Madness & Eldritch mutations

I feel encountering Eldritch horrors should be more terrifying and more dangerous. Just by looking at or being too close to an Eldritch monster or portal should slowly inflict a madness debuff. The longer you have one in sight, and staying too close to one the more the madness builds.

On its own, madness would simply do something like lower morale/focus related to how long its built up. However, every turn you have madness there is a chance to for it to become a permanent ‘Insane’ trait, and a tiny chance to gain an Eldritch type mutation. Chances for insanity & mutations are very slim, but start to rise if the madness debuff is given time to build. Madness would start to slowly drop if you flee from a horror, leaving its sight.

*Insanity trait - Besides the morale penalty, it brings vivid nightmares messing with sleep, crazy visions & etc.
*Eldritch mutations - would all be double edge swords like artifacts. They can provide interesting bonuses at some terrible cost. Here’s a couple ideas:

  • Teleport - active mutation like the cbm only cost is inflicting teleglow
  • Unwanted Knowledge - looking into the void gives a great intelligence bonus, but slight chance of randomly giving you the attention effect
  • Void touched - active that can summon a rift that brings forth an uncontrollable Eldritch monster which could be useful with a tactical mind.

All these can easily be avoided if you simply don’t hang around these type of monsters. True to Eldritch & Lovecraft lore, getting just a glimpse of such horrors should be dangerous in itself, and come across such rare creatures will always become an intense situation. Perhaps insanity & Eldritch mutations are incurable, perhaps one can craft them from flesh of dead horrors, and perhaps some places on the map that are chained up with a warning not to enter punish those who can’t help themselves. I mean if we can join the fungal nation why not be able to become a worshiper of that which lies beyond?

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I like the idea of teleportation, but I think I’d rather it be like teleportitis from other games. IE: Chance to get a bad mutation that causes short rage uncontrollable teleportation at random intervals.

Then again, I’m sure 90% of people would hate that.

Other’n that, anything eldritch is a good thing in my opinion.

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Make a mod, that would be the best for something like this, but then again it would be hard to implement them too.

How about restricting the madness/insanity stuff to characters with a negative trait, ‘Fragile Mind’?
“The world is falling apart at the seams and no one cares, no one understands. Being near those…things, is nearly unbearable for you.”

I never really liked the whole “eldritch, impossible, unknowable, maddening to even look at” type deal that some entities in media invoke. I don’t think the average Cata survivor should care about the otherworldly nature of the nether creatures, not when they’re trying to kill the survivor and the survivor can effectively fight back. They’re not “eldritch abominations from beyond the veil, incomprehensible to the simple and fragile mortal mind”. They’re monsters that bleed and are deathly allergic to lead traveling at supersonic speed. Scary and operating on alien principles, but not maddening.

That’s not exactly true to Lovecraft’s writing, more true to the Call of Cthulhu RPG. Lovecraft’s characters don’t usually go mad just from seeing things, they get locked away because they’re trying to tell everyone about the impossible things they saw and so are obviously deranged.
A major exception are Cthulhu cultists, who receive fragments of his dreams and are trying to understand the alien thoughts that are filling their nightmares. If he awakens his psychic influence will likely drive countless people mad, but it won’t be just because he looks strange.


I don’t know majority of his stories i’ve read ends with the characters discovering something otherworldly, and then either dying, fleeing for their lives, going mad, or surviving.

But you get the basic idea i mean, where things do not go well when Eldritch Horrors appear.