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Health Optional Rules

Shocking Sights and Dark Deals: Insanity and Corruption in Hack100

Whilst a character’s Health in Hack100 reflects short-term variations in their physical and mental wellbeing, some games rely on tracking the longer-term deterioration of adventurers as they confront things that are best left alone. This includes the loss of sanity in horror games as characters are exposed to traumatic events or cosmic threats. It also covers the physical or spiritual corruption that results from dabbling in the darker arts.

To accommodate such effects in Hack100, additional character attributes can be introduced – Insanity and Corruption. These typically start at 0% (unless, through their Background, a character has some pre-existing exposure). They then accumulate percentage points during play at a rate determined by the Referee. Mechanically, Insanity and Corruption both provide negative Difficulty Modifiers to selected Task Rolls.

Insanity

Insanity points are gained by witnessing traumatic, horrific, or utterly alien scenes or concepts. Each such exposure has the potential to increase a character’s current Insanity total. The Referee should decide on the increase in Insanity for each such event. It might be a fixed number or a random amount (e.g. d5%, d10%) depending on the severity of the trauma. A successful Willpower Task Roll might reduce or even completely mitigate against a given increase.

Any accumulated Insanity points then provide a negative Difficulty Modifier to certain Task Rolls as decided by the Referee on a case-by-case basis. This is most likely to affect Mental Abilities, particularly Reasoning, Influence and Willpower. However, for Task Rolls where the horrific insight accumulated by the character might be an advantage, the negative modifier should not apply. Indeed it might even provide a positive Difficulty Modifier.

Corruption

Whilst sanity typically deteriorates due to a character witnessing horrific events, Corruption typically results from some sort of “dark deal” with nefarious forces. In pursuit of knowledge, power or wealth, corrupt characters (knowingly or unknowingly) sacrifice a part of their body or soul. This leads to mental and/or physical deterioration. It might even lead to physical manifestations of their corruption (e.g. mutations).

Corruption is accumulated in the same way as Insanity and again provides a negative Difficulty Modifier to certain Task Rolls. However, depending on the nature of the Corruption, it can potentially influence a wider range of Abilities. Physical Corruption might affect Strength, Toughness or Melee Task Rolls. Mental corruption would be likely to affect Willpower Task Rolls, particularly when dealing with the source of the character’s corruption. Equally though, depending on the nature of a character’s dark deal, a Referee might decide that Corruption provides a positive modifier to certain Task Rolls (e.g. to a Demonology Specialism).

Effects on Health

A Referee might also decide to adjust a character’s maximum Health based on the net value of their Willpower minus their Insanity.

e.g. a character with a Toughness of 43, a Willpower of 35 and 6 Insanity Points would have a Health of (4 + 2) x 2 = 12, where the “tens” die of the Willpower contribution is based on 35 – 6 = 29.

Similarly for characters whose Corruption negatively influences their Toughness or Willpower.

Recovery

At a Referee’s discretion, it may be possible for a character to reduce their levels of Insanity or Corruption.

Successful therapy might be effective in reducing Insanity. Corrupt characters may come to realise the error of their ways and overthrow their corrupting influence (although this should not be easy and would most likely be a major plot arc of a game).

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