Character Sanity

Does having some ingame Sanity sound like a interesting design? mostly around moral maybe


I havn’t seen a game implement this truly well. Though I fully suspect there is one out there. I can’t see how it would implement into CDDA without being a source of annoyance, and hilarity.

Zombie children killing is already as close to this line as anything is likely to get without getting removed, I don’t see how sanity would be implemented well. What parameters would it use? Low moral for long periods = low sanity? something more specific?

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well my own idea was similer to hallucinations and random talking but the Character could do thing on their own ranging from dumping food or hurting themselves and you wont be really able to talk to npcs since you wont be stable. but i am open to ideas. would be interesting to run into insane NPCs

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The game is pretty harsh and not kinda bat but Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth actually had a pretty damn good sanity system/in game/gamepla effects

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Should there ever be such a mechanic implemented, I’d like to be able to attempt talking with random creatures and monsters as if they are NPCs. Have a chance at a one off conversation with a Mi-Go asking to be let out of an observation room in a lab in exchange for a secret overheard by a scientist. Perhaps you’ve got a bit anxious after escaping a horde of monsters and begin quietly talking to yourself only to be answered by a shade zombie in the darkest corner of a basement who seems deeply concerned for you. With this maybe even have a small chance to recruit monsters as a follower, that would be wild.


There is already hidden health stat so if sanity were to be implemented I imagine it would work similarly.

Some things that could drop your sanity score:

  • staying for x hours in darkness
  • not talking to any npc for x days
  • killing npc or maybe zombie kids
  • witnessing death/seeing body of friendly npc
  • witnessing “guests” from other dimensions/outer space
  • staying too long in bloodied, or full of corpses area
  • hearing Mi-Go talk (finally a good reason to wear earplugs)

Some of those factors would have a threshold so they would be ignored if sanity is already below certain point (preferably a point at which some of side effects also kick in)

Some things that could help you recover sanity:

  • high morale (or any of things that rise is in meaningful way like a good night sleep or hot meal)
  • talking about your problems with npc (might lower their trust if sanity is low enough, but helps you with your sanity)
  • bury NPC corpse
  • pray/meditate
  • talk to “improvised” friend (I’m looking at you Mr. Wilson)

As for effects of low sanity score I would include:

  • low/high frequency low/high severity hallucinations (including mistaking zombies/boulders/cabinets/trees for npc and having interesting conversations with them)
  • insomnia
  • shouting randomly
  • having trouble talking to npc (possibly x% chance of force picking random option during talk?)
  • hearing other monsters/zombies talk
  • hearing a blob, possibly being told to come to certain specific location

Just a few ideas of top of my head.

Recruiting a zombie is “a bit” not lore friendly.


I think it will be intresting, also if we will make it with like good/bad sides

High sanity will stop you from a things what like… you just wont do that, eating raw/ rotten food or kill totaly friendly npc without weapon.

Insane person would be faster, stronger and less intelligent, also your craft system will leave you, something like that.

Some benefits to high sanity would be nice for sure, but I wouldn’t tie sanity to intelligence as it is, at least for me, it affects mostly rational thinking in terms of deciding whenever something is the right thing to do in given situation - common sense if you will.
Insane people have no problems assembling an explosive device, it’s just that they also have no problem rationalizing the decision to detonate it as a means of solving their problems or achieving their goals. Sticking to in game situations, killing a neutral npc, cooking him, and eating him as a way to sate hunger, heck it might even give mood boost at this point since insane character would see nothing wrong with it.

EDIT: to avoid double posting
As for limiting character actions on high sanity I totally agree, but this would require some looking into character quirks like cannibal, or mutations like rat mutation that allows you to eat pretty much everything.
Possibly placing an upper limit on sanity just by having some traits might solve this, but I can’t decide if this is right approach in the long run

Sanity would be like max pool of sanity = intellect

Cause I think that smart people usually can handle more things, but also can be deeper insane. Like supermutants from fallout, remember this guy who turned himself back into human, all cause intelligent personality.

Edit : Also if we talk about sanity we can tie in an pool personality not just as trait, it will be like… violent or peaceful, or impulsive or rational with their drawbacks and benefits.
Edit 2 : Also I thinkin that this “personality traits” can affects your heavily, as affects your mood, and like your list of actions.
For example violent person will get an attack boosts and no mood penality for “evil” doings but same guy with peaceful trait will get big debuff killing someone, and even more for butchering human, or even not able to do that.

I think sanity will add some fun in this game

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I agree, this sounds like a really interesting concept

one thing. mutations i would say mutating may lower sanity but also sometime affect what changes sanity. like if your playing a mutant that’s more comfortable underground or has good night vision your not going to care as much about being in the dark. and a plant/Elf-A mutation may also gain sanity by being outside due to the whole plant things

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i think its a great idea in general, but it must be well planned, and have it be considered by the already existing trait psychopath.

i think it would more be problematic with Schizophrenic trait over the Psychopath. psychopath just means you have no empathy or something in game while Schizophrenic causes you to get the same false info low sanity may cause

I image that getting different mutations would affect sanity to different levels;It’s one thing to turn green, it’s another to grown tentacles.
At least with some mutations, you might eventually be able to ‘come to terms’ with it. It’s a part of your life, and you’ve adjusted for it by now.

If sanity were to become ‘hidden,’ then maybe that one trait that lets you see your exact health could also detect sanity levels, or perhaps a different trait just for that.

I suspect that the psychopath trait would matter in at least some cases. If nothing else, you won’t get sanity loss from killing and corpses.

Speaking of corpses, there should probably be some sort of limit for seeing them, so that it doesn’t become too overwhelming after a battle field; One corpse looms just like another. If nothing else, for balancing reasons.

There could possibly be a trait called ‘sensitive mentality’ or something like that, which makes you go insane a lot faster.

Maybe certain pills could help you with your sanity levels too.

(Oof, this was longer than I expected)

Sounds like the gourmand, religious, schizophrenic, insomniac traits and some mutations that you can get, only not having an option to take them but being forced to deal with them, if you want to play a character with those traits do so, you will get many of the results you are asking for.

Levels of intelligence have nothing to do with levels of sanity, just because you you can/can’t figure out advanced astro-physics doesn’t make you more or less likely to have mental instabilities, being unstable may effect your intelligence since things don’t make as much sense anymore, making to harder learn things, course the hallucinations from in the game already slow that down with all the interruptions.

There are already traits for psychopath, and pacifist, just not will all the bonuses/debuffs you suggested, and not being forced onto the players.

If you want to make a mod that adds that sure go for it ,but I don’t think it should be required…

“The heavens tell you that you have to purge all these hellish abominations!”
A sanity system doesn’t only have to have bad stuff for you to get, example above :smiley:

yeah if someone did a cult system. read rim of madness from rimworld style cult low sanity could let you make some crazy stuff. also for mutations i would say mutation from rads or other random events would affect sanity more then serumas you take since you choose to take them and threshold mutation affect it more but lower how much new mutation affect your sanity