Monday, March 23, 2009

World of Darkness Sanity/Morality, Part II

Ok, I did a post about this already, but I need to nail something down because my chronicle supposedly starts this week.

I have a problem with the Morality system, as I have stated. If you're not familiar with NWoD, it works this way: You start with Morality 7. If you commit petty theft or worse, you make a degeneration roll, using a number of dice determined by the "severity" if what you've done. You get a number of dice to roll, and the worse the crime, the fewer dice you get. If you succeed, your Morality remains the same. If you fail, you lose a point of Morality and then you have to roll to see if you gain a permanent Derangement. Yes, that means that if you knick someone's wallet, the average person does have a chance (however slight) of being driven insane by the experience.

Seriously? I find it easier to believe that the character inhabit a world full of vampires, Frankenstein monsters, and werewolves than I do the notion that you can lose your marbles by stealing a car stereo.

My other objection to the RAW regarding Morality comes from the Asylum source book. Most of the patient characters who have Derangements (keep in mind this is a book about mental asylums)have Morality scores lower than 7. I find this kind of repulsive. So crazy people are immoral/immoral people are crazy?

That's some straight up Victorian shit, yo. Can I take a specialization in Phrenology for my character's medicine skill? Ok, I can see a violent psychopath or sociopath having a "lower" Morality score, using the hierarchy of sins as described by this book...oh, fuck this. Morality mechanics in a game suck. Morality adds nothing to a World of Darkness game.

I think this pretty much seals the deal that I am kicking Morality out and creating a Sanity score. It works much the same way: it starts at 7. Your Sanity is checked when you encounter a traumatic situation or something otherworldly. You roll Willpower (Resolve + Composure) at a penalty appropriate for what you have seen: -2, perhaps, for a grisly ritual murder, maybe -5 if you catch a glimpse of a Lovecraftian horror. I'm not going to codify the table because I don't want Sanity loss to be something that is easy to predict. If you lose a Sanity point, you check to see if you get a Derangement, much like you do for the RAW check for loss of Morality.

In the RAW, it is possible to go above Morality 8. I don't think it is possible to be "saner than sane," so likely I will not allow Sanity to go above 7. I might allow Sanity to be regained under special circumstances, and probably by spending experience points along with it. Characters who are patients can choose to have a Sanity as low as 5 to start, but unlike the RAW with Morality trade in, you do not get experience points for giving yourself lower Sanity; this is a choice players will make entirely of their own will. (If they wanted to play someone sane, they could play someone who is wrongfully admitted to the hospital, or a staff member.)

2 comments:

  1. My friends goaded me and one basically shat on me when I suggested the morality mechanic in WoD is arbitrary at best. I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees this mechanic as bad.

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  2. No offense, but your friends sound like dicks.

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