/1D5-2, etc.

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"They gain insanity when they happen to do things that a normal or even unhinged man shouldn't/couldn't do.

 

This is a very good explanation IMO. There are many things players can do that should incurr insanity points. IP's don't only derive from things the players see!

 

For example, shooting at a suspect in a busy market is already something my players would get insanity points for. Yes, they are agents and fighting the good fight but in the end of the day, they are doing it so mankind can survive. Killing innocent people so innocent people can live is not the act of a rational mind. Even if it makes (tactical) sense, it still stains the mind.....

 

You can look at insanity in many different ways. Some GM's only award IP for major acts/situations. Others award small numbers of IP for small acts of callous behaviour and collateral damage. In that way, it slowly accumulates.

 

IMO, the latter ideally depicts the setting. 40k is a cruel, dangerous setting in which (random) acts of inhumanity are required to survive but at the cost of one's humanity/soul/mind. Agents work in the trenches, committing acts of violence, endangering random civilians and causing untold collateral damage in the pursuit of their goals. Eventually, it drives them mad. Mad in the sense that they lose sight of what is right and wrong, or in their caring for strangers etc. It takes a certain kind of madness to believe that the end justifies the goals.

 

So seeing three babies nailed to a door might not faze a player with 80 IP. But having to nail 3 babies to a door to make contact with the cult the agent is tasked to destroy will damage his mind and lead to 80 + 1d10 IP.....Because that kind of action never becomes routine....

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For example, shooting at a suspect in a busy market is already something my players would get insanity points for. Yes, they are agents and fighting the good fight but in the end of the day, they are doing it so mankind can survive. Killing innocent people so innocent people can live is not the act of a rational mind. Even if it makes (tactical) sense, it still stains the mind.....

 

That sounds like Tuesday for your average Inquisitor. By your logic, every Inquisitor that ever ordered an exterminatus should be completely irredeemably insane.

 

Killing innocent people so that innocent people can live is the duty of an Inquisitor, if necessary.

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To be fair, most inquisitors probably do go a little insane ordering exterminatus. Exterminatus, even for inquisitors, is an incredibly mentally and morally taxing act, and is pretty much the final option. I think it would be pretty fair to state that an inquisitor that does not feel anything about using exterminatus on innocent is probably the definition of insane. Also most times you use exterminatus you use it when the thing or things you are killing is worth the lives of billions.

You also have to remember that these are acolytes, not inquisitors. Inquisitors have had to kill the innocent person in the crowd many times over, acolytes probably not. I personally see it as the inquisitor probably already HAS gained that insanity, and now is no longer fazed by that. 

 

For me one of the biggest way to gain insanity would be through knowledge. I am not use if it is in DH2, but in DH1 you could gain insanity simply from taking a forbidden lore test. Learning anything outside of what the character would naturally believe could cause insanity. Say a daemon pops out of the warp. You may pass the fear test, but if this is the first time you have ever seen a daemon, you might just get insanity from it anyways, as you have seen the impossible happen, and it wants to kill you. 

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You also have to remember that these are acolytes, not inquisitors. Inquisitors have had to kill the innocent person in the crowd many times over, acolytes probably not. I personally see it as the inquisitor probably already HAS gained that insanity, and now is no longer fazed by that.

 

Sorry, but yes. This is more along the lines of what I meant.

 

In the beginning? Sure. Killing that innocent in a crowd may cause insanity. By the time you're breaking that 50-60 mark though? It shouldn't. By that point you're becoming numb to this sort of thing. Your mind processes what you're doing as just another day. That life of an innocent has no more value to you beyond being a potential threat.

 

Are Inquisitor's probably a little sociopathic? Absolutely. 

 

They have to be, or they could not do their job.

 

If an Inquisitor suffers moral quandries or goes a little nuttier everytime he makes a hard call, there would be no veteran Inquisitors in 40k. As it stands there are few enough as-is, but that's more due to the perils of the job than the mental strain of it.

 

-----

 

TL;DR for the purposes of this thread, by the time you're racking up 80+ IP? No. Killing an innocent person shouldn't faze you in the slightest. Killing an entire Hive probably won't even faze you, and even an Exterminatus will not bother you all that much.

Edited by ColArana

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I think mechanically an Adepta Sororitis will gain insanity anytime she would gain corruption instead so they can easily keep accumulating all the way up to 100. Also a fanatic can gain an insanity point whenever he leaves combt with a target of his hatred for his role bonus: death to those that oppose me (admittedly this one shouldn't happen much).

 

Whilst not as interesting as the conversation above this is a mechanical way for characters to keep accumulating insanity past 80.

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I think mechanically an Adepta Sororitis will gain insanity anytime she would gain corruption instead so they can easily keep accumulating all the way up to 100. Also a fanatic can gain an insanity point whenever he leaves combt with a target of his hatred for his role bonus: death to those that oppose me (admittedly this one shouldn't happen much).

 

Whilst not as interesting as the conversation above this is a mechanical way for characters to keep accumulating insanity past 80.

 

Many of the Battle Sister talents also get better the crazier she is, so it's not impossible that a Sororitas player would actually endeavor to get more IP.

 

I'm inclined to jump into the camp of "doing and seeing", so to speak. It's not just what the Acolytes see, but also what they do. Same as you might gain Corruption Points from reading a tome with Daemon names in it or whatever, reading a book about - say - the Fall of The Eldar might incur Insanity Points. Granted, at a certain point you become a jaded pick due to just how crazy you are, but would someone who's pushing 80 IP think twice about staring into the naked Warp or equivalent? Naturally that part falls a bit more on the players, but a friendly reminder from the GM that the character is indeed bat-sh!t crazy can go a long way.

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As one item, I feel that calling for an Exterminatus should always increment insanity.

 

I'd disagree with this at extremely high levels of insanity. In the fluff, we see some Inquisitors (notably Kryptman), can order exterminatus's without even batting an eye.

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I would say they are able to do so as a result of inquisitor-specific abilities that are insulating them from insanity, or that these characters are actually high-functioning 100 insanity characters.  A character at that level is 'unplayable' in the FFG tabletop, but that doesn't mean that a character necessarily breaks into a gibbering mess at this point.  The Black Crusade book actually suggests that renegades are those who have gone beyond the insanity and corruption scales from other games and come out on the other side with newer, more grievous metrics.

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I would say they are able to do so as a result of inquisitor-specific abilities that are insulating them from insanity, or that these characters are actually high-functioning 100 insanity characters.  A character at that level is 'unplayable' in the FFG tabletop, but that doesn't mean that a character necessarily breaks into a gibbering mess at this point.  The Black Crusade book actually suggests that renegades are those who have gone beyond the insanity and corruption scales from other games and come out on the other side with newer, more grievous metrics.

 

I would counter that I think at that point-- at the 80+ mark, it's more about justification. The fact that the Inquisitor is insane enough to believe he's doing the right thing. Using the Kryptman example, Kryptman can burn worlds without a second thought because he has seen what the Tyranids are capable of, and to his mind, it's a worse thing for everyone involved (including the people on that world) not to burn them. He doesn't gain insanity from the action, because there's nothing mentally stressing his mind at that point. He's not condemning billions of innocent lives to death, he's saving them from having to die a far more horrific and terrifying death at the talons and fangs of a Tyranid swarm. 

 

While denying the 'nids resources at the same time, I'd add.

Edited by ColArana

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