Sanity Rules

Mental Anguish

Whenever an investigator witnesses a terrifying event or encounters a terrifying creature, they must make a Terror check (a Spirit roll modified by any terror and wound/madness penalties).  If they succeed, they are okay.  If an investigator fails their Terror check, they suffer Mental Anguish based upon the level of terror (base terror for a Novice creature is Spirit + d4).  This is compared to the Sanity of the Investigator.  If the anguish inflicted is greater than the Sanity of the Investigator by no more than 3 points, the Investigator is Shaken.  For every 4 points of Mental Anguish above the Investigator's Sanity, they gain one level of madness.



Each level of madness inflicts a -1 penalty to all Trait rolls, to a maximum penalty of -3.  Anytime an investigator suffers one or more levels of madness, make a Spirit roll (including any madness penalties incurred by this attack).  If the roll is successful, there is no further effect.  If the roll is failed, your investigator is Insane.  This could be a temporary or permanent affliction.



Each time they gain a level of madness, the character must make an immediate Spirit roll (taking into account all modifiers as usual).  Should they fail this roll, they must immediately make another Spirit roll and consult the following table:
Raise - The investigator is Shaken and suffers Insanity that fades after the encounter is over (or sooner if the madness is restored before then).
Success - The investigator is Shaken and suffers Insanity that lasts until all levels of madness are eliminated.
Failure – The investigator is Shaken and suffers an indefinite Insanity.
Critical Failure – The investigator has stared into the Abyss, and the Abyss accepts them into its warm embrace.  The investigator falls unconscious for d6 hours or until restored to consciousness (successful Healing roll) and permanently loses 1 point of Sanity.  Should this reduce the investigator's Sanity to 0, their mind is irrevocably lost beyond all hope.

Mental Disorder Table:

d20 Mental Disorder
1 Amnesia
2-4 Delusions and Hallucinations
5 Depression
6-7 Generalized Anxiety Disorder
8 Mania
9-10 Night Terrors
11 Obsession
12 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
13-14 Paranoia
15 Phobia
16 Psychotic Episodes
17 Sociopathic Tendencies
18-20 Weak Mind


Treating Madness

The Knowledge (Psychology) skill can be used to treat investigators suffering from madness.  Each attempt takes 20 minutes, and requires a safe, quiet place in which to talk with the subject.  If such a location is not available, the treating investigator suffers a -2 penalty to his roll.  The treating investigator must also subtract the subject's levels of madness and wounds from his skill roll.  Note as well that the treating investigator subtracts any penalties he may be suffering as a result of his own madness and wounds from the roll as well.  An investigator suffering from madness trying to cure his own madness doubles his madness penalties (once for the distraction of his madness, and once for the severity of his madness) and adds any wound penalties he may be suffering as well.
A success removes one level of madness, and a raise removes two.  Investigators with Knowledge (Psychology) can re-attempt their roll as often as they like within one hour of the incident causing the madness – after this, only natural recovery or long term therapy can aid the unhinged investigator.
A result of 1 or less, however, means the patient suffers an additional level of madness.  This new madness is treated as any other madness an investigator may receive under the Sanity system.  However, no further treatment can be administered to an unhinged investigator for a twenty-four hour period.

Mental Recuperation

Every five days, investigators suffering from madness may make Spirit rolls.  Wild Cards remove one level of madness with a success, and improve two steps with a raise.  A Critical Failure on this roll increases a Wild Card's madness by one level.  Subtract wound and madness penalties from these rolls as usual, as well as any of the modifiers below.  These are cumulative.  Proper care means that someone with Knowledge (Psychology) is actively keeping tabs on the patient's mental state, giving what medications are available, and looking after the patient's well-being.

Mental Recuperation Modifiers:

Modifier Condition
-2 Rough Traveling
-2 No Treatment
-2 Poor Environmental Conditions, such as intense heat, cold, or rain
-1 Indifferent Staff
0 Proper Care Facility (1940 or earlier)
+1 Proper Care Facility (1941 or later)
+2 Proper Care Facility (2010 or later)
+2 In Therapy (Under the care of a psychotherapist)


Treating Insanity

Only Psychotherapists (those with the Psychotherapist Edge) are skilled enough with the nuances of the human mind and its psychology to attempt to eliminate indefinite Insanity.  To do so, the patient must not be suffering from any levels of madness before therapy can begin.


Getting rid of mental disorders is not easily done.  The investigator must make a successful Spirit roll at a -4 to eliminate one level of a mental disorder.  Only one mental disorder may be treated at a time.  However, the psychotherapist gets to help out.  The psychotherapist makes a Knowledge (Psychotherapy) roll and adds +1 to the investigator's Spirit roll for each success and raise.  Each consecutive week in counseling adds an additional +1 modifier to the investigator's roll as well.
Once a level of a mental disorder is successfully treated, a new disorder or further levels of the same disorder may be treated, and the consecutive week bonus resets.

Maximum Sanity

The most Sanity any investigator may have is their Sanity minus their Corruption.  When an investigator's Sanity is reduced to zero, they have either been driven horribly insane, or become a tainted servant of the very forces they once fought.  In either case, the player turns over his character sheet to the Keeper and must create a new investigator.


Each time an investigator gains a die type of Knowledge (Mythos), their Corruption increases by one and their Sanity decreases by 1.  A d4 is Corruption 1, a d6 is Corruption 2, and so on.
As one might imagine, gaining Corruption is never a good thing, but it's part and parcel of dealing with the darkness.  Some secrets are best reserved for the Keeper.

Knowledge (Mythos)

This skill enables the hero to piece together fragments of the hidden world.  When they come across evidence of Mythos creatures, an investigator with this skill may make a roll to identify it.  Should they encounter a dread creature, the investigator may identify the creature or something of relevant interest, such as its behavior or possessions.  This skill could be used as well to allow an investigator to identify a spell being cast or to recognize a Mythos book by skimming a few pages.  This skill is also used by investigators to cast spells they have learned.
As this knowledge damages the very core of a person's psyche, no investigator may elect to take this skill to start, nor ever put any skill points into the development of this Knowledge

Learning More Mythos

Once an investigator has Knowledge (Mythos) d4, they may gain more Knowledge in one of two ways.
Involuntarily:  When an investigator encounters a Mythos creature and rolls snake-eyes (two ones) on their Terror check, they add +1 to Knowledge (Mythos).
Voluntarily:  An investigator may skim or read a book of lore.  Skimming a book adds a +1 to Knowledge (Mythos) while reading a book increases their Knowledge (Mythos) a whole die type.
Whenever gained Knowledge would increase an investigator's bonus to +2, the bonus is dropped and the investigator instead increases their Knowledge (Mythos) a die type.  Whenever Knowledge (Mythos) is increased a die type, the investigator's Sanity is permanently reduced by 1 point while their Corruption is increased by 1.  Delving too deeply into the mysteries of the Cthulhu Mythos is a dangerous pursuit.

Sanity Rules

The Incident at Rowley Nano