Don't Rest Your Head... minus Madness?

#1
So, I've recently fallen in love with the DRYH system, and the collaborative nature of storytelling that goes on within the game. I think it's really capable of running some exceptional cross-genre, character-driven scenarios, but there are a few things making that difficult - mainly, the consequences of using abilities.

Making a particular example, saying I wanted to use DRYH to run a CoC-style game. Most of the mechanics line up perfectly, except that its unlikely that every character playing would be capable of wielding madness-inducing sorcery on par with the Madness Talents in DRYH - even those are only possible within the mutable realities of the Awake.

So, what sorts of alternatives do we have? Sorcery akin to Madness Talents is certainly a possibility, with all the same consequences within DRYH, but what about other, more normal characters?

In these cases, I have been toying with the idea that a "normal" investigator would forgo the option of using magic (Madness Talents) and would instead receive +1 Discipline, an additional Excellence (Exhaustion Talent) and would be capable of pushing their "exhaustion" (or similar) pool to 9 before "crashing" (or cheating the Mythos to the point where it gets annoyed, I don't know).

I haven't had the chance to playtest this idea yet, but I'd like help coming up with something comparable that is also balanced. If anyone has any thoughts for using the system to run sci-fi or noir games as well, I'd love some input. Perhaps in sci-fi you would be running on an "essence" sort of concept that would slowly drain your humanity. Or in a noir setting, you might be fighting against your own morality and be facing an identity crisis or nervous breakdown, which is plenty serious for lonely people in a modernist setting.

I look forward to seeing your thoughts - or, if I'm just beating a dead horse, please feel free to direct me accordingly. I've seen some of the threads on this idea, but most of them involve keeping the mechanics as-is and just adding a "dream land" dimension. I'd like to see how DRYH can run something that doesn't necessarily involve such things.
 

Nooch

Registered User
Validated User
#3
Re: Rest 'em if ya got em

I've pondered this, and I think the easiest and least balance disturbing hack is to take away madness talents entirely and substitute in the madness rules for tomes and items. They lose the madness talent, but may cast anything out of the tome. Just set the spell power w/ reference to the madness dice.
 

iago

www.evilhat.com
Validated User
#4
Re: Rest 'em if ya got em

The Mythos is really about a slow creep towards madness rather than the full octane headlong rush towards the cliff's edge of DRYH. DRYH's Madness dice pool is very "bursty". So I'd support setting it aside for a Mythos game.

I'd probably give Investigators:

Discipline -- as usual

Mythos -- Functions like exhaustion (you can only add one at a time, but once you add it, you must always roll it, and if it dominates, it increases), and represents the degree to which you've been exposed to the secrets you shouldn't know. When you go over 6, you don't die or go permanently mad, but you *do* go crazy for a scene, and lose a point of Discipline, and your Mythos drops back down to 1 (your mind firewalls off the knowledge as best it can, but it's incomplete). Something like that. If this ever causes your Discipline to drop to zero, THEN you go permanently mad, NPC-ville.

Give yourself two skills: your Specialty, and your Support skill (like, your Specialty might be guns, while your support skill might be driving). When performing your Specialty, dice that show 4's and 5's also count as successes. When performing your Support skill, dice that show 4's count as successes. Otherwise, successes only come on 3's or lower.

You could consider adding a third pool, which is super dangerous. I'd call it Desperation. You can add as many Desperation dice as you want to any roll, and they don't stick around. But if they dominate, bam, you die, outright. (It's DESPERATION, right? So it's not something you roll out unless it's do-or-die. Or do-AND-die, since we're talking Cthulhu here.)
 

teknoboy

Avatar of Isodoris
Validated User
#5
Re: Rest 'em if ya got em

I got DRYH at GenCon last year and I've been thinking of prepping a game for it for a convention at the end of April. These hacks seem very reasonable for dealing with Mythos and I might try them out. While the Desperation pool is very deadly, it totally works in my mind with a Mythos game. Thanks for the new hack!
 

iago

www.evilhat.com
Validated User
#7
Re: Rest 'em if ya got em

Not to self-toot or anything, but man, that Desperation thing is really growing on me.
 

waitingforgodzi

Registered User
Validated User
#8
Re: Rest 'em if ya got em

but man, that Desperation thing is really growing on me.
Is it now?

Let it grow, Fred. Put it in a warm, dark place. Feed it animal carcasses. Whisper to it about how special and beautiful it is. Then publish it as part of a new DRYH supplement.
 

iago

www.evilhat.com
Validated User
#9
Re: Rest 'em if ya got em

Is it now?

Let it grow, Fred. Put it in a warm, dark place. Feed it animal carcasses. Whisper to it about how special and beautiful it is. Then publish it as part of a new DRYH supplement.
Or just a new game. I'll ponder it.
 
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