How do I make mentally ill characters (player or NPCs) that aren't "lol murder", "lol random" or just stupid edge?How and from what would mental fuckups develop? I suspect different kinds of insanity develop from different kinds of stressWhat should I read to do this stuff properly?
>>48430929>How do I make mentally ill characters (player or NPCs) that aren't "lol murder", "lol random" or just stupid edge?Get away from storybook "insanity" and focus on more common forms of mental illness.There are a million stories of people's experiences with anxiety, depression, OCD, BPD, bipolar depression, schizophrenia, PTSD, and so on you could read. Also read stories about actual sociopaths and psychopaths (especially from their point of view) to see how to get away from "lol murder" that stories are obsessed with.
Most of the time insanity is used as "lol this character doesn't actually need a motivation to do things"Just don't do that.
>>48431087See, that's the thing I'm trying to evade.>>48431065Could you link / name some of these stories?
>>48430929This is some art by a schizophrenic person, Anon. Welcome to his mind.Insanity doesn't need to be violent, but it will be nonsensical to other people.What if someone is born with Truesight and sees everything in the Ethereal Plane walking past, but no one told him that as nobody else has it. He keeps telling people that what he sees is real and people call him crazy.He is eventually shunned by society and lives as a hermit in the woods. His 'home' is a mess, his clothes are dirty and he has this filthy, unkept beard. He hasn't talked to people in years so his sentences and thought patterns are scrambled and chaotic. He mutters to himself, is startled at random for nothing and makes shooing motions at the air. Nobody believes that he can see what others cannot.
>>48430929There are two common ways to introduce 'insanity' into roleplaying.One is for flavor. At chargen the character is designed to be mentally impaired much like another might be destined for greatness, impish, or empathic. This is where the Fishmalk trope lives. It can work, but not if you define insanity by what it is not (=sane). The madness has to have an inner logic, and it has to be compelling enough to tell a story. This isn't easy to get right and most PCs designed as mad end up being disruptive to the game.The other way to introduce sanity is as a resource. Just like physical health, mental capacity for trauma can be counted down as a way the world defines characters. This is CoC's sanity stat and more elaborately UA's Madness Meter. CoC7 nicely ties sanity to character background and one possible effect of lapsing sanity is altered memories, skewed perception (=narration), and outright delusions. The new UA will tie the main stats to the Madness Meter, giving players precise changes to their character's ability, positive and negative, depending on how far along they are on the different dimensions of mental decay.Fate treats mental stress just like physical injury. It can get its own damage track and is resolved exactly like combat.
>>48431251For mental illness, don't have it be their defining feature. Make somebody who wants to be something, give them a goal, and then find a mental illness that complicates that goal. Depression as well as anxiety are good for roleplaying because they're simple yet can massively fuck a person up. A swordsman who throws himself into combat because he thinks he's unworthy, a rogue who tries to wash away the helplessness he feels by stealing, a mage who tries to bury the feeling of inevitability of his death by obsessively gathering knowledge.
>>48431702>A swordsman who throws himself into combat because he thinks he's unworthy, a rogue who tries to wash away the helplessness he feels by stealing, a mage who tries to bury the feeling of inevitability of his death by obsessively gathering knowledge.Those are motivations, not insanity.>Depression as well as anxiety are good for roleplayingThey make for very uninspired stories.A better way to create tension with reality would be to define symbols. It's all about creating expectation.>The knight who thinks all circles are a druid plot, no matter where they occur. Village houses in a circle? Druids! Buttons are round so that they are easy to push through buttonholes? That's what the druids want you to believe.Don't take it as license to be contrarian. Find the character's place in the world, don't try to break it.
>>48431540You gotta show the whole thing anon.It's sad, really.
>>48431945On mobile. They decided it saves space to not show image dimensions, and it fits on my screen fine. Sue me.
>>48430929Use actual mental illnesses, for one, not vaguely defined 'insane'. I'll use myself as an example;I'm clinically depressed, with suicidal ideation. For me, this takes the form of self-harming lethargy; I don't have motivation to do anything, everything feels awful and hollow. I stop doing pretty much anything--video games, TT games, even things as 'easy' and low-effort as reading or watching movies or listening to music. What I do do is eat, and eat, and eat more; and while I try to maintain relationships with friends both IRL and over the internet, I end up blaming myself for every little thing that goes wrong in any group, since prior to my depression becoming bad enough to notice, I was considered an emotional rock, and I was always willing to listen to my friends and help out however they needed it, regardless of what it may cost to myself (which was actually an early sign of it; I didn't care what it cost myself, because obviously my own ideas and opinions and wants were less than other people's in importance).It culminated with two calls to the suicide hotline after particularly bad arguements with my parents after college-based fuckups, trips to a counselor, and a fluoxetine prescription (prozac's generic form). I'm better now, mostly, thanks to good friends, counseling, and modern medicine. Not everyone has that.
>>48430929A good general rule for insanity is that insane people simply do not percieve the same world everyone else does. They suffer hallucinations, seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting things that aren't real, because their brain is broken and inventing its own sensory input.Or, the person insists the world is a certain way, and will flatly, aggressively deny or rationalise away any proof to the contrary. This goes beyond mere stubbornness about things like politics, science or religion, and into the realms of people who have been paralyzed from the waist down insisting that they can still walk, but are choosing not to for the time being. Or people who sincerely believe that they're actually a famous figure such as Elvis or Jesus, and get extremely defensive when anyone suggests otherwise. This latter form of insanity is usually a psychological defense mechanism - something traumatic has happened in the persont's life, that threatened their sense of self, or their sense of the world. But instead of growing past the trauma, they've gone into a profound state of denial, either denying that the bad thing happened, or that the thing that happened doesn't matter, because it happened to someone else.The key point here is that the person sincerely, honestly believes that the world as they see it is real and true, and act accordingly. People who hear whispers all the time start thinking that people are talking behind their backs, and become paranoid. People who think they're Jesus go around "healing" people, and so on. And, of course, they get very, very defensive if anyone suggests their worldview is wrong, either because the insane person trusts their (crooked) senses, or because they don't want to face the pain of whatever trauma caused them to retreat into lies in the first place.
What kind of crazy shit would PTSD guy do?
>>48432273hide inside his room, rarely come out. stop taking care of himself. Some stimuli would cause severe responses depending on the setting. I've known some vietnam era vets that if something like a helicopter flew over head, they would go diving under shit for cover.Basically, it works like this, Stimuli occurs condition response follows, in some cases it could be an unconditioned response, also known as a fixed action pattern.
>>48430929>howYou first. Why? Serious question. You claim you don't know what insanity is, so WHY would you want to make insane chars?
>>48432365Why not? As long as mad PC is not too obnoxious to the party, it should be okay.Insane antagonists or allies going nuts in more realistic way would spice things up, too.
>>48432655You have to frame it as a struggle, not a gimmick. Don't look for opportunities to play out peculiarities for entertainment value, that gets old really quickly. Instead consider how the world might look to a personality who struggles with reality in a certain way and then play a reaction to that world as long as it supports the game dynamic and doesn't impede it.Most players who set out to play an insane character are really looking for attention. This always backfires making their character the clown. You don't have to play mad to be the jester. A funny hat is enough.
Let it develop naturally, fambi.You can sort of guide a character down the path, by exaggerating some trauma of their past and letting it apply to their actions. (Like say, an individual with abandonment issues doing everything to avoid the people they care about possibly dying or seeing the character in a bad light and thus possibly leaving.) And then further semi-exaggerating the mental gymnastics they're going to go through. But please, don't try to actually portray any real life mental illness that you have no experience with, no your 'Schizophrenic' character isn't funny.Part of the fun with a crazy character is planting the seed, letting them seem normal and then having the events of the game shape their demented side.
>>48432365Malkavians. Also, because it can generate interesting character's sometimes.Also, it's hard to do well. I think a big part of it is making the burden of insanity something that seems to be about on par with what other character's deal with.So a paladin's sense of duty is sorta comparable to an insane person with a compulsion to do something more or less socially acceptable but possibly dangerousAlso, for multiple personalities (assuming we're going to go there), there really shouldn't be too big a gap between them (e.g. Useless timid bunny personality and rape the bodies murderhobo personality).Once had an ex-cop Malkavian that had a whole team of personalities (all of them some variety of law enforcement or support staff (medical examiner and the like)). If you're going to do the multiple personality angle make sure none of the personalities interact with the party in drastically different ways because you'll just end up playing it for either laughs or drama when you're not the personality they need right now (spoiler alert: you'll get sighs and groans rather than laughs and way too much drama to be interesting). The medical examiner might be alot more conservative in a gunfight than the loose cannon detective but she still knows how to hide behind cover and return fire.
>>48430929WHRP 2ed has good rules and ideas for mental illness.
>>48432763>You have to frame it as a struggle, not a gimmick.EXACTLY! That's what I intended.
>>48430929Insantiy can develop from all kinds of stress or it can be a mental disorder, or something. Insanity isn't just "lel I'm so crazy look at how crazy I am" it should be actually disturbing.I had a legitimately insane character in Ad Eva once and what I went with is that he basically couldn't determine what was real and what was not, but that might not be what you're going for. If you're going for a serial killer vibe consider this quote from Billy Budd > he would seem to riot in complete exemption from that law, having apparently little to do with reason further than to employ it as an ambidexter implement for effecting the irrational. That is to say: Toward the accomplishment of an aim which in wantonness of malignity would seem to partake of the insane, he will direct a cool judgement sagacious and sound. These men are true madmen, and of the most dangerous sort, for their lunacy is not continuous but occasional, evoked by some special object; it is probably secretive, which is as much to say it is self-contained, so that when moreover, most active, it is to the average mind not distinguishable from sanity, and for the reason above suggested that whatever its aims may be—and the aim is never declared—the method and the outward proceeding are always perfectly rational.I have a college professor who has studied and written novels about serial killers (Harold Schechter) and he considers that quote to be one of the most accurate descriptions of serial killers.
>>48432048Are you me? Do you have those hotline numbers still?
>>48433195Don't trust him, they've just drugged down enough that he's essentially a different person peering through that person's eyes..
>>48433195He's everyone with relatively moderate depression. It's so textbook it's scary.
>>48433370What a helpful thought, anon.Remember yourself two years ago? That personality is dead now. You've changed, so the old you is dead. Scary, huh.Remember yourself in middle school? That kid is DEAD NOW.
>>48433195I'm not you, but I do have their website and phone number.http://www dot suicidepreventionlifeline dot org/ is the website; one eight hundred 273 8255 is the number. If you are feeling suicidal, or like you might start harming yourself, call them, anon. If there's a counseling service or psychologist in your area, go see them. Be open and honest. If they suggest taking medication, take it. They are trying to help, and honestly want to see you better. I know it feels like it won't ever be better, but it can be; and you never, ever have to try to struggle to make it better alone.Reformatted like eight times for being spam, jesus.
>>48430929The thing is that insanity is not obvious. Psychopaths have no empathy at all. That's not easy that's easy to notice, players will calk it off as the NPCs being badly written.
>>48433391Right. Anon. You go ahead and accept your government approved medically engineered personality as opposed to the natural progression of self that your body intended.Rest in peace, bro.
>>48433370Also this. I like being able to be sexually active and all things that go with it and fluoxetine cut that shit out of my life like a scalpel. I didn't even know it was gone or how fucked it made me until i actually got off the shit and even then it took a year to get my engine on all cylinders and my gear being more than a near senseless meatpole.
>>48430929The only insane character I did was on Shadowrun, an elf whose family was killed by corps for whatever reasons a corp kill people. He was the only survivor and decided to down the entire system, he acts like a terrorist, organise massive killing of non human with a sect he created, and is ready to kill anybody. But almost not when I play him, because he don't want other people to know this, he have to keep it secret, so he work for the various corporations as a shadowrunner, justifying himself by saying that he is payed by corporations to attack other corporations. His insanity is in his motivation to do his shit, litterally nothing will stop him, he has killed children just to make people mad at the corporation. But when I created this one I immediatly did another one because I KNOW that he will die, I mean, he can't just getting away with all this. So you also have to think about that, a insane character have a lot of chances to die.
>>48433391Good fucking riddance. I won't miss that crybaby.
Chapter 5 of Unknown Armies covers madness pretty well.
>>48433413That happens with some people. If you have problems with the side effects, talk to your doctor about modifying either the dosage or the drug itself; there's other SSRIs and anti-depressants out there with different side effects. I started on 20mg/day, and it wasn't really working; I tried going up to 40 mg/day and it killed my sex drive. 30 mg/day ended up a sweet spot for me; I still have a sex drive and the drug's working as intended with no other noticable side effects.
>>48433444I want big pharma shills to leave.
>>48433453If I was a big pharma shill, I'd be telling you to take all the drugs forever. I'm not saying htat; I'm saying find the one that works for you, if your doctor believes it will help you. Counselors, doctors, and psychologists are not big scary big pharma shilling madmen. The vast majority of them want to help, and the best way to get hte help you need is to be open and honest with them about what you're feeling and how you're feeling.
>>48433444Yeah i have issues with meds. Anything above 0mg gives me usually crippling side effects and i count myself lucky if it was just little shit like migraines, constant nose bleeds, osteoarthritis at age 13, or acid reflux so bad that it gave me ulcers that required surgery.Luckily as i got older i found a nice way of coping without meds by just not giving a shit in general about pretty much anything which actually did wonders for my anxiety, depression, self esteem, and general outlook.
>>48430929Insanity is a legal criteria.Persons deemed insane have trouble integrating themselves into society due to behavioural, emotional or cognitive differences that make it hard for them to live with others.In all honesty, if you're an experienced roleplayer you've probably already played characters who would fit a modern definiton of "insane" without even having thought of it.The real question is; what norms does your character transgress that labels those in HIS society to call him mad?
>>48433508>i try and solve everything in such a way that all parties are not only fully satisfied but also unharmed
>>48430929Let's say we have setting with a goddess of happiness. Would I look like that guy if I made a character suffering from depression, whose main goal is to meet said goddess?On a related note, are there any kinds of depression that absolutely require medication and cannot be cured without the meds?
>>48434511No, because people suffering from a dearth of some quality often seen a deity to help them gain that quality. It's a common mythological theme. Yes, there are major types of depression that can only be mitigated by medication (melancholia is the most extreme example). Many alcoholics, habitual marijuana users, and heroin uses were drawn to the use by needing an escape/pain relief and began self medicating.
>>48432792Hmmm>1)left alone in a dark cave, atop of the pile of bodies of his clan, had to gnaw on their bones to survive>2)witnessed the death of his people from terrible plague>3)fey stole several of his siblings>4)simply went otherkin >5)etc
>>48433439I seem to have a troubling amount of notches in Hardened Isolation...
>>48433482If its any worth, I believe you anon. I've had the pleasure to work at a pharmacy and know juat how far people in the medicinal business would go to help a person. All while generally being treated like subhuman scumbags.Sometimes I'm convinced the people yelling "shills" are the truly heartless ones hellbent on projecting their cold view of the world unto regular people.
>>48430929If you are going for a character that suffers from some sort of delusion don't make him/her an irrational mess. The character should be as rational as anyone else. The thing that differentiates him/her from a sane individual is that s/he is working from different premises which leads do other conclusions than what a normally functioning person might come to.
>>48430929There are tons of ways to go about this. Do you have any sort of themes or behaviors in mind? As someone who suffers from severe mental illness, has known a multitude of people suffering from mental illness/mental instability, and has studied a good deal on the subject as well, your best bet is to look at textbook cases and go from there.For example, a disorder like OCD is characterized by a preoccupation with certain themes, thoughts and behaviors that the sufferer is aware of. The person with OCD knows that their thoughts and actions are irrational, but because of the illness they feel they have no say in the matter. If you study case examples of the illness you'll find that it isn't just stereotypical hand-washing and oven-checking, it can be an obsession over killing people, the occult, sex, most taboos, or really anything that might cause someone undue distress. OCD is a disorder that can be treated with therapy, so a character suffering from it may actually be able to improve in a non-modern setting given enough time and support, which could make for something much more interesting than your standard insane character's development.Conversely, a condition like schizophrenia is characterized by a detachment from reality and declining cognitive functioning. Negative symptoms parallel depression and autism, with difficulty articulating themselves, maintaining eye contact, low mood, etc. There is also a psychotic element that includes auditory and/or visual hallucinations, delusions, and further detachment from reality. There are different phases of schizophrenia, and the disorder can creep up on people. A major characteristic of the illness is that people who have it tend to reject help, and even outright deny that they have an illness, thinking that their views are correct, that they are "enlightened," and so on.Read the DSM, go through related journals. There's an abundance of material at your disposal. Just don't just wing it.
If I, as a GM, had a character on the table who was truly "Insane" and wanted to have that affect play, I would make the player double guess everthing. Was that really an Orc? Or did you just cut down a farmer? Are you talking to the town's mayor, or a lamppost?Depending on the game and atmosphere you could have these be random GM fiat, or make the player roll for it. Almost like Twitch and his conspiracies in AGP
>>48436804speaking generally, with the obvious caveats that come with sweeping generalities, people who would much rather debate the most effective way of helping you generally consider the 'helping you' part secondary to the 'being right' part.
On a somewhat related note, how would I go about playing a veteran soldier with PTSD without resorting to cliches like flashbacks?
>>48437381Resort to other clichés
>>48437381Maybe calling people by the names of your old comrades? Works well with quite old characters.
>>48430929I have zero medical or psychological background so my opinion will largely reflect that, but I find an interesting way to portray craziness is to give the character a perfectly rational thought process except for one particular step. The ??? in the >profit joke, I guess. The key being that the crazy leap of logic makes perfect sense to them but is utterly alien to anyone else due to disregarding social conventions, moral, laws, human behaviour, common sense, physics, etc. Like that one screencap about the stalker elf trying to get laid who was the mastermind behind every incident in the game. No sense of time or perspective or scale, so shit like genociding the dwarves so she can keep a diary in a language only she knows is a perfectly rational act.Though admittedly the tough part is being a non-crazy person coming up with crazy but consistent logic.tl;dr internal consistency is the key; be crazy but not random crazy. Method to the madness.
>>48437381Get triggered (in the actual use of the word) by loud noises, people who look like old enemies, and extreme stress. Meaning that you shut down and go into fight-or-flight mode, cannot function like normal, essentially get a nat 1 on all rolls until someone calms you down or the trigger is removed.Have to take a penalty when you're using a weapon.Have to take a penalty in a combat environment.Penalty to sleep.
>>48431540>>48431934>>48431945Louis Wain's psychodelic cats weren't painted because of his schizophrenia.Back on his time SZ was treated with a drug similar to LSD, when he was under the influence of the drug is when he painted those cats, after the drug worn off he returned to paint normal cartoony cats.the pc should not be seen as a descriptio of how SZ affects perception.
>>48433552I like that. It's simple, and comes from the desire to make everyone happy, which is a common motivator for people. You just take it to a point where it becomes unhealthy. You take risks upon yourself to help others; you refuse to let a situation resolve until the most beneficial result to all parties occurs; obsession over past failures, and the potential pitfalls of self-confidence that may result.