Oz Blog News Commentary

Sanity check

January 18, 2018 - 12:32 -- Admin

In the RPG Call of Cthulhu, set in the 1920s as human investigators chase down and gibber at Lovecraftian monsters, they have a sanity mechanic. You start off with, from memory, a stat value x5 (creating a number from 5–100) and you typically go down from there. Fail a sanity check means your sanity value drops by a number of points. And, deliciously, the forbidden arcana that is Cthulhu Mythos, the skill that allows you to identify the powers and type of these monsters, is tied to your sanity value in that your maximum sanity score cannot exceed (100 minus Mythos %). The more you know, the  less sane you are. If your character goes fully insane then they become a non-player character belonging to the game master who may have them re-appear at some point as an enemy. There are books found in the game that increases your mythos lore but you pay sanity for reading them—irrespective of the issue with the mythos score Vs sanity mechanic). In real life such things do not exist. But mentally damaged people have to engage with texts that cause them harm. It's a bit like one of those Chernobyl debris responders—termed "bio robots"—who could spend but a short time on site before they hit their lifetime radiation exposure count; if you have to engage then do it for a limited time before forcing yourself away lest you cause damage.So after an hour I stopped, had one and half Valium, and a shower.  I'll see how I go with that.