Mental System add-on to Wanderlust?

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Mental System add-on to Wanderlust?

Post  penumbra on Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:02 pm

I've noticed that a lot of systems ignore the mental and emotional strain that adventuring can place on a character. I was wondering if maybe I could help develop a system that would help reflect that for Wanderlust that would be optional and only add to the game.

It would mostly provide downsides, but overcoming the hardships would provide even larger benefits than the downsides did, and even remove some, if not all of the downsides.

Would this be possible?

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Re: Mental System add-on to Wanderlust?

Post  AleneShazam on Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:00 am

Sounds like an interesting idea,
I'm curious as to what you have in mind in terms of specific mechanics. Skill penalties? Something to do with the Willpower defense?
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Re: Mental System add-on to Wanderlust?

Post  Paper Shadow on Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:09 pm

Technically, anything is possible. In an ideal world, players will roleplay their mental and emotional state and allow that to affect their actions, even if it is sub-optimal, but even that way suffers from those actions sometimes hurting the party...

For mechanical rules, look towards other games for inspiration. If you wish for negative effects that the players have to keep in mind, Shadowrun's Negative Qualities cover a wide range of different possibilities and different ways to tie these flaws to mechanical rules, from the obvious (Addiction and Combat Paralyisis), the interesting (Creature Of Comfort and Superhuman Psychosis), and the more narrative focused (Big Regret, Emotional Attachment, and Tough And Targeted). Of course, there's also the stuff you need to be really careful with (like Borrowed Time), so digression is needed...

If you want something more positive, look towards PDQ Sharp's Foibles and Style Dice for ideas. In PDQ#, players can earn Style Dice (which can be spent in a number of different ways) in a variety of ways, but the one we're focusing on here is playing up to their foibles. If a player does that on their own initiative, they are rewarded as normal, but the GM can also attempt to bribe the player with a Style Die (or perhaps more) in order to get the player to act towards their foibles. It rewards playing to one's character, rather than punishing other options...

Of course, both of these systems mostly revolve around the character creation process, which comes with the main flaw of, well, flaws. To get hit by one that you weren't expecting and didn't want can be an annoying experience. Whatever you do, make sure your player is happy with whatever flaw they gain, as well as the idea of gaining a flaw in the first place...

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Re: Mental System add-on to Wanderlust?

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:37 pm

penumbra wrote:I've noticed that a lot of systems ignore the mental and emotional strain that adventuring can place on a character. I was wondering if maybe I could help develop a system that would help reflect that for Wanderlust that would be optional and only add to the game.

It would mostly provide downsides, but overcoming the hardships would provide even larger benefits than the downsides did, and even remove some, if not all of the downsides.

Would this be possible?

Go for it. More optional content is fine with me.

I've used "afflictions" extensively in my games and applied them when appropriate. Sometimes they're physical, like a broken leg providing a huge penalty to certain checks. Sometimes they're mental, like "broken spirit" increasing the critical failure range. Sometimes they're abstract like "stalked by death" which kills you instantly if you suffer a critical failure. I usually allow afflictions to be reduced by a heal check, but not removed - requiring extended rest in a sacred place or some similar major act to get over them. In the right adventure, this ties players to places of safety inbetween adventures as that's the only way to get rid of the debuffs.

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