Traumas are the core component to and only systemed facet of morality and sanity in House Games. They represent events or actions that might take place which could be traumatic to your character. If one of these events happens, you must roll your temporary Willpower at difficulty 7. If you are out of temporary Willpower, you may roll a single die difficulty 8. Failure results in a new 2-point Derangement. It could be a significant phobia, PTSD, or some other fitting mental disability. If you botch, you lose a permanent point of Willpower. Whether your character regrets the action or not is not determined by the result of the roll. The result of the roll simply states whether it was significantly traumatizing, not your reaction.
Characters are generally limited to one trauma roll per scene, unless they consistently choose to take traumatic actions (say killing a second or third hostage after the first). Other extraordinary effects, such as viewing a mythos being, can trigger Trauma rolls.
You will take three Traumas at character-creation; most humans have Murder, Humanity, and Torture. If you're playing a sociopath or have any sort of abnormal psychology, you can change it up. You may come up with a new Trauma for your character with GM approval. Contractors may substitute one trauma for another during a Downtime, for the cost of 3 xp.
List of Traumas
- Murder: Kill a human for any reason other than immediate self defense.
- Humanity: Witnessing a humanitarian atrocity (torture, massacre, mutilation, rape)
- Torture: Being tortured (solitary confinement for an extended period, physical torture)
- Near-Death Experience: Any near-death experience. For example dropping to incapacitated in combat or hanging onto a cliff by your fingertips waiting for rescue would trigger a Trauma roll.
- Capture: If you are ever held against your will, imprisoned, or tied up, make a Trauma roll.
- Monsters: Seeing any supernatural beast for the first time is Traumatic.
- Betrayal: You are extremely sensitive about being lied to or led on. Whenever you discover you've been tricked or led to believe something that isn't true, make a Trauma roll.
- Failure: You are a perfectionist or a megalomaniac. Major failures of any sort are difficult for you to handle. Make a Trauma roll every time you lose a game or fail a task in your areas of expertise.
- Submission: You are an utter narcissist; any time you go along with someone else's plan or idea, whether by force or by choice, make a Trauma roll.
- Xenophobia: You are defined by your identity. If you are forced to partake in a culture outside your own, make a Trauma roll.
- Injustice: Any time you allow someone (even through inaction) to escape justice for a major action they took, make a Trauma roll.
- Sin: You are a true believer. You have a defined religious code (must be defined at character creation), and any time you violate that code, make a Trauma roll.
A Derangement represents a mental quirk, instability, or illness. There is no limit to how many Derangements a character can possess, but the character may become nearly unplayable after a point.
There may be some powers that cause characters to acquire Derangements, but they primarily come from failing or botching a Trauma or Willpower roll.
Types of Derangements
Most Derangements are Temporary Derangements. A Temporary Derangement can be "bought off" at a cost of 10xp. You must have access to a good psychologist and spend the appropriate time and money for treatment; you will not have time to do much of anything else during the downtime in which you are being treated.. If the Temporary Derangement was a starting Flaw, then the cost is the greater of 10xp or the Flaw rating x3.
Indefinite Derangements cannot be bought off. They can only be removed through specific supernatural means. Removing an Indefinite Derangement requires intervention from a character with appropriate abilities or at least one Side Game involving finding a cure.
Mortal Derangements cause the character to become unplayable until cured. A Mortal Derangement is even more difficult to remove than an Indefinite Derangement, and always requires intervention from another character, since a character with a Mortal Derangement is incapable of useful action (and may well be catatonic).
Permanent Derangements are not truly Derangements; they are fundamental aspects of the character's personality. A Permanent Derangement can only be removed by an effect that can alter a personality.
List of Derangements
- Anxiety Disorders
- Mood Disorders
- Psychotic Disorders
- Impulse Control Disorders
- Neurological Disorders
- Permanent Derangements
An overwhelming fear. Phobias are always unreasonable or taken to an unreasonable level, and a character with a phobia will typically need to roll temporary Willpower when they encounter the subject of their phobia. Common phobias include snakes, needles, small places, being alone, and the dark.
You experience unpredictable panic attacks. When having an episode, you will experience physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, shakiness, and nausea, in addition to the gripping fear and anxiety. When one is coming on, you may roll your Temporary Willpower to suppress it, but if you fail, you will remain stuck in your panic attack for a number of minutes equal to 11 minus your Willpower rating.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
You are haunted by an extremely traumatic event or series of events from the past. You will occasionally experience flashbacks (at GM's discretion), and during these flashbacks, as well as whenever you encounter something which reminds you of the trauma, you'll need to roll Temporary Willpower to avoid having a psychotic break.
You are plagued with intrusive obsessive thoughts, and compulsions to act in repetitive, ritualistic ways. Detail your compulsion when you acquire this Derangement; you will need to roleplay it constantly, unless you spend a Willpower to ignore it for a scene. Additionally, the GM will occasionally intrude your thoughts with a relentless obsession, and you'll need to roll Temporary Willpower to resist giving in to your obsession.