Insanity Chart?

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Hello all; thanks for taking the time to read.

I made a new character for an upcoming game, which is going to be mentally unstable (due to Far Realm influence)

Is there a chart out there which depicts madness effects; If I recall correctly there was, and you rolled a d20 to see what random manifestation of madness you where influenced by.

Or I could be wrong, was wondering if anyone knew where I saw this; if not does not exist does  anyone have a system in which they use for Insane characters?


Could you be thinking of the dragon article, "Totem Creatures of the Far Realm: The Aberrant Souls", from edition 394? It provided the following table.

If you wish to add cosmetic changes to your character to show the changes caused bythe aberrant connection, some options arelisted below. You can choose a trait that mostexpresses the chosen totem creature, or roll1d10 to determine what characteristic develops.
For a truly volatile body, you can choose toroll every time you gain a level, with a new trait replacing or adding to the old one.

1 Your eyes become entirely black or are covered in a milky white film. Neither effect impairs your ability to see.
2 Your hair is replaced with tentacles.
3 Your eyes bulge from their sockets, and can be extended on short stalks at will.
4 Weeping sores appear on some part of your body.
5 The palms of your hands sprout tiny mouths, and your fingers elongate.
6 Patterns of color move across your body as if something were crawling under your skin.
7 You no longer have eyes—instead, you have smooth skin where your eyes would be. You can still see normally, and can still be blinded.
8 Your skin is cold and slimy, occasionally leaving a thin film on things you touch.
9 When you bleed, your blood is black and viscous, like crude oil.
10 R eroll twice, taking two unique traits (ignore any other rolls of 10 or conflicting traits) 


Not exactly what I’m looking for, but still very cool I must have missed that issue, going back to check it out right now.

Looking more for something like this

Roll a d10

1-      Sees something that isn’t there

2-      Perceives something is dangerous

3-      Here’s something horrible

Ext, ext, ext.


 Honestly, you're better off just roleplaying the effects of madness rather than rolling on a table. Much easier to come up with something that's appropriate to the specific scene or situation the character's in. (Also less likely to irritate the rest of the party.)


I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)


I am the Lawnmower Man.



I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)


There are reasons they call me Mad...

  I went this direction with my Elf Ranger.  I think you're better off doing some research on the different types of mental health issues, pick one or two and role play accordingly.  See if your DM doesn't mind reading up on whichever mental illness you choose so he can help develop the story to include your psychosis.  I went with paranoid schizophrenic with various psychotic tendencies. Both myself and the DM have a lot of knowledge on mental illness.  My backstory included audio hallucinations (hearing voices).  During the course of the game the DM decided that what I was roleplaying as hallucinations were actually a result of a spiritual sensitivity to deities (though he is still psychotic).  Mostly Melora, but others as well.  He worked it into the campaign and at this point I have a frost focused elder god living in my head as we attempt to re-establish the natural balance of his world so he can return to power. 

  I guess my long winded point is, though many mental illnesses share symptoms, there is an actual "method to the madness".  Using a random table to determine cause and affect would really only work if you made a random table that only included possibilities of your chosen illness, but again imo, it’s more fun for the DM and player to understand the illness and role play it.  Just my two copper.

Harry Dresden 

"just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Personally, I'd avoid making your madness too much like a real-world mental illness.  After all, this is Far Realm madness - fictional, paranormal insanity due to seeing THINGS THAT MAN WAS NOT MEANT TO KNOW, not some brain chemistry or behavioral issue.  Working it this way, you'll avoid problems with not being able to achieve a sufficient level of "realism" (which is just chasing the dragon in D&D) and also avoid the possibility of someone getting all offended because of the way you roleplay BECAUSE ME BROTHER HAS ISSUES TOO AND IT'S NOT FUNNY, etc.  Insanity isn't something that fits a heroic fantasy roleplaying game very well anyway, at least not for the PCs.  (Which is why I play D&D instead of Call of Cthulu or any other game with insanity rules.)


Slightly OT:  Anyone else ever notice how many villains in fiction always have some form of insanity?  It was getting to the point with D&D adventures for a while where it seemed like they were stuck in such a rut for interesting villains that every single villain had to be female, or insane, or both.  Why can't a villain be evil just because they really enjoy being evil ... instead of somehow not being able to help it and being sympathetic in some manner.  It's a bit too cliche for me.  And hey, you mean women can be bad people too?  No way!  How unique!


But to each their own!


OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

You could liberally take from the D20 Cthulhu books.  Also, I'm pretty sure Goodman Games did a few 4E D&D Cthulhu themed things that might work (Lovecraftian Bestiary, plus HPL themed content in their shortlived zine).  I know that Jester's work over on the fraternity of shadows might work well as well!  (It's towards the bottom)

An undead spectre occasionally returning to remind the fandom of its grim existence.



Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:


Go hunt down a 1e DM's guide - I'm sure you can find it free online. One of Gary Gygax's classic first edition tables was the 'Random Insanity Table' which might be just what you are looking for - a whole host of insanities are thoroughly detailed as the result of a d20 roll.

Most 4e manifestations of Insanity involve "you attack yourself" or "you attack your allies".  This can get old, and cause IRL dissention in the group, real fast.  Beware.

Divine Power has some material on Tharizdun, the God of Madness (and other stuff).  That may be inspiring.


Paranoia might be the easiest 'insanity' to work into a playable character that does not sabotage the group.  This is the guy who always takes the night watch, because NOBODY else can look out for him better than he does.  (And he trained the Perception check to back up that boast.) 

Any other 'insanity' should be non-random, because the other PCs have to be able to react to it intelligently.  Under certain circumstances, the intelligent reaction to an insane character whose uncontrolled / uncontrollable acts endanger the party ... is to assassinate the PC in question.


Having an insane character can be a lot like having an Evil character: it's fun as long as you don't do anything serious with it; but when it takes center stage, it destroys the game.

Best complements I have yet received

Making it up as I go along:

{BRJN} If I was writing the Tome of Lore, I would let Auppenser sleep. But I also would have him dream. In his dreaming he re-activates the innate powers of (some) mortal minds. Or his dreaming changes the nature of reality - currently very malleable thanks to Spellplague &c. Or whatever really cool flavor text and pseudo-science explanation people react positively to.

{Lord_Karsus} You know, I like that better than the explanations for the Spellplague.


{BRJN} If Bhaal approves of The Joker, does he approve of Jack Nicholson's portrayal or Heath Ledger's protrayal more?

{Stigger} That question is utterly classic, and completely on target.


Prepped ahead of time:

I started the 4e thread "1001 Failed Interrogation Results" (now lost in that great electronic goodnight, alas)

{ADHadh} These are all good and make sense! I just can't come up with something that's not covered here and is not completely ridiculous.


(News bulletin: Updated thread to be posted after I review the 5e DMG)


My 5e characters


Erevyn Meliamne, Wood Elf Rogue1/Monk2, AL, inspired by "Radar O'Reilly" from M*A*S*H: Perception(max)

Alavos of Kirauma, Half-elf Ancients Paladin8, HotDQ / Tiamat, Warlord themed - now an NPC because I was voted DM for our group !

Characters Ready-to-go:

none at present; gotta work on somebody from below !

Concepts I'm kicking around:

Tiefling Bard - party "face", skillful, future business master (using 3e FRCS background material) and patron to beginning adventurers.

Barbarian w/Tough feat, to be nearly indestructible

"Truenamer" cleric - all spells are Verbal

"Buggy" Wizard - insect flavor on everything.  His DMPC / BBEG version is going to become a beetle version of a Worm That Walks.  (See the 4e MM picture of a Lamia.)  Because lichdom is so cliche.


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