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Darth Sanguis

Multiple personalities.

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Posted (edited)

I have a game coming up set in post apocalyptic United States. It has a sort of mad max, cyberpunk, sci-fi feel to it (for those of you familiar with the Battle Angel Alita manga, the scrapyard is the game setting).  Due to the nature of the source material, and how well it meshes with the android sourcebook I've been able to handle most of the player character requests with relative ease. (including a cyborg detective who meshes with his cyber bork to become a cyberlycanthrope, which I thought was hella cool). However, one of our players is looking to be a knight by day, assassin by night... With multiple personalities that have no recollection of each other. I'm not quite sure how to go about house ruling this. I feel like there should be an instability between the two personas, and that conversion from one to the other should be out of the player's control. I also feel that each persona should have different skills but the same characteristics? Ultimately though, I'm unsure.

At this point I'd be interested to hear any opinions about how to do this but have it run smoothly? 

Edited by Darth Sanguis

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This sounds like a cool idea and I can't wait to hear what you end up doing.

A lot of this whole thing will probably end up coming down to roleplaying and narrative stuff.  Especially in terms of how well the character is able to separate player from character knowledge.

My only bit of advice is to look at the mongrel from the CRB.  It has the talent that has it transform into beast mode when it exceeds it's strain threshold.  It also has a skill that let's it try and avoid changing or change at will, however, it requires a check to do so.

I think a good place to start is with that.

Then you could either have the player make two characters (which sounds like a headache to me, but it might be cool), you can just let whatever skill grant him the proper skill changes, or just handwave it and say the personality is a part of him and as such is only capable of doing that which he can already do.

Perhaps create a archetype with a skill like this:

Multiple Personalities

When exposed to X stimuli (which would be largely based on what exactly the character type is) change into secondary personality.  This second personality has separate memories and personalities from the primary personality.  The character may have no knowledge of the actions of their secondary personality.

If you want to take it to the next level include something like this:

The secondary personality starts with no ranks in skills.  At character creation the player gains 20XP which can only be spent to give skills to the secondary personality.  After character creation skill ranks must be purchased separately for each personality (perhaps tack on an earned XP bonus here such as: the character earns five additional XP each session which may only be applied to skill ranks).

Subconscious Memories

Once per session the character may make a Difficult Willpower check to attempt to recall something known only by his inactive personality or gain ranks in a skill equal to his secondary personality until the end of the encounter.

Suppressed Memories

Once per session the character may make a difficult willpower check to swap personalities at will.  The character remains in this personality until he swaps personalities again.

 

For the stimuli for the first skill.  You could choose anything from when it's night time to whenever the GM flips a story point.  Just something that's bound to come up from time to time.

Let me know what you come up with.  This sounds like a very interesting character.

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14 hours ago, slope123 said:

This sounds like a cool idea and I can't wait to hear what you end up doing.

A lot of this whole thing will probably end up coming down to roleplaying and narrative stuff.  Especially in terms of how well the character is able to separate player from character knowledge.

My only bit of advice is to look at the mongrel from the CRB.  It has the talent that has it transform into beast mode when it exceeds it's strain threshold.  It also has a skill that let's it try and avoid changing or change at will, however, it requires a check to do so.

I think a good place to start is with that.

Then you could either have the player make two characters (which sounds like a headache to me, but it might be cool), you can just let whatever skill grant him the proper skill changes, or just handwave it and say the personality is a part of him and as such is only capable of doing that which he can already do.

Perhaps create a archetype with a skill like this:

Multiple Personalities

When exposed to X stimuli (which would be largely based on what exactly the character type is) change into secondary personality.  This second personality has separate memories and personalities from the primary personality.  The character may have no knowledge of the actions of their secondary personality.

If you want to take it to the next level include something like this:

The secondary personality starts with no ranks in skills.  At character creation the player gains 20XP which can only be spent to give skills to the secondary personality.  After character creation skill ranks must be purchased separately for each personality (perhaps tack on an earned XP bonus here such as: the character earns five additional XP each session which may only be applied to skill ranks).

Subconscious Memories

Once per session the character may make a Difficult Willpower check to attempt to recall something known only by his inactive personality or gain ranks in a skill equal to his secondary personality until the end of the encounter.

Suppressed Memories

Once per session the character may make a difficult willpower check to swap personalities at will.  The character remains in this personality until he swaps personalities again.

 

For the stimuli for the first skill.  You could choose anything from when it's night time to whenever the GM flips a story point.  Just something that's bound to come up from time to time.

Let me know what you come up with.  This sounds like a very interesting character.

Yeah this is all excellent advice! Thank you. I'll post again once we start the game. 

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Posted (edited)

As someone who has several friends with Dissociative Identity Disorder (Formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder), I would caution them to not pursue this idea. It sounds fun to some but is rarely handled respectfully. It particularly irks my fiends who do have DID.

But as this is your game, I recommend to handle it entirely narritively. A lot of times people what to play characters with DID because they want to play multiple characters, and in those cases, they want to have multiple character sheets. If this is the case, just give them an array of separate characters to play that they can switch out between missions.

Edited by kaosoe

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25 minutes ago, kaosoe said:

As someone who has several friends with Dissociative Identity Disorder (Formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder), I would caution them to not pursue this idea. It sounds fun to some but is rarely handled respectfully. It particularly irks my fiends who do have DID.

But as this is your game, I recommend to handle it entirely narritively. A lot of times people what to play characters with DID because they want to play multiple characters, and in those cases, they want to have multiple character sheets. If this is the case, just give them an array of separate characters to play that they can switch out between missions.

QFT. All of it. If you're going to do it, it should be narratively done. If it becomes important for there to be mechanical backing for it, spend a Story Point to declare a story detail and be done with it.

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I too know someone with dissociative personality disorder. And I would generally agree that not only "gamifying", but possibly trivializing and/or glorifying something that is absolutely debilitating, even traumatic, for ppl who actually suffer from it is... not a kind or empathetic thing to do.

Is your player required to be kind, mindful, or empathetic of everyone? No, of course not. They should be able to express their PC however they want, so long as it is not damaging to the other ppl immediately affected.

But you, and your player should know it is not kind, considerate, or empathetic to appropriate something like that.

I would urge you/them to examine whether that is really necessary to execute/portray the character concept, or is it just a misguided attempt to make the character "unique", (or as others have suggested, gain some sort of mechanical advantage) that could in fact be achieved in some other way?

If you/they can answer the question: "Why do you want to do this?" And the answer is genuinely, "To try to gain some greater understanding, and/or create a greater awareness of the actual disorder?", then maybe it's okay. If not, then maybe they should re-evaluate what they're doing.

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2 hours ago, kaosoe said:

As someone who has several friends with Dissociative Identity Disorder (Formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder), I would caution them to not pursue this idea. It sounds fun to some but is rarely handled respectfully. It particularly irks my fiends who do have DID.

 

3 minutes ago, emsquared said:

I too know someone with dissociative personality disorder. And I would generally agree that not only "gamifying", but possibly trivializing and/or glorifying something that is absolutely debilitating, even traumatic, for ppl who actually suffer from it is... not a kind or empathetic thing to do.

Is your player required to be kind, mindful, or empathetic of everyone? No, of course not. They should be able to express their PC however they want, so long as it is not damaging to the other ppl immediately affected.

But you, and your player should know it is not kind, considerate, or empathetic to appropriate something like that.

I would urge you/them to examine whether that is really necessary to execute/portray the character concept, or is it just a misguided attempt to make the character "unique", (or as others have suggested, gain some sort of mechanical advantage) that could in fact be achieved in some other way?

If you/they can answer the question: "Why do you want to do this?" And the answer is genuinely, "To try to gain some greater understanding, and/or create a greater awareness of the actual disorder?", then maybe it's okay. If not, then maybe they should re-evaluate what they're doing.

Not to be cold to the plights of those who suffer from this disorder, but I'm allowing it. Straight up, either everything is okay, or nothing is. I don't play the political correctness police unless a player is being downright demeaning, cruel, or trying to create a "joke" toon. As I understand this character idea I have no reason to stop them. He's a serious player, and I very seriously doubt he'll approach the game without deference to the role.  If someone with DID is truly hurt by the idea of people wanting to play a game as someone with DID, then I'd tell them to reevaluate their priorities. It's a game. 



 

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2 hours ago, kaosoe said:

But as this is your game, I recommend to handle it entirely narritively. A lot of times people what to play characters with DID because they want to play multiple characters, and in those cases, they want to have multiple character sheets. If this is the case, just give them an array of separate characters to play that they can switch out between missions.

 

2 hours ago, c__beck said:

QFT. All of it. If you're going to do it, it should be narratively done. If it becomes important for there to be mechanical backing for it, spend a Story Point to declare a story detail and be done with it.

I'm hesitant to restrict the character to narrative play for this. 

One, and mainly because I have to regularly remind players to use their story points.  

Two because it's a small party, and the difficulty of this setting is going to be pretty high. (Or maybe I should say unforgiving) This is why I allowed a cyborg werewolf (of sorts) right out of CC. 

That said, I will keep it in mind. I'm running a test version of this game with some friends, so I may evaluate what having 2 character's does mechanically to see if it's even viable. 

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Notes from my game sessions with a character with "technically" multiple people in one body.  (Suggestions based on play observations).

1.  It's a cool idea but it's hard to play with.
2.  Each "person" should accumulate XP independently.  If not, the player is running around with 6 same level PCs with no setback.  Why wouldn't everyone do this?
3.  Which 'personality' is being played should not be decided by the player and it should have a trigger to randomnly select another personality.
4.  After the first personality, the GM should assign the rest's stat builds.  

^ It's SUPER easy to game the system if you let this in willy nilly.  I found that out the hardway.  We had a Droid who's AI matrix was all sorts of messed up.  One moment he was a Republic Droid, the next he was an Astromech.  But amazingly he was ALWAYS the Republic Droid in combat situations and yet ALWAYS Astromectrics when they needed to fly.  AMAZING!  I implemented 2-4 quickly to shut that down.

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On 8/10/2019 at 8:05 PM, ElderKoala said:

Notes from my game sessions with a character with "technically" multiple people in one body.  (Suggestions based on play observations).

1.  It's a cool idea but it's hard to play with.
2.  Each "person" should accumulate XP independently.  If not, the player is running around with 6 same level PCs with no setback.  Why wouldn't everyone do this?
3.  Which 'personality' is being played should not be decided by the player and it should have a trigger to randomnly select another personality.
4.  After the first personality, the GM should assign the rest's stat builds.  

^ It's SUPER easy to game the system if you let this in willy nilly.  I found that out the hardway.  We had a Droid who's AI matrix was all sorts of messed up.  One moment he was a Republic Droid, the next he was an Astromech.  But amazingly he was ALWAYS the Republic Droid in combat situations and yet ALWAYS Astromectrics when they needed to fly.  AMAZING!  I implemented 2-4 quickly to shut that down.

As it's being implemented currently, I think we fit all these criteria except for 4. His character only has the two. If for some reason another were to be generated, It's going to be all me.  After using the information from this thread to lay down the ground rules for this character, he started developing his character's back story. It's a bit lucky the direction he took with it, as the source material already has a precedent for his character's affliction. Though I'm leaving that to be revealed in game. 

I'm excited to see how it all comes together.  

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Posted (edited)

The challenges of a small group is understandable. Finding a way to allow for a diversity of skills for a diversity of plot solution is great.  However, don't label any in game element Multiple Personalities, Suppressed Memories, Dissociative Identity Disorder, or any other real-world condition. There are other names for these mechanics you can use that reflect the setting if your game.

Your players may be the most respectful people on the planet. However, when one of them makes reference to a condition on thier sheet to someone with that condition, what is and is not offensive is up to the other person, not your player. Regardless if intent, that person felt hurt, it is beyond your opinion to argue otherwise. 

Call it something else that conveys mechanically controlling 2 toons, based on setting, species, or talents

Android or cyborg? Modular Protocols

Shapeshifter? Mind of the Hunter

G-Mod? Theta State (see Superman powers)

Magic User? Will of [Diety, Nature], Arcane Syncopy, etc

Setting with undead? Possession

Cyberpunk setting with designer pharmaceuticals? SyNeSys Cocktail (short for sympathetic nervous system)

Additionally, you could just give each player roster of 2 or 3 characters, and allows a switch once per session, between scenes.

If after this, anyone still finds that idea of Dissociative Identity Disorder, or any other similar condition, appealing as a character trait,  especially after not researching it and learning they are using an outdated name, I can't imagine anyone thinking that player is treating that condition respectifully.

This expanded to any other traumatic event, situation, or condition as part of a character or backstory. This is why asking what are every players "no-go topics" at session 0 is essential. Do it enough and many common ones will arise. Violence against children, torture, mental disorders, drug abuse, graphic physical intimacy, anything non consensual.

Villains can be believably evil without these things. Players can be interesting, fun, and even edgy without them, too.

Apologies for errors. On mobile.

 

Edited by HaphazardNinja

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Posted (edited)

So, I've been debating this post in my own head for a bit.  Is it the "Everyone is too reactive?" all the way to "Are humans just a-holes by default and people need to learn to accept their own conditions?"  (Full disclosure:  I lived through and less to a point today than in my youth live with a TBI that turned my memory into Swiss Cheese.  1 step above Memento.  Event to event sticky pads and notepad?  Did it.  So I can understand "Oh, I just have a bad memory" and literally wanting my eyes to burn laser holes through the person who said that flippantly.)  In reality, there would be no "Hero" personality complex character.  Everything I understand is it's life defining and debilitating, so I suppose there's the crux.  Unless you're playing a debilitated character who struggles through every day because of decades old massive trauma, it's not the story you're claiming it is and people will take offense.  

I do like Haphazard's idea.  If you can, take the idea and just twist it just enough to not be referencing the DSM.  It's kinda like "I want to play a rageaholic who was a **** victim".  Just in lesser defined terms.  If you don't, it's not the end of the world, but if you do, it'd be from a point of trying to be understanding.  I think we'd all agree BiPolar Depression, Depression in general, etc. would be off the table.  Socio and psychopathy may get a pass, but baby steps.  :)

And i'll be totally honest, before this thread, I probably wouldn't have thought anything of it if a Player wanted that backstory.  Now that we've had the discussion, it would at least be a discussion.

Edited by ElderKoala

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11 hours ago, HaphazardNinja said:

Your players may be the most respectful people on the planet. However, when one of them makes reference to a condition on thier sheet to someone with that condition, what is and is not offensive is up to the other person, not your player. Regardless if intent, that person felt hurt, it is beyond your opinion to argue otherwise. 

I can't control how other people feel, and frankly, other people's feelings and sensibilities aren't my problem. I stated earlier that I'm allowing it, I stand by that firmly. Either everything is okay or nothing is, I'm not here to play the PC police with my players. If players were only allowed to play things that they themselves are afflicted by, what would be the point of RP? 

"Oh sorry there Jeff, you can't play a woman, don't you know it's not appropriate for you, who has never suffered through what women have suffered through, to pretend to be  character with those traits. Oh and Alyssa, sorry, your character can't be Asian, it's in appropriate for you to play a game of pretend with a character background different from your own. Um, Frank it's offensive you're choosing to play a refugee from an economically disparaged society, you're middle class and have never suffered their plights. DUDE JOSH you can't play a cyborg! Do you have any idea how hard it is for people who've lost limbs!? " 

To be honest, it's outright nonsense. I'm not drawing a line. If a player is doing something with the overt intend to be disrespectful, I'll nip it in the bud, but I'm not going to limit my games based on who might be offended by "appropriation". Especially in this specific condition. No one in our group (or frankly, anywhere in our social circles) suffers from this disorder.

 

11 hours ago, HaphazardNinja said:

If after this, anyone still finds that idea of Dissociative Identity Disorder, or any other similar condition, appealing as a character trait,  especially after not researching it and learning they are using an outdated name, I can't imagine anyone thinking that player is treating that condition respectfully.

This expanded to any other traumatic event, situation, or condition as part of a character or backstory. This is why asking what are every players "no-go topics" at session 0 is essential. Do it enough and many common ones will arise. Violence against children, torture, mental disorders, drug abuse, graphic physical intimacy, anything non consensual.

I almost can't believe what I'm seeing. What a time to be alive.

The idea that someone in a game group may be so thin skinned that they'd get upset over ideas, events, or actions in game is beyond wild. It's pretend. I've played countless games over the years and DM'd many too, I've never had any negative feedback or bad interactions between players about things like this. Does role playing really need safe spaces? I've never been part of a game that openly defined "no-go topics". 



Not to write you off. Maybe where you're from, or the groups you play with are more sensitive. If that works for you, then go for it. 

 

11 hours ago, ElderKoala said:

I do like Haphazard's idea.  If you can, take the idea and just twist it just enough to not be referencing the DSM.  It's kinda like "I want to play a rageaholic who was a **** victim".  Just in lesser defined terms.  If you don't, it's not the end of the world, but if you do, it'd be from a point of trying to be understanding.  I think we'd all agree BiPolar Depression, Depression in general, etc. would be off the table.  Socio and psychopathy may get a pass, but baby steps.  :)

In this setting specifically there's a "mad scientist" type bad guy. Does all kinds of messed up experiments. One of his experiments was on his own son. His son, also a major character in the series turned out to house two separate personalities through the use of a cybernetic implant. The player character is going to be the exact same thing.  
 

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1 hour ago, Darth Sanguis said:

I can't control how other people feel, and frankly, other people's feelings and sensibilities aren't my problem. I stated earlier that I'm allowing it, I stand by that firmly. Either everything is okay or nothing is, I'm not here to play the PC police with my players. If players were only allowed to play things that they themselves are afflicted by, what would be the point of RP? 

"Oh sorry there Jeff, you can't play a woman, don't you know it's not appropriate for you, who has never suffered through what women have suffered through, to pretend to be  character with those traits. Oh and Alyssa, sorry, your character can't be Asian, it's in appropriate for you to play a game of pretend with a character background different from your own. Um, Frank it's offensive you're choosing to play a refugee from an economically disparaged society, you're middle class and have never suffered their plights. DUDE JOSH you can't play a cyborg! Do you have any idea how hard it is for people who've lost limbs!? "

 

Cool Black-or-White and Straw Man logical fallacies, respectively.

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1 minute ago, HaphazardNinja said:

Cool Black-or-White and Straw Man logical fallacies, respectively.

I've got nothing to give you here mate.

I quoted your ideas to the group and so far 2/3rds said, and I quote, "**** that guy". 

I guess we'll be offensive. Oh well. 

AstonishingFaithfulBedbug-size_restricte
 

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