Posts Tagged ‘madness’

I love the madness rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide but I do have a problem. I want more! I recently posted rules for going mad in The Damned Lands of my setting, Exploration Age. I realized that only 12 forms of indefinite madness were not nearly enough for my purposes. So I’ve created new rules for indefinite madness which will be available in the upcoming Exploration Age Campaign Guide. Take a look at the excerpt below.

A quick note about the excerpt. When I wrote the madness flaws, I was inspired by works of fiction I had consumed in the fantasy, science fiction, and horror genres. It’s been brought to my attention since first posting this, that some of the flaws hit close to home with folks struggling with or know someone struggling with mental illness, so please consider this a trigger warning.

Variant: New Forms of Indefinite Madness

Any extended adventure in The Damned Lands will have PCs fighting off madness. When their fight fails, DMs should use the rules for indefinite madness in chapter 8 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. This variant rule is meant to expand the indefinite madness flaws available for your campaign.

When a creature contracts indefinite madness the DM may choose one of the flaws below which is then applied to the creature. The DM may instead to choose to roll for a random flaw. If this is the case the DM first rolls on the Types of Indefinite Madness table and then rolls on the appropriate flaw table.

Types of Indefinite Madness
d4 Type of Indefinite Madness
1 Violent
2 Paranoid
3 Identity Loss
4 Emotional
Violent Madness

People suffering from violent madness are out for blood. They might have specific triggers or simply take pleasure in causing physical harm to others. Those who revel in torture, pain, and murder suffer from this type of madness.

Violent Madness Flaws
d6 Flaw
1 I only feel pleasure when I am killing.
2 I murder people I disagree with rather than arguing with them.
3 Physically torturing others helps me understand my own pain.
4 I hunt and kill all members of a particular race or group of people I believe have wronged me.
5 When I see a physical imperfection on someone I must remove it.
6 Only those I deem perfect and holy can live.
Paranoid Madness

Those who believe they are being watched when no one else is around, those who are sure a secret organization has marked them for death, and those who know their friends are actually their enemies are people who suffer from paranoid madness. In a setting like Exploration Age there are many secret societies and plots to over-throw a government. Sometimes the lines between madness and the truth are blurred and it becomes that much more difficult to know what to believe.

Paranoid Madness Flaws
d6 Flaw
1 I am being watched at all times and therefore communicate in a code of my own creation.
2 Anyone who tries to get to know me better is going to be violently interrogated.
3 I will only consume food and drink I grow and harvest myself in a secret location.
4 Words can be used against me so I don’t communicate with anyone ever.
5 Everyone will turn on me eventually, so I better run away or turn on them first.
6 It is only safe for me in one location which I’ll never leave.
Identity Loss Madness

Sometimes madness causes people’s personal realities to crumbling around them to the point of victims not being sure who they are anymore. People who take on someone else’s traits, people who worry about fading away, and people who question their own existence all suffer from identity loss madness.

Identity Loss Madness Flaws
d6 Flaw
1 I see now that someone else has stolen my real identity and I must take it back by wearing that person’s clothes and acting like that person.
2 I am slowly forgetting all the details of my personal history and will soon not even know my own name.
3 I’m convinced that I do not actually exist in this world and nothing I do has any real consequences.
4 This whole time I’ve been a sleeper agent for a secret organization bent on world domination and my programming was just activated.
5 No one will remember me unless I commit violent and depraved acts.
6 To me what is friendly is terrifying and what is dangerous is attractive.
Emotional Madness

People suffering from emotional madness redefine the phrase mood swing. They don’t react to stresses good and bad the way someone without madness might. They’re unpredictable and as dangerous to themselves as they are to those around them.

Emotional Madness Flaws
d6 Flaw
1 What should make me angry makes me laugh, what should make me happy makes me furious.
2 Everything in life reminds me of the futile state of existence.
3 A friend only I can see tells me how to think, feel, and act.
4 I must constantly be inebriated or the pain of living is too great.
5 I have trigger words that make happy, sad, and angry. They change daily.
6 When in situations of extreme stress I literally become a completely different person.

It’s Time for a PDF

For those of you looking to have and hold these expanded madness options for your campaigns, I’ve created a free PDF for you. You can click on the link below or head on over to the Free Game Resources section of this site where it lives with a bunch of other supplements for your game like new magic items and monsters.

Expanded Indefinite Madness

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Several months ago I posted about the superpowers creatures can gain by surviving an extended stay in The Damned Lands. The Damned Lands, of course, are a psionically irradiated wasteland. The warped reality in The Damned Lands can drive a person mad, but managing to survive and resist the madness during an extended stay in the area comes with its own rewards. The psionic energy of the place can warp creatures’ anatomy and physiology granting them powers like the ability to fly or become invisible.

The Damned Lands (dark gray hexes are uncharted territory)

The Damned Lands (dark gray hexes are uncharted territory)

Well the rules I’d previously created for The Damned Land powers were based on the information in the final D&D Next playtest packet. We now have the official fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons rules, and so I’ve updated those rules. The update for superpowers are based on the rules for blessings in chapter 7 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. I’m not calling these blessings though, since they aren’t granted by gods. Take a look at the excerpt from the upcoming Exploration Age Campaign Guide below.

Madness in The Damned Lands

As adventurers spend more time in The Damned Lands, they risk becoming infected with madness. Every ten days straight spent in The Damned Lands, a creature must succeed on a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw or contract a form of indefinite madness (see chapter 8 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide). For consecutive day beyond the first spent in The Damned Lands, the DC for the saving throw increases by 1, since the warping psionic energies become more and more difficult to resist.

If the creature fails this saving throw by 5 or more, in addition to gaining a form of indefinite madness, its Intelligence score is reduced 2, the DM takes control of the character, and if it ever leaves the borders of The Damned Lands it dies.

Damned Superpowers

There are two types of superpowers that can be acquired by staying within the borders of The Damned Lands, minor and major. Any creature who survives 15 continuous days or longer in The Damned Lands has a chance to acquire a minor power. The DM may choose or roll on the table below to grant a creature a power.

Any creature who survives 20 continuous days or longer in The Damned Lands has a chance to acquire a major power. The DM may choose or roll on the table below to grant a creature a power.

Minor Powers

Blindsight. You gain 5-foot blindsight.

Disguise Self. As an action you can cast disguise self. The save DC for this spell is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier.

Beast Speech. You can speak to and understand beasts.

Charm Person. As an action you can cast charm person. The save DC for this spell is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier.

Darkvision. You gain 60-foot darkvision. If you already have darkvision, add 60 feet to its range.

Detect Magic. As an action you can cast detect magic.

Fear. As an action you can cast fear. The save DC for this spell is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier. You must complete a long rest before you can use this ability again.

Feather Fall. You can cast the feather fall spell at-will.

Increased Speed. Your walking speed increases 5 feet.

Inner Healing. As an action you regain a number of hit points equal to your Constitution score. You must complete a long rest before you can use this ability again.

Minor Telekinesis. As an action you can move an unattended object within 30 feet weighing 20 lbs. or less 30 feet in any direction. If the object moves more than 30 feet away from you, it falls.

Misty Step. As a bonus action you can cast misty step. You must complete a short or long rest before you can use this ability again.

Object Teleportation. As an action you can teleport an object you hold 50 feet (this includes into the free hand of another person).

Psychic Claws. As a bonus action you grow psychic claws from you hands that count as light finesse weapons which deal 1d6 psychic damage. You are proficient with these claws and can dismiss them as a bonus action.

Psychic Knives. As part of an attach can create psychic knives which count as light finesse weapons and deal 1d4 psychic damage. These knives can be thrown (range 20/60) and disappear at the end of your turn.

Pyrokinesis. As an action you can cause an unattended flammable object within 30 feet to catch fire.

Sanctuary. As an action you can cast sanctuary on yourself. The save DC for this spell is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier.

Telepathy. You can communicate telepathically with any creature within 30 feet of you which can understand a language.

Web. As an action you can cast web. The save DC for this spell is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier. You must complete a short or long rest before you can use this ability again.

Zone of Truth. As an action you can cast zone of truth. The save DC for this spell is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier. You must complete a short or long rest before you can use this ability again.

Major Powers

Amphibious. You are able to breathe underwater and gain a 30-foot swim speed.

Blink. As an action you can cast the blink spell.

Dispel Magic. As an action you can cast dispel magic. Your spellcasting ability for the purposes of this power is Charisma.

Detect Thoughts. As an action you can cast detect thoughts. The save DC for this spell is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier.

Flight. You gain a 60-foot fly speed.

Gifted Misty Step. As a bonus action you can cast misty step.

Invisibility. As an action you can cast the improved invisibility spell.

Invulnerability. You resist bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

Magic Resistance. You gain advantage on saving throws against magical effects.

Major Image. As an action you can cast major image. The save DC for this spell is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier.

Polymorph. As an action you can cast polymorph. The save DC for this spell is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier.

Psychic Pet. As an action you summon a psychic creature which has the same statistics as a Tyrannosaurus rex, except that all of its attacks deal psychic damage. The creature is under your control and takes only actions you order, though it will defend itself if attacked. You must complete a short or long rest before you can use this ability again.

Regeneration. At the start of your turn as long as you have at least 1 hit point remaining, you regain 5 hit points.

Resurrection. You can cast resurrection without expending any material components. You must complete a long rest before you can use this ability again.

Super Intelligence. Your Intelligence score becomes 26.

Super Speed.  Your walking speed is tripled.

Super Strength. Your Strength score becomes 26.

Telekinesis. As an action you can cast telekinesis.

Time Stop. As an action you can cast time stop. You must complete a long rest before you can use this ability again.

Tunneler. You gain a burrow speed equal to your walking speed, 60-foot tremorsense, and 30-foot blindsight.

Power Tables
d20 Minor Power
1 Blindsight
2 Disguise self
3 Beast speech
4 Charm person
5 Darkvision
6 Detect magic
7 Fear
8 Feather fall
9 Increased speed
10 Inner healing
11 Minor telekinesis
12 Misty step
13 Object teleportation
14 Psychic claws
15 Psychic knives
16 Pyrokinesis
17 Sanctuary
18 Telepathy
19 Web
20 Zone of truth
d20 Major Powers
1 Amphibious
2 Blink
3 Dispel magic
4 Detect thoughts
5 Flight
6 Gifted misty step
7 Invisibility
8 Invulnerability
9 Magic resistance
10 Major image
11 Polymorph
12 Psychic pet
13 Regeneration
14 Resurrection
15 Super intelligence
16 Super speed
17 Super strength
18 Telekinesis
19 Time stop
20 Tunneler

PDFs!

You probably knew I wouldn’t leave you without a PDF. All the information above is in a juicy download for you below and on the Free Game Resources section of this site. You can use these superpowers as is or plug them into your game as blessings per the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

Note: These superpowers are game-changers that make PCs into superheroes, so use at your own risk.

Madness and Powers in The Damned Lands

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