Character Sanity


I planted this seed last year I believe. Nice to see it sprouting this year =^.^=


Sanity decreases if you read books from the nether or Lovecraft


I haven’t yet read any Lovecraft stuff yet, but I intend to. Seeing as the tidbits I’ve heard intrigue me, I think it might actually increase my personal sanity.
I haven’t heard of any book series thing called The Nether before though.


Lookem up here if you cannot afford his books or you don’t wanna run to a library:


It’s funny, most insanity in Lovecraft is less “I saw something weird and now I’m crazy” and more “I keep telling people there are things in the shadows whispering to me about impending doom, but nobody believes me and now they’ve locked me away in an asylum” even though it’s true, those shadowy things really are there talking to him.
With a side order of “Cthulhu’s psychic influence (largely in dreams) imposing alien thought patterns onto susceptible human beings,” creating mad cultists who reconcile these weird visions by worshipping the Old Ones.

This all got gamified into “look over there, tentacles! You take 12 sanity damage!” by the Call of Cthulhu RPG, which borrowed a lot more from August Derleth’s fanfi-- oh, pardon me, extensions of the Cthulhu Mythos than it did the original text, likely on the basis that Derleth’s vision was less horror and thus more gamable.


You can go insane from looking at a horrific scene. But by the same token. The crap that you cannot readily provide evidence for, is by far the more sinister and frightening to behold first hand.

That instance usually gets you locked up because it’s like a dog telling another dog that they can see color.

I’m in the camp of “convince me with evidence”. Else yer a nut bag lol



When I play the game, I craft a character to suit my needs. Adding a system where I get traits or other effects as a result of something I can’t control (trauma) or something I don’t care to do in-game (interacting with NPCs) would just really piss me off.

The morale system, for instance, has a lot of room for you to work around. Yeah, being wet bums you out, but you can grab an umbrella or run from building to building. Killing child zombies drops morale, but you have the option to run away from them or lead them away.

Being depressed as to the state of the world, how does one work around that? Anti-depressants?
How do you avoid trauma? You don’t, it’s literally impossible to avoid trauma.

So yeah. Just my opinion. I’d be unhappy with a system like this.

And then there’s my personal problem with some of the suggestions in this thread. If you’ve never dealt with trauma, or interacted with people who have significant mental illness, maybe don’t make suggestions about it?


The Mi-Go is a creature from an H.P. lovecraft book called “In The Mountains of Madness”


With what you are saying, and my own opinion, having this as an optional mod would probably be better.


yeah i was just asking did it sound like a interesting idea i mean sure i would love to play a game with this but i dont care if its a mod or built in feature


I discussed this a while back. I think it would still be a great option. We already have the parts of the puzzle. Just need the connection points programmed into the game.

Would be an addicts nightmare in that scenario too. But then again. You can willy nilly knock over a hospitals drug storage.


I do think that it would be interesting. And if it’s going to be a mod or optional, then I’m fine with it. My concern was threefold. First, that it would be a part of the game that I would not be able to turn off. Second, that the effects would be unrealistically grand and game-breaking without suitable workarounds. And third, that it would not be implemented well from a gameplay perspective.

I know there was a reference to Call of Cthulhu, Dark Corners, which is where my mind also goes when discussing sanity effects. Although I remember it as positive, this is a result of nostalgia. Playing the game now – I mean, if you look over a ledge for too long, your character’s sanity suffers and he will actually eventually kill himself. That’s ludicrous and should not be the metric for what is a ‘good mechanic’.

So if you can make it optional and can implement it in an enjoyable way, all power to you.


Well. I wouldn’t kill myself. I can tell you that people do get instant vertigo looking over a high enough precipice.
I have that. Not a fear of heights, but actual intense room spinning dizzy just from looking down a casm or a great height.

That was before I had everyday vertigo. Now I just don’t go anywhere high >_>


Maybe sanity should be somethin like… from a darkest dungeon, at ending of an bar you will get an randomize test what you will get, buff or debuff, like heroic, or paranoid with and drawbacks and a bit buff instead of fully buffed heroic.


If we go by the music (from chestholes sound pack). There is a mechanism already in place that activate a sound change when the toon comes across progressive numbers of enemies.

So if we were to add a sense of “Nervous” on a scale similar to that system we already have. I think it wouldn’t be a stretch to code a long term effect of being nervous could be a start to something else.

Then build on other triggers.


This game has a “Sanity” mechanic. It’s called Mood.

That’s not just me being cute, either. CDDA’s Mood Mechanic has plenty of the trappings of a Sanity Mechanic. Doing horrible things such as killing innocent people gives you a significant penalty, as does eating human flesh or eating something unappetizing. Killing dogs and zombie children does as well, though you slowly become harder and harder to phase (a less common mechanic, but I’ve seen it before in a few Tabletop Games). Even being in the rain or in uncomfortable temperatures gives you penalties.

You can recover sanity too, by eating good food (Don’t Starve does this too, I think), relaxing, being wet with the right clothes on, doing drugs.

Low Mood gives you penalties (and eventually makes you unable to do any basic tasks, which is pretty debilitating) while high Mood gives you bonuses. Addictions are another layer to the system, one which I think is often overlooked (I recently suggested that the Metallassomaiphile mutation be changed to an activateable mutation that allows you to turn Mutagen into a super-drug that boosts all your stats, giving you a reason to abuse the hell out of it; Mutagen addictions with that trait are insane).


personally i dont see it like that and mostly see it as well as it called a general mood while sanity is mental stability


That’s not a particularly good argument, as elevated mood can simply be seen as having more mental stability. Though it gives me to space to argue that the various factors surrounding Mood, Addiction, and traits like Schizophrenia or Mood Swings holistically form a sanity mechanic when you put them all together. Just because it’s not all one thing called “Sanity” doesn’t mean it’s not a Sanity Mechanic.

I’d also argue a full-blown “Sanity Meter” is woefully out of place in CDDA. CDDA has always been Lovecraft Lite, not Lovecraft. Sure, the world has ended, monsters and zombies are everywhere and things are only getting worse, but you can take on the vast majorities of those horrors and come out on top.


I’d love to see characters with low sanity nudge the world into a greater vortex chaos and insanity.

A low sanity character could see strange temples/ritual sites/corrupted pyramids/sacrificial alters/blood lakes popping up on the world map, eldritch horrors traveling through the void through buildings/vehicles whatnot, shadows dancing in the dark, bloody footprints appearing and vanishing right before the player’s eyes, a plethora of ghosts/phantoms might just appear surrounding the player for a tick before vanishing, horrific towering striders with quivering tentacles meandering through the mists, going into bathrooms/basements/etc may just lead you into a hellish realms, and other horrific events. These are just a few events I’ve thought of.

He or she might even be possessed. The screen turns black for a few seconds and he/she wakes up in another nearby location with hellish/eldritch/tainted/corrupted drawings all over the place. These could be drawn in blood/etched/sprayed/clawed/chiseled/etc onto various objects/vehicles/walls/floors depending on what’s available.

Items reappearing in the inventory after it’s been dropped. Bodies moving around off screen or gathering together in strange patterns on the floor. Map legends are different from the onsite location(heading to the strip club ends up with you at the fire station. Both got poles right?).

Controls reversing for a few turns. Lights turning off then turning back on.

Maybe the entire day was just dream/nightmare. You go to sleep and spend a day doing whatever you want. Then strange shit occurs and something kills you. BAM you wake up in the same spot you went to sleep at. There’d be some signs at first something in the details… like a spoon spawning right next to you when you first wake up. Maybe it’s bent or twisted? Maybe the spoon is still there when you wake up for real. Or is it real?

A random portal appears and a stream of cultists pour out of it. They organize themselves into a parade and march towards another location/portal while chanting/screaming/howling while blood/smoke/etc drips/sputters out from them.

A creature might just hunt you down and beat you senseless just to steal an item. Gollum anyone? You hear a scream and see a hideous creature sprinting for you. It’s babbling nonsense. After fighting with it for a bit you notice it’s focused on (item).

Following the bloody footprints might just provoke the being that created said prints into a furious rage. Who likes being followed? Certainly not him/her/it.

Some event/horrors are real while others are just figments of the mind. Some of them are passive until you get too close or you look/examine them. Curiosity killed the cat after all. Of course some could have delicious rewards that causes people to tempt fate. Some events/creatures could be warded off with religious chants/scriptures. Bonus effect if the character has religious trait/clothes/trinkets.

Remember when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you. The more you interact/get close to/talk with/attack these strange event/creatures the more they pay attention to you.

Probably better off as a mod to be honest. Well this was a fun comment. Had a lot of fun ideas to think of and write down. :grin:


Sounds amazing to me. Simulating nightmares within current engine would would probably require creating copy of known world, or at least some kind of restricted area (small town surrounded by thick fog?) some -10 or more z levels down for it to coexist with real world, not sure how much impact it would have on performance.

A more proactive NPC behavior would likely have to wait for some kind soul to do full NPC rework/fix that has been due for a very long time.

There is Arcana mod that add a lot of interesting and highly disturbing locations and monsters (and new skill, recipes, magic items etc.) to the game, all of them static sadly, but fun nonetheless.